Inter v Juventus Saturday, 19:45 Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video
And so, astonishingly, and seemingly out of nowhere, the Serie A title race is on again, and suddenly Juventus have to cope with the fact that they are just one point clear of Napoli, and now face a trip to Inter Milan which in all probability they have to win. How quickly things change.
We should remember that the title is still in Juve's hands, and should they win their remaining four games, then there is nothing that Napoli can do. We should also remember that Napoli themselves have a tricky run in, starting with a trip to Florence this weekend, but there's no question that with this game, and a trip to Roma, the pressure is on Juventus.
The two points thrown away against Crotone were careless, and led in many ways to that Napoli defeat. Juve were cautious, overly so, and were clearly happy with a 0-0 draw as the game neared its end. Had they been two points behind Napoli, they would have pushed for the win, and maybe got it, but this was a rare and curious example of the Champions' mindset being all wrong, maybe still affected by the way that they exited the Champions League.
Now they face an Inter team that blows warm and cold (they haven't been hot for a while) - all that Inter do focuses on Mauro Icardi and they are battling for a top three place, a point behind Lazio and Roma, but knowing that they go to Lazio on the final day of the season. These games can be low scoring, but I think that the market has the over/under 2.5 goals market wrong here.
Both teams know that they need to win, both possess significant firepower, and both have shown defensive vulnerability. I know that Inter's home defensive record LOOKS good, but lately it's been built against pretty poor opposition (a tired and uninspired Napoli aside). Icardi has a great scoring record against Juve with seven in ten appearances, but Juve threaten from everywhere, and I can't believe that they'll throw in another bad performance here.
I expect the Champions to start on the front foot, rather than show the same passivity as last week, and I think that, and the absence of Giorgio Chiellini, makes them vulnerable. It would be just like them to come to San Siro and win, but that's a guess and so not a tip at2.46, so I'd rather stick with my certainty that there'll be at least three goals on what should be an electric night.
Rossoneri in freefall
Bologna v Milan Sunday, 14:00 Live on ESPN and Betfair Live Video
Milan travel to Bologna after suffering the humiliation of a home defeat by Benevento, and yet now they're odds on to beat a team that produced an excellent defensive display to deny Cagliari what would have been a key win last week.
Milan are now without a win in six Serie A games, and the charmed life that Gennaro Gattuso was living has crashed back down towards reality: he has a lot of work to do in the summer, and off field circumstances will make that very hard to accomplish.
Bologna are suitably frustrating to bet on or against and they'll surely be due a change of coach come the end of the season, but there has been a concerted effort from them over the last few weeks, and they've looked a pretty good team. Their last win against Milan here at the Dall'Ara was in 2002 though, and this has historically been a place at which Milan enjoy playing.
I can't have them at odds on, though, and Bologna have won four of their last seven at home, including a draw against Roma. They're safely in mid table, but I'm going to presume that the visit of Roberto Donadoni's old club will motivate them, and will lay a Milan teamwho are fading fast.
Samp too strong at home
Sampdoria v Cagliari Sunday, 14:00 Live on Betfair Live Video
When I tipped Cagliari to beat Bologna last weekend, I said that they needed to win as a horror of a run in awaited them: well, they didn't, and their difficult final four matches start at Marassi against Sampdoria.
Samp still have to believe that they can finish sixth, and their home form has been so good this season that they should be shorter than1.90 to beat Cagliari.
The Sardinians' situation looks desperate: they have conceded 22 goals in their last 10 games, they're struggling to score, and Bologna showed last weekend that if you can shut down Leonardo Pavoletti, then Cagliari don't really have a route to goal.
There's no question that Samp have weakened as the season has gone on, but they've at least found some solidity since that 5-0 home defeat by Inter, keeping clean sheets in their last two home games. If they can continue that trend against Cagliari, then they're likely winners, as Cagliari tend to concede, last weekend maybe being an aberration.
All of Cagliari's last six Serie A goals have come via set pieces, and unless they can find some inspiration from open play, it's hard to see them picking up another point. After this, games against Roma, Fiorentina and Atalanta lie in wait, and if Crotone, Chievo or SPAL can get up to, or over, 33 points, then Diego Lopez's team may yet be doomed.