Serie A Betting: Surprises in store for Inter, Juventus and Napoli
Dave Farrar predicts upsets after the break for international duty in a shocking Saturday run of away fixtures that could upset the odds...
Can't underestimate Torino
Torino v Inter Saturday, 19:45 Live on Premier 1 and Betfair Live Video
Torino and Inter round off a bumper Serie A Saturday, and the way that Inter have struggled in recent weeks leads me to believe that Walter Mazzarri's team have a chance of upsetting the second best team in Serie A.
Since losing at home to Juventus, Inter have scraped past Sassuolo, Brescia, Bologna and Verona, and drawn with Parma, and while their ability to win games that they shouldn't is admirable, it really isn't the basis for a realistic title challenge.
Torino are at least as strong as all of the teams in the list above, and considerably stronger than one or two of them, and after they bounced back to form by beating Brescia 4-0 away from home last time, they return home with a spring in their step and a sense that they may pull off a surprise win this Saturday night.
They're a ridiculous4.80 to win this, against a team that they have beaten in their last two Serie A home games, and have traditionally tested. Both teams have injury issues to contend with, but none that specifically concern us, and while I give Torino a serious chance here, I'll take some insurance and consider the fact that Inter have failed to win by more than a single goal in their last six in Serie A, and only three times this season.
You have to go back to September 2018 for the last time that Torino lost a Serie A game at home by more than a single goal, and with their defensive strength and battling qualities in mind, I'll be supporting them here with a goal start on the Asian Handicap.
Goals guaranteed in Bergamo
Atalanta v Juventus Saturday, 14:00
Juventus remain the only team in the top 5 European Leagues yet to lose a competitive game this season, and they head to Bergamo hoping to continue that run, and keep piling the pressure onto second placed Inter.
With a trip to Lazio to come in a couple of weeks, this is a tricky period for Maurizio Sarri's side, and what they manage to achieve at the Gewiss Stadium this weekend will set the tone for the coming fortnight.
Atalanta have given Juve nightmares in recent years, drawing their last two against them in Serie A and famously knocking them out of the Coppa Italia last season. They haven't actually beaten them in the League since 2001 though, and Juve remain the hardest team to play against in Serie A, as they've proved these past few weeks. They will slip up, and they will play badly, but their mentality is astonishing, and it continues to carry them.
Atalanta will have to do without the suspended Josip Ilicic and Ruslan Malinovskyi this weekend, but the return of Duvan Zapata offsets that absence, and there's a lot to like about the idea of an Atalanta win at around the3.10 mark.
Cristiano Ronaldo's return to goalscoring form for Portugal has been much discussed in Italy this week, but I'm not going to get too excited about him bullying Lithuania and Luxembourg, and think that he'll continue to struggle against the best defences in this League. Atalanta, though, have proved fragile at the back, and while they're certain to trouble Juve defensively, I can see them giving Ronaldo a little too much space.
Juve's ability to find a way, no matter the circumstances, put me off supporting Gian Piero Gasperini's team, and at a similar price, I prefer to focus on the Over 3.5 Goals market. This fixture finished 2-2 the last time it was played in Serie A, the 3-0 Cup win for the home team was wide open as well, and with Atalanta the top scorers in Serie A and Juve likely to be drawn into an open game, I think that represents the best solution.
Ancelotti shocker at San Siro
Milan v Napoli Saturday, 17:00 Live on Premier 1 and Betfair Live Video
Milan were much improved last time against Juventus, and slightly unfortunate to lose that game. If Stefano Pioli continues to get the Rossoneri moving in the right direction, then they have every chance of upsetting Napoli on Saturday, and deepening the pain for Carlo Ancelotti.
There has been something of a mutiny in Naples, and Ancelotti has been under pressure from all sides. He of course here returns to a place that will spark many happy memories, and yet he may not leave San Siro looking too fondly over his shoulder.
Napoli have looked sketchy all season, and have now failed to win any of their last five games. Their only away win in the League was when they trounced Lecce back in September, and they were unconvincing both in Rome and then at home against Genoa last time.
One thing that Pioli has got Milan doing is working hard, and they will look to make life difficult for Napoli. The absences of Ismael Bennacer and Hakan Calhanoglu might be a blessing, as this isn't necessarily their kind of game. It's a chance for Lucas Biglia to return and for Ante Rebic to make his mark.
Given that Milan might just be on an upward curve, and that Napoli are not far off a crisis, 3.30looks far too big for a Milan win.