Serie A Betting: Delayed Derby d'Italia upset and Parma to pummel SPAL
Dave Farrar predicts Inter will get the better of Juventus behind closed doors in this second attempt at Week 26...
Expect Inter d'Italia upset
Juventus v Inter Sunday, 19:45 Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
It's clearly been a horribly messy and confusing week in Serie A, but now we know that the biggest Derby D'Italia in years will be played behind closed doors and be played this Sunday.
With a whole series of behind closed doors games to come for at least a month, we'll have to think about betting strategies and how the lack of a crowd might affect the game. I still think that these matches can be compelling, and I still maintain, as I wrote last week, that this arrangement might just favour Inter, who remain an interesting price at3.60.
As I wrote then, last Thursday's trial run in front of an empty stadium will help Inter adjust more quickly to the atmosphere, and Juve's weaknesses remain. Giorgio Chiellini is a more likely starter now than he was last week, and that certainly helps, but they remain over-reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo, and Inter may just feel that they can shackle him.
Samir Handanovic is not the risk that he would have been had the teams met last weekend, and that gives Inter a huge boost after the rather eccentric performances of Daniele Padelli in his absence, and with both teams fresh, there won't be any excuses.
I'll repeat that I'm fully aware that Inter have won only 1 of their last 14 Serie A games against Juve, and that, like in the first meeting, they can crumble psychologically, but I give them the edge on Sunday, and they're far too big at3.60.
Does it mean that Antonio Conte's team will win Serie A? Not necessarily, but these surreal circumstances and the general chaos have somehow served to make this dramatic title race all the more intriguing.
Parma v SPAL Sunday, 11:30 Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
I've thought a lot about whether or not anything has significantly changed this week to make me change my mind about either "spare" tip that I put up last week, but I'm still confident that the two remaining bets are solid ones (with Lecce v Atalanta already going a long way Over 3.5 Goals).
Parma host a SPAL side who have lost eight of their last nine games in all competitions. We can back Parma for the win at2.14 and I still think that we should take the opportunity.
Parma are just about at full strength here, while SPAL arrive having lost five in a row in Serie A. One curiosity is that SPAL have a 100% Serie A record against Parma, having beaten them three times out of three, but that still doesn't concern me.
SPAL are capable of causing the occasional shock, and you might argue that this rather odd week increases the chances of something strange happening, but they're a poor team, who are hugely over-reliant on Andrea Petagna. Parma should be more than good enough on Sunday.
Parma have a good home record, are not desperate to be loved at the Tardini, and so I don't think that the absence of a crowd will bother them. They should get the job done fairly comfortably.
Sampdoria v Verona Sunday, 14:00 Live on Betfair Live Video
Verona haven't been beaten since December 7, and while they have drawn a few too many games on their nine-match unbeaten run, they've still won four of them, and I'm willing to take a chance on Ivan Juric's team away at Sampdoria.
Verona have won away only three times this season, but in 2020 they've been markedly superior to Samp, and their rather low-key style will be suited to playing behind closed doors. Marassi can be such a benefit to both Genoa and Sampdoria, and to have it empty will seem a little strange, and will very possibly affect the Samp players.
Even with a crowd, Samp lost their last home game 5-1 against Fiorentina, the previous one 4-2 against Napoli, and they've won only one of their last six at home, a thrashing of a hapless Brescia side.
It's a weekend of rather slim pickings, and I make Parma my bet of the week, but Verona look handily priced and worthy of a small investment.