Serie A Tips: Genoa derby delight for Samp and Juve joy in Udine
Dave Farrar predicts Sampdoria will relish sending their local rivals closer to relegation, while Lecce will slip up again with Brescia, but Juve and Overs remain the solid bet...
Samp light up the Lanterna
Sampdoria v Genoa Wednesday, 20:45 Live on Betfair Live Video Claudio Ranieri has come in for a fair amount of criticism over the years, especially with his coaching efforts in Serie A, but he deserves a great deal of credit for the job that he has done at Sampdoria, particularly in this latter part of the season.
When Samp lost their first three games back after lockdown, they looked in trouble, and seemed as if they could be the ones vulnerable to any surge of form from one of the strugglers. Five wins out of six has put that right, though, and now they are safe and able to put their city rivals Genoa into yet more trouble.
Genoa got a clutch win against Lecce at the weekend which put them four points above the relegation zone, but they know that a defeat here, coupled with a likely Lecce win against Brescia would put them right back into the argument, and leave their final three games of the season against Inter, Sassuolo and Verona as real nailbiters.
Samp have been scoring goals freely, and have managed three in each of their last three games. Genoa have conceded in all but one of their post-lockdown matches, and they'll surely let in more than one here. Samp would relish the chance to have a hand in sending their city rivals down and Ranieri's side will want to keep their excellent recent run going. I favour them to do just that in the Derby Della Lanterna, at a very reasonable price.
Another Lecce slip
Lecce v Brescia Wednesday, 20:45 Live on Betfair Live Video
Lecce were heartbroken to concede a late winner against Genoa at the weekend, and they know now that there is no room for any more mistakes as they face second-bottom Brescia who will be relegated with another defeat here.
In truth, Brescia already know their fate, and they've lost four of their last six. They did win the wooden spoon battle against SPAL last time though, and even though they'll find Lecce a tougher proposition, they look a big price at4.60 to win this.
Fabio Liverani's team have won just once since February 15th and that, remarkably, was here at the Via Del Mare against Lazio, but they've failed time and again to get results when they need them, and such will be their nerves here that I think Diego Lopez's team can capitalise.
Brescia won their home game against Lecce 3-0 earlier in the season, and with no southern crowd to help out the home team, it would be easy to see Lopez's team triumph in a sterile game between two poor teams. They're certainly overpriced to do so.
Juve entertain in Udine
Udinese v Juventus Thursday, 20:45 Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video Juventus could be Champions on Thursday night, should others slip up this week, and as they head into this midweek round eight points clear of Inter in second, we have to say that they are worthy winners, for all that this is a long way from a vintage Juventus.
Maurizio Sarri's team seem to have become masters of taking control of games in the old-fashioned Juventus way, and then contriving to throw points away. Sarri has referred to these patches as "blackouts", and they very nearly suffered another against Lazio on Monday night, conceding a late Ciro Immobile penalty, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic came close to equalising with a free kick.
Juve did hold on, though, and that result extinguished any lingering hopes that the rest of the challengers had. They will be Champions for a ninth consecutive year.
What remains is to get the job done, and also try and win a Capocannoniere crown for Cristiano Ronaldo. He and Immobile go into this matchday level on 30 goals apiece, and Juve will look to help him as much as they can, which will surely see them continue the theme of both scoring and conceding in games. Both teams have scored in their last six, and the six before the Lazio game all featured at least four goals.
Given that Udinese's last three home games have all gone Over 3.5 Goals, and with Rodrigo De Paul and Kevin Lasagna giving them the style and the finishing ability to trouble Juve, I think a generously priced Over 3.5 Goals is once again the bet in Udine.