Serie A Tips: Back Lazio to fly in Florence but Juve to struggle with Milan
Dave Farrar predicts an easy away win for the Aquile, Benevento move closer to the drop and another bad day for Juventus...
Lazio on a roll
Fiorentina v Lazio
Live on Betfair Live Video
Lazio are still on the fringes of the exciting race for a place in the Serie A top four, but a win in their game in hand against Torino and continuing excellent form elsewhere and they are still live contenders to gatecrash the party.
Lazio have now won seven of their last eight Serie A games, only failing (rather unfortunately) against Napoli, and they look a useful bet at 1.9 to beat a Fiorentina side who are still looking nervously over their shoulders.
La Viola threw away a winner for this column as well as two points in the battle for survival as they led three times last week against Bologna, only to end up with a disappointing draw. Their form just looks a level or two below that of Simone Inzaghi's team, and I could see Lazio winning this fairly comfortably.
Lazio have won five of their last six in Serie A against La Viola, and have scored more goals against them than any other side. With their sparkling frontline in good form at the moment, the current figure of 198 looks set to soar past 200, as the sound of Lazio knocking on the door gets ever more insistent.
Bad luck Benevento
Benevento v Cagliari
Live on Betfair Live Video
This column saw Cagliari's run coming a few weeks ago, and now that they have surged out of the bottom three, this Sunday is the crunch game, the chance to really put distance between themselves and the drop zone.
The Sardinians head to a Benevento side who have sunk distressingly in recent weeks, losing four of the six games since their remarkable win at Juventus, and finally tumbling into the bottom three.
Many feel that Pippo Inzaghi's side are set to stay there, and should they lose this, then things will look very bleak. Sadly for them, I think that Benevento are up against it here. Cagliari are playing well, have won three in four and have considerable momentum on their side after that late equaliser against an excellent Napoli side last week.
Everything points here to a Cagliari win, and while they are just a little shorter than I would like, they still look to be the bet. The Sardinians might have won only four of their last 18 games against newly promoted teams, but that figure should rise this weekend, as Benevento sink further, and Cagliari climb towards safety.
Old Lady tumbling
Juventus v Milan
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
The decline of Juventus has been extraordinary to see, not just this season, but in this latter part of the campaign. They have gone from Champions to Champions League contenders, and then with stunning swiftness, to mediocrity.
They host Milan on Sunday night in a game which will have massive ramifications in terms of the top Four, and after their late comeback against Udinese last weekend, they are odds on now to beat a Milan side who are themselves in danger of slipping out of the Champions League places.
I know that Milan are not the force that they were in the early parts of this campaign, but I am baffled to see them as big as 4.8 to win this. Juventus have looked shot these last two weeks, and all of the noises about team spirit and togetherness only go so far. They have been sub-par since their win against Napoli and Milan come here with a big chance of winning.
The only thing that puts me off simply tipping Milan in the Match Odds market is the fact that Federico Chiesa is back from injury and seemingly ready to start. He has turned into Juve's most effective player, and there's a chance that he gives them the shot in the arm that they need. Either way, Milan are being overlooked and that's a poor reading of this game, and with the draw on my side, I'll support them this weekend.
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