April 10th - 12th : Milan eager to bounce back
By Andrew, bettingexpert.com | Edited
Google+: Andrew Brocker
A shock defeat to Fiorentina has seen Milan fall to 2nd place on the table. This week they visit Chievo in a key matchup while league leaders Juventus host Lazio. Further down the table, Roma will play hosts to Udinese.
Chievo v Milan
Chievo come into this midweek encounter with title chasers AC Milan with back to back victories, holding on to a 3-2 victory at home to Catania over the Easter weekend. It's been a good run for the 9th placed team, having now lost just once in their last 8 matches, a 0-2 defeat to Inter a month go. In order to continue their good run of form that has seen them rise up the table from 13th place at the beginning of February, Chievo will have to reverse form against the visiting Milan, a club they have not beaten since a 2-1 home win back in December of 2005. Since that time they have lost 10 straight, including 4 straight at home.
Milan now sit in 2nd place on the Serie A table, a point behind Juventus. Following a draw at Catania and an Easter weekend shock home loss to Fiorentina, Milan have surrendered what appeared to be a title claiming lead just 2 weeks ago. Despite injury issues, it's time for them to find their focus and travel away from home and claim a valuable 3 points. And they will be eager to avenge their loss to Fiorentina, a game which they led early before conceding the winning goal in the 89th minute. Even with their injury concerns they were able to dominate possession, but were only creative enough to engineer 5 shots on target, equal to that of their visitors. A win is of utmost importance here and could will see them back on top of Serie A by the end of the week should Juventus slip in their home fixture against 3rd placed Lazio.
Verdict - Milan will be desperate to claim the 3 points here. They have conceded in 6 of their last 9 matches so will look to keep things tight defensively. Expect them to get the job done here but without much glamour. Under 2.5 goals.
Obscure Stat – Chievo have faced clubs positioned in the top 3 of the table on 12 occasions over the last 4 Serie A seasons. They have managed to win 5 of those matches for a win profitability of 31%.
Juventus v Lazio
Juventus' form this season has been well documented and much discussed. After 31 Serie A contests in the 2011/2012 season, they are yet to experience defeat. Even still they only find themselves atop the table by a single point taking advantage of Milan's troubles of recent weeks. And at this stage of the season, a single defeat could well do much damage to their title hopes. They took care of business over the Easter weekend travelling to Palermo and returning home with a 2-0 victory as Bonucci and Quagliarella both got on the scoreboard. It was a match in which Juventus dominated both in possession and scoring opportunities, collecting 8 shots on target while conceding just 1 to the home club. They're a team performing with the title well in their grasp and playing with the ambition fitting of a title holder.
Lazio find themselves in 3rd place on the table, 3 points clear of 4th placed Udinese but with an inferior goal difference. They come into this difficult task away from home having taken care of Napoli at home over the Easter weekend by the score of 3-1. Having led early with Candreva scoring in the 9th minute, Lazio were able to take command in the 2nd half. Claiming even a point here against the title aspirants will be of much assistance in the race for 3rd place as they follow up in the following weeks with back to back matches against relegation battlers Novara away followed by Lecce at home.
Verdict - Juventus has the hunger of a true title contender and should claim another 3 points. But look to Lazio to make it interesting. Both teams to score.
Obscure Stat – Over the last 5 Serie A seasons, a club in 1st place has played at home to a club placed in 3rd on 6 occasions. The home 1st placed club have won 4 of those 6 matches played, with the only loss a 1-2 result for Inter to a visiting Juventus in 2007/2008.
Roma v Udinese
Roma currently sit in 6th place just a point shy of 5th placed and battle weary Napoli. Despite Napoli's loss to Lazio, Roma did their chances of claiming 5th place not favours over the Easter weekend, going down to the struggling Lecce suffering a 4-2 defeat, a match in which they were down 4-0 midway through the 2nd half before pinching 2 goals late. A win against the visiting Udinese is vital. With an away trip to Juventus in the coming weeks followed by a home encounter with Napoli, Roma will be desperate to keep their ambitions of a top 5 finish alive.
It wasn't a kind month for Udinese as they failed to win a Serie A contest in the month of March. They had scored 17 goals in their opening 9 matches of 2012, but despite coming away with 3 draws from their last 5 matches, they had scored just 3 times since the end of February. That was until they put 3 in the back of the net at home to Parma over the Easter weekend coming away with a much needed 3-1 victory. Asamoah scored twice, putting the result beyond doubt in injury time. A month from now they will host Lazio in a match that may go a long way to determining the battle for 3rd place. Between now and then, Udinese will have to take care of business and getting a result at Roma will be very welcomed.
Verdict - 7 of the last 10 meetings in Serie A have been won by the home club. Let's bet on that streak continuing. Roma to win.
Obscure Stat – 7 of the last 10 meetings between the clubs have seen at least 3 goals scored, with just 1 match in their last 16 meetings ending in a drawn result.
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