April 14th - 16th : Expect Status Quo
By Andrew, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Andrew Brocker
This weekend sees both Milan and Juventus facing commitments they should make easy work of. Will one of them slip at this crucial stage? Meanwhile Udinese will host Inter with top 4 implications.
Milan vs Genoa
Milan bounced back from their shock loss to Fiorentina in dutiful fashion with a 1-0 win at Chievo midweek. Muntari scored early in a match that would see Milan concede 13 shots to the home club while gathering just 5 themselves. Their weekend commitment against the visiting 17th placed Genoa should provide them with the opportunity to build some momentum heading into the final weeks of the season as they attempt to regain 1st place on the Serie A table from Juventus. The next month of Serie A sees Milan play clubs mid-table or lower, until they visit Inter in early May. Injury concerns aside, Milan should be able to maintain pressure on Juventus for the Serie A crown and a win over Genoa should be accomplished without concern.
Genoa sit two points clear of Lecce and the Serie A relegation zone and an away fixture against the 2nd placed Milan probably isn't the kindest task at this point of the season for the struggling club. It's been a difficult 2 month period for Genoa, having not collected a win since an early February victory over Lazio. Following that victory, Genoa found themselves in 9th place on the table but have only managed 6 draws in their 11 matches since. It's an understatement to say that any kind of positive result this weekend would be very welcomed right now. Likewise the occasional goal or two would be duly appreciated as they have only managed 12 goals since their February win over Lazio and 4 of those 12 goals were scored in a thrilling away loss to Inter a couple of weeks ago.
Verdict - Milan will once again get the job done. But again don't expect it to be too explosive. Under 3 goals.
Obscure Stat – Over the last 5 Serie A seasons, Milan have lost only twice in 27 matches played when hosting clubs positioned in the bottom 7 of the table. And one of those losses was just a week ago to Fiorentina.
Udienese vs Inter
Udinese head into this key late season match-up coming off an eventful loss at Roma midweek. It was a loss which saw the club surrender two late goals to Totti and then Marquinho going down 3-1 while conceding 23 shots and 9 on target to their own 2 shots on target from 9 delivered. It's also a defeat that sees Roma move into 5th place just a point behind the 4th placed Udinese. With a match-up with current 3rd place holders Lazio just a matter of weeks away, the club will be keen to get another positive result against Inter, a club that has tormented them in recent seasons but who Udinese have now beaten in successive meetings, a 3-1 home win in January of 2011 followed by a 1-0 win at Inter last December.
Inter's struggles this season have been well documented. At the tail end of the season, they find themselves in the unfamiliar surrounds of 7th place on the Serie A table. After winning 9 from 10 matches through November, December and January, they have now won just 3 of their last 13 conceding 25 goals to 17 in the process. They have however managed to win 2 of their last 3 including a 2-1 victory at home to Siena midweek. Falling behind when D'Agostino scored in the 6th minute, Inter were able to count on a double from Milito including a 81st minute penalty to secure the much needed victory. There's still time for Inter to salvage the season. But with this away trip to Udinese followed by a home fixture with Milan and an away trip to Lazio to complete the season, their work is all ahead of them.
Verdict - Look for goals in a match Udinese should win. Correct score 2-1
Obscure Stat – Udinese have lost just once in 12 matches played in the last 5 Serie A seasons, when hosting clubs positioned between 6th and 8th on the table. That lone loss was a 1-2 result to Roman in 2010/2011.
Cesena vs Juventus
Cesena enter this demanding home commitment not having won since a mid January 3-1 result over the visiting 19th placed Novara. They followed up that victory losing 8 of their next 10 matches, gathering just 4 goals along the way while conceding 18. They have managed to redeem their season somewhat in recent weeks, having now drawn their last 4 matches. But languishing in last place well off the pace to avoid relegation, what they needed most were wins. Now they host Serie A leaders Juventus, a match-up which sees the bookmakers offering a 1.5 goals handicap to the hosts. With matches against Inter, Udinese and Roma still to come, things could well be about to go from bad to worse for the bottom of the table club.
Juventus took care of business midweek claiming a 2-1 win at home over Lazio. They secured their 5th consecutive win when Del Piero broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute, to maintain their lead atop the Serie A table. Now they head to bottom of the table Cesena where anything but a victory can be expected. Despite suffering nine of their 14 draws away from home this season, along the way Juventus have only conceded 8 goals keeping their home opponents scoreless in 10 of 16 away fixtures. And they shouldn't expect to concede here to Cesena, a club that has only managed to score 11 times in 15 home matches so far this season. With Milan hosting Genoa, we should expect the top of the Serie A table to remain the same heading into next week.
Verdict - Can't see anything but a Juventus win here. Juventus to win without conceding.
Obscure Stat – Over the last 5 Serie A seasons, a club in last place has hosted a club in 1st place only once, back in 2007/2008 when Inter travelled to Cagliari and won 2-0.
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