May 12th - 13th : Eyes on the prize
By Andrew, bettingexpert.com | Edited
Google+: Andrew Brocker
Catania vs Udinese
Catania go into this final week home fixture sitting mid-table with 48 points on the season. With a victory this weekend they will take their season win total clear of their season loss total with their 2011-2012 record currently standing at 11-15-11. The wins however have been few and far between of late. Since mid-March the club has put together a 1-4-4 record, with their sole victory, a 2-0 home win over Atalanta towards the end of last month. Last weekend they went down at home 0-1 to fellow mid-table club Bologna, while mid-week they drew 2-2 at Roma. After going down 0-1 early in the 2nd half, Catania were able to put 2 goals on the board thanks to Lodi and Marchese. They surrendered the lead 13 minutes from fulltime when Totti completed his double.
Udinese will travel with all to play for. They currently sit in 3rd place, 2 points and goal difference clear of 4th placed Lazio. Other than a ridiculous result for Lazio in their home fixture with Inter, a draw for Udinese should be enough to ensure a top 3 finish in 2011-2012. And it's been a great run of form for the club having now won their last 3 matches including a key 2-0 home win over Lazio to end the month of April. Despite this run, Catania has not been a club that Udinese has down well against. They have won 5 of their last 11 meetings, but when playing away from home they have lost 3 of their last 5 trips to Catania, with their only win a 2-0 result back in 2008/2009.
The oddsmakers have installed the Draw as favourite here at the price of 2.10. Udinese will start at odds of 2.80 to with Catania starting 3.80.
Verdict – A draw seems the only conclusion here. But it the 2.10 value? Best to take the Under 2.5 goals here.
Obscure Stat - Over the last 5 Serie A seasons, Catania have hosted a club positioned between 2nd and 4th on the table on 15 occasions. Only 3 of those matches ended over 2.5 goals but with 10 matches ending with exactly 2 goals scored.
Lazio vs Inter
Lazio head into this key match of the weekend in 4th position. They sit 2 points and goal difference behind 3rd placed Udinese and 1 point ahead of both Napoli in 5th and their opponents this weekend, Inter in 6th place. It's been a run of alternating home and away form for the club. They have gone 7-4-1 in their last 11 home matches, including wins over both Milan and Napoli. Away from home it's been a much different story, as they club lost 9 of their final 12 away fixtures of the season. Even worse, Lazio have struggled against Inter in recent seasons. Over the last 5 seasons they have lost 7 of their last 9 meetings with their only win a 3-1 home victory in 2010/2011.
Inter have certainly finished the season better than they started it. They have now won 5 of their last 8 including a 4-2 win at home last week against rivals Milan. In what was an epic match, the club was able to respond to an early 2nd half Ibrahimovic goal that saw them go behind 1-2. Milito would scored twice to put the club ahead before Maicon put the result beyond doubt in the 87th minute. Although a top 3 finish is mathematically possible, it is unlikely. A top 5 finish however is certain should they return home this weekend with the victory.
The bookmakers have had trouble splitting the club's chances in this one with both trading at around the 2.60 mark with the asking price of a draw around 3.45.
Verdict – Inter have found some late season form. Can they go to Lazio and find another victory? It's a tough call. I'm comfortable taking the home club with the DNB.
Obscure Stat - Over the last 5 Serie A seasons, a club positioned 4th has hosted a club positioned 6th on 9 occasions. Only one of those matches ended in a draw, a 2-2 Fiorentina v Sampdoria match in 2007/2008.
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