Serie A Sunday has Juve and Roma starring, plus Inter in Florence
Four of last season’s top five from Serie A face one another on Sunday evening, with reigning champions Juventus strong odds-on 4/5 favourites to retain their title.
The Old Lady host closest challengers Roma (7/4), who are neck-and-neck with them at the top of the table, but both were unable to record victories in Champions League action. Fiorentina (33/1 shots for Scudetto), meanwhile, meet with Inter Milan (25/1) after both sides made easy work of their Europa League assignments in midweek.
Juventus v Roma
Juve and Eternal City outfit Roma have shared honours in the last four meetings across all competitions with two wins apiece. Massimiliano Allegri’s Turin giants are yet to concede a goal in Serie A this term, however, and that is why Coral make them odds-on 19/20 favourites to win.
The Giallorossi have scored just once on their last four visits to the Old Lady, so their status as 11/4 outsiders to upset their hosts is entirely justified. It’s 5/2 on a draw. Juventus will be glad to have fiery Chile box-to-box star Arturo Vidal for this fixture, as he has four goals in as many previous league outings. Back him at a tempting 12/5 in the anytime market.
Argentine attacker Carlos Tevez, meanwhile, has six this season, so odds of 9/2 say he will score first. Allegri saw his perfect defensive record ruined by defeat at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last time out, but Juve have kept a clean sheet in every other outing this season and are 29/20 to do so again. A win to nil for the Old Lady is better at 21/10.
Francesco Totti still has plenty to offer for Roma, and Juve’s three-man defence will have to be wary of him. His beautiful finish against Manchester City in the Champions League draw at the Etihad ensured Rudi Garcia’s men remain unbeaten in all competitions.
At 38, there will be doubts whether Totti can play in two high-profile matches so close together. Whatever part he plays, if at all, odds of 12/5 say the Giallorossi icon will score again anytime. Mattia Destro, who is 15 years Totti’s junior, is more than an able deputy up front, and is the same price in that market.
Fiorentina v Inter Milan
Inter prepare for a tricky away day at the Artemio Franchi, but visit the Viola having done the double over their rivals last term, which is why they are 2/1 to defeat the Tuscan team once more.
The Nerazurri enjoyed 2-1 victories over Fiorentina on both of those occasions and are 11/1 to see a repeat of that scoreline again. Colombia star Juan Cuadrado and Italy attacker Giuseppe Rossi were the ones to get on the scoresheet for Vincenzo Montella’s men, but Viola will likely be without both, which is why they are just 11/8 to clinch a victory.
In a boost for the home side, wideman Juan Vargas (11/4 to score anytime) is expected to be involved from the bench, whilst their opponents will miss suspended wing back Yuto Nagatomo.
Inter are already way off the pace in the hunt for a Champions League spot, despite having only lost one game in league and cup this campaign. Cagliari spoilt Walter Mazzari’s unbeaten run, as the Milanese men slumped to a shock 4-1 defeat last time out in Serie A.
The Nerazurri certainly don’t share the same problem as their opponents, and boast plenty of options in offence, as illustrated by their 7-0 thrashing of Sassuolo earlier this season, but have also slumped to two draws.
Inter will need top scorers Mauro Icardi (6/1 to fire home last again after his midweek Europa League exploits) and Pablo Osvaldo (9/1 to score two or more after netting the Nerazurri’s consolation goal against Cagliari) to be in potent form if they are to start turning draws into victories.
Fiorentina have also been lacklustre in Serie A this season, despite enjoying a purple patch in the Europa League, but still remain undefeated on home turf.
With Rossi and Mario Gomez both sidelined it is no surprise Viola have lacked inspiration in attack, netting just twice in five Serie A outings. However, the Tuscan team have kept it tight at the back, conceding just three times in all competitions, making them 19/10 to keep Inter at bay and claim a clean sheet.