Serie A Tips: Take on vastly over-rated Juventus once again

Abysmal Juve

Sassuolo v Juventus
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

The majority of the final midweek Serie A round of the season takes place on Wednesday night, but two of my selections are on Tuesday and Thursday, and so do bear that in mind when placing your bets.

Juventus obliged again on Sunday night by being awful against Milan, and my only regret was that I supported Milan on the Asian Handicap, rather than the Match Odds market, but it’s still a winning bet, and still a theme worth looking at.

Juve now go to Sassuolo, with the news from the club that Andrea Pirlo will keep his job until the end of the season, although nobody expects him to be in charge at the start of the next campaign.

That may be because of a feeling that Igor Tudor wouldn’t necessarily do any better, but it leaves Juve in a strangely stagnant position. And now they face a team which has won five of its last six Serie A games, and is closing in on Roma in 7th place in the table.

Despite all of that, Juventus are the favourites at 1.695/7 to win this, with Roberto De Zerbi’s team an insulting 5.59/2. It’s a bizarre market, based only on Juve’s big name, and we just need to work out the best way to play it.

I wouldn’t discourage you from backing Sassuolo in the Match Odds market, nor would I argue with supporting them with a 0.5 goal start on the Asian Handicap at 2.47/5. The price, though, that I like most, as it feels like it gives us real insurance, is to back Sassuolo with a goal start on the Asian Handicap at 1.910/11.

It may seem like a cautious play, but it makes sense, and gives us our money back if Sassuolo were to lose by a single goal. That would be the limit of what Juve might achieve, and so it makes sense to us to play it this way.

Napoli entertain

Napoli v Udinese
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

This is the first game of the week, at the Stadio Diego Maradona, as Napoli begin the process of trying to make sure of their top four spot. Win this, triumph in Florence and then at home against Verona on the final day and they will be in next season’s Champions League, Anything else, and they are vulnerable.

They begin their final push at home against an Udinese side who made sure of their Serie A status some time ago, and who have won just two of their last nine games. The ambition in Udine seems to be to stay in Serie A and reap the rewards, and the days of them challenging for a place in the Champions League themselves feel a long way in the past.

Napoli have won eight of their last nine games against Udinese and so it is entirely logical to see them trading at 1.364/11 for the victory. They slipped up last time here against Cagliari, conceding a ridiculously late goal, which means that they have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five at home.

Udinese offer enough of a threat to suggest that they too will score here, and their recent away games have been surprisingly high-scoring. They won 4-2 at Benevento in their last game on their travels, and both teams have scored in their last six away games, with two of their last three featuring Over 3.5 Goals.

That eventuality is trading at 2.915/8 here, and that’s good enough for me, as I could see Napoli looking vulnerable at home, yet ultimately getting the job done in some style.

Verona end with a flourish

Crotone v Verona
Thursday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

We finish at relegated Crotone, where the visitors Verona look a decent price to emerge with a win. Crotone have lost eight of their last nine games, and while Ivan Juric’s Verona have been in desperate form themselves, this game gives them a chance to springboard into a strong finish to the season, and I expect them to take it.

Verona haven’t won since April 3rd, but they have at least drawn their last two games, and they should be far too good for a team which has managed to lose 27 of 35 games this campaign. For all that Verona may have slipped a bit lately, they’re still 25 points better than Thursday’s rivals.

If you’re worried that Juric’s team are starting to think beyond the season and may have lost concentration, then I wouldn’t. They’ll be keen to finish in the top half, and that place is certainly under threat, and Juric is a good coach with high standards.

It’ll be an interesting clash of styles this, wide open Crotone against more cautious Verona, but it may encourage Verona to throw off the shackles. However the game is played, 1.981/1 looks a big price for the markedly superior team, and that’s the bet here.