Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Salernitana vs Atalanta - Match Preview
⚽ 13 May 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Salernitana’s longest unbeaten Serie A (SA) streak of ten games came unstuck in a 2-1 loss to Empoli on Monday, although they still remain eight points above the relegation zone at this late stage. Coach Paulo Sousa indicated that they’ll “have to keep fighting to get to the finish line” as three of their remaining four matches are against current top-ten clubs, starting with this match against sixth-placed Atalanta.
The Granata suffered their joint-heaviest top-flight defeat in the reverse fixture (L8-2), so revenge could be the buzzword at Stadio Arechi this weekend. A five-game unbeaten run (W2, D3) at this venue boosts such hopes, but having avoided defeat just once on home soil against the other clubs in the top six (D1, L4), Salernitana faces an uphill battle here.
Atalanta will be looking to get back on the winning trail, as a run of three consecutive victories was halted by a 2-0 loss against Juventus on Sunday. La Dea sits five points adrift of the UEFA Champions League qualification places, with boss Gian Piero Gasperini having ‘regrets’ over the Juve defeat that leaves them entrenched in a battle to keep hold of their place inside the top-six.
They could face a double-edged sword in their next two outings that see them face off against sides in the relegation battle, with both Salernitana and Hellas Verona desperate for points to stay in the top flight. Gasperini’s men can take confidence from the return fixture which saw them score eight goals for the first time in their top-flight history, while they’ll also be looking to extend a three-game unbeaten run on the road (W2, D1).
📋 Players to watch: Krzysztof Piątek scored Salernitana’s only goal against Empoli, breaking his league duck that started in November. The reverse meeting saw Atalanta’s Teun Koopmeiners dominating proceedings – scoring, assisting, getting booked and missing a penalty all in the first half!
⚡ Hot stat: A joint-league-low six-match openers were netted during the first 15 minutes of play in Atalanta’s games this campaign.
Spezia vs AC Milan - Match Preview
⚽ 13 May 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
Another defeat against fellow relegation contenders Cremonese 2-0 was a third consecutive loss for struggling Spezia, who have now won just one of their last 16 Serie A (SA) matches (D6, L9). Worryingly for the Ligurian side, it inevitably led to their fall inside the bottom three with a three-point deficit to safety, despite entering 2023 with a comfortable eight-point cushion!
Coach Leonardo Semplici will be hoping that the return of star striker M'Bala Nzola, who should start here from the beginning after his recent injury, will help his side who have failed to score in seven of their last nine home outings (W1, D3, L5)! Nzola was actually instrumental in their last win back in mid-January, scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot in a famous 2-1 win against AC Milan’s city rivals Inter here at Stadio Alberto Picco, something which should give Spezia fans some hope.
It was Inter who beat Milan 2-0 in Wednesday’s opening leg of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-final, and as if the injury to talisman Rafael Leão wasn’t enough, coach Stefano Pioli also lost Ismaël Bennacer in the opening 20 minutes of that crushing loss. However, Milan have to regroup quickly as they’re trailing Inter in the top-four hunt by two points with just four rounds remaining.
The Rossoneri fans were at least happy about reports that Leão signed a new deal with the club until 2028, while they also picked up a crucial 2-0 victory over Lazio last weekend. It’s a different story on the road, where back-to-back league draws have only added to a mediocre travelling SA record (W6, D6, L5), but with Milan avoiding a loss in each of their seven such outings against teams starting this round 13th or worse, they’ll be confident of bouncing back after their UCL setback (W4, D3).
📋 Players to watch: Nzola has scored almost half of Spezia’s 28 SA goals this term (G13), but he’s never scored against Milan. Théo Hernandez, who scored against Lazio, was in the spotlight in the last two H2Hs after scoring a goal and missing a penalty.
⚡ Hot stat: Spezia has conceded before half-time in each of their last seven matches.
Inter vs Sassuolo - Match Preview
⚽ 13 May 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Inter Milan took charge of their Champions League semi-final against city rivals AC Milan with a 2-0 win in the first leg on Wednesday, but coach Simone Inzaghi isn’t putting Serie A (SA) commitments on the back burner. Currently fourth and with only five points separating the teams from second to fifth, it’s understandable why Inzaghi stated this was a “very important match” against Sassuolo.
The Nerazzurri should be high on confidence after a six-game competitive winning run – their best streak of the season - which has been put together ahead of a gruelling schedule that spans three competitions. Yet this will probably be a straightforward match as Inter have lost three of their last four home league games (W1), and the host on the day in this match-up have won just one of the last seven SA H2Hs (hosts: W1, D1, L5).
Secure in mid-table, Sassuolo’s season may be practically over, but the possibility of a third top-half finish from the last four campaigns could be a motivating factor. Recent form has been scratchy though, with just two wins across seven games (D2, L3) throwing doubts over morale. That run was bookended by a 1-1 draw against Bologna last time out but coach Alessio Dionisi’s assertion that they “wanted to get the three points,” hints that the Neroverdi are still focused on moving up the table.
Sassuolo will need more than just motivation as they look to halt a three-game losing run on the road. Yet, they may not be overawed at visiting the San Siro as they won 2-0 here last season, while also defeating AC Milan 5-2 at this venue earlier in this campaign.
📋 Players to watch: Inter’s Romelu Lukaku is making up for lost time with six contributions (G3, A3) in his last three league games. Meanwhile, two is the charm for Sassuolo’s Davide Frattesi, who has scored the second goal of the match with three of his last four league strikes, including the reverse H2H and against AC Milan here.
⚡ Hot stat: Three of the last four SA H2Hs have ended 2-1, with each seeing one first-half goal and two in the second half.
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