Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Monza vs Napoli - Match Preview
⚽ 14 May 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Now beaten just once in ten Serie A (SA) outings (W4, D5) after a 1-1 draw at Torino, Monza will fancy their chances of avenging August’s 4-0 drubbing against new champions Napoli, who are still in the party mood with a first Scudetto since 1990 in the bag. It was a result back at the start of the season that many feared would spark an instant return to Serie B for Monza, but the Biancorossi grew at a rate of knots thereafter, and still have a theoretical chance of finishing in the top six.
That would involve a perfect four-game finish for Raffaele Palladino’s side, along with a complete collapse in form for those still within grasping distance. It’s clearly not going to happen, but there is still a watershed for Monza to hit as an excellent debut SA campaign comes to its conclusion, with a win here putting them on the verge of being only the eighth promoted team to hit 50 points in a 38-game season, awarding three points for a win.
While Napoli’s mission has now been accomplished, the Partenopei also have a few round figures to aim for, as they make a first trip to the Stadio Brianteo since a 0-0 draw in September 1999. For starters, they would become the 11th-ever SA squad to legitimately hit 90 points with two wins and a draw from here, though only a perfect finish will get them 95 – equal to the third-highest SA tally of all time, currently held by Juventus’ class of 2017/18.
That would also see Luciano Spalletti’s side become just the fourth squad to legally post 30+ wins in a single SA campaign. And there’s certainly no doubting Napoli’s momentum on the road as a means to achieving that bonus target, with seven shutouts across their away league games faced in 2023 (W8, D1, L1), contributing to a perfect record of 11 SA away matches to see them score first.
📋 Players to watch: Gianluca Caprari netted Monza’s late leveller at Torino last weekend – the eighth goal in his last nine to arrive second in the match. In opposition, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be motivated even with the title now safe, having failed to contribute towards any goals following the March international break. That said, his only-ever brace for Napoli came in the reverse clash, potentially giving him some additional inspiration.
⚡ Hot stat: Twelve of Napoli’s last 13 SA away wins over sides promoted in the previous campaign have seen them score an even number of goals.
Bologna vs AS Roma - Match Preview
⚽ 14 May 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
It’s been a relatively successful campaign for Bologna, who are now looking to secure just a second top-half finish in Serie A (SA) since returning to the top flight in 2015. They’re embroiled in a tight battle between clubs stranded in mid-table, with just two points separating eighth and 13th ahead of the round, although Thiago Motta’s men only have themselves to blame for being part of that crowd after a five-match winless run (D3, L2).
The Rossoblù are at least unbeaten in five matches on their own turf (W2, D3), and their positive home record this term has been built on a strong defence that’s conceded just 12 goals at home, a record only Inter can beat. That’s a return visiting Roma boss José Mourinho would be proud of, as Motta goes up against the manager he won the treble under in 2010 for the second time this season.
Mourinho is getting used to seeing his former players in the opposition dugout, as Roma head into this game after a 1-0 win over Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League in midweek. With this clash against Bologna falling between those semi-final ties, perhaps Giallorossi’s priorities have shifted to Europe after a four-match winless run in SA (D2, L2).
Roma now sits outside the top six ahead of this round, and with seventh currently not guaranteed to be enough to qualify for Europe, Mourinho’s men could do with some improvement. That’s especially true on the road where the Giallorossi have won just one of their last ten away matches in all competitions (D3, L6), whilst they’ve also conceded 21 of their 33 SA goals away from the Stadio Olimpico.
📋 Players to watch: Bologna’s Riccardo Orsolini has been in good form of late, and he’s seen all of his last eight goals arrive inside the first 15 minutes or beyond the 75th minute. Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini will be looking to directly contribute to a goal for a third successive personal away from H2H, and he also bagged the winner in this season’s reverse fixture.
⚡ Hot stat: Bologna has conceded just four first-half goals on home soil this season - the best total in the division.
Juventus vs Cremonese - Match Preview
⚽ 14 May 2023 - 18:45GMT +0
Massimiliano Allegri and his Juventus side are on course to wrap up their top-four berth in Serie A (SA) early, after two successive victories left them five points clear of fifth ahead of round 35. Given their relative comfort in the league, Allegri may choose to use the visit of relegation-threatened Cremonese to rest key players ahead of their crunch Europa League semi-final second leg against Sevilla next week, with the tie balancing on a knife edge after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Turin on Thursday.
Even with the possibility of a rotated line-up, it’s difficult to make a compelling case for Juventus losing this game, especially as 2023 marks the centenary year since their one and only defeat to Cremonese back in the old Prima Divisione of 1923. A return to Turin will certainly help boost belief too as only champions Napoli can match the Old Lady’s haul of home league wins since the start of October ahead of this round (W10, D1, L2).
Putting an end to a 100-year period since their last win against Juve is of vital importance to Cremonese, who enter this round six points adrift of safety with just 12 left to play for. Some solid form across the previous six rounds has ensured they’re not already mathematically down (W3, D2, L1), but it is still likely too little too late for the Cremona-based club, which is in need of a minor miracle.
Playing away from home is unlikely to stimulate any further improvement in form for Cremonese either, with the lowly club picking up just one travelling league win all season (W1, D8, L8). Damningly, that sole victory came to the already-relegated Sampdoria, but they have proven difficult to break down at times as they hold the joint-highest number of away league draws in the division.
📋 Players to watch: Juventus’ 19-year-old English prodigy Samuel Iling Junior may be pushing for a start here after opening the scoring with his first senior goal for the club in the previous round. Right at the other end of the age bracket, Cremonese’s 37 year-old forward Daniel Ciofani has netted in three of his last five SA appearances, contributing to his side picking up four points.
⚡ Hot streak: Cremonese have lost all six of their league games against top-four opponents ahead of the round, conceding at least twice in five of those games.
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