Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Monza vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 2 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
A steady return of five points from their last three league matches (W1, D2) kept Monza firmly in the comfort of the Serie A (SA) mid-table going into the international break. With a 15-point cushion to the relegation zone ahead of this round, barring a catastrophic meltdown, they should extend their maiden voyage in the top flight into a second season. With their next three matches against current top-eight teams starting with Lazio this weekend, Raffaele Palladino’s side perhaps even holds an outside chance of a seventh-spot finish and possible European qualification if they can begin to pick off the field.
Starting that late dash at the Stadio Brianteo could be a blessing as Monza has only lost once here across eight SA home matches (W3, D4). That sole defeat came ‘to nil’ against AC Milan, but with their four stalemates during that sequence seeing them battle back after conceding first, Monza may not be averse to plotting another comeback.
Lazio has been in impressive form themselves of late, piecing together a five-match unbeaten streak (W4, D1) which saw them go into the break in 2nd position. That run included key wins over Napoli and Roma, helping land manager Maurizio Sarri the ‘coach of the month’ award. Even the fact they crashed out of the UEFA Europa Conference League seems to have a silver lining, as Sarri can now concentrate on finishing in the Champions League qualification spots, and they look good to do so as they hold a five-point gap to fifth-placed Roma after 27 rounds.
Their charge has largely been built on defensive solidity, with Lazio managing 16 clean sheets this SA campaign, including one in the reverse fixture (W 1-0). If anything, being on the road has helped them in that context as the visitors have conceded just one goal across their last five SA away games (W3, D2) including three consecutive clean sheets.
📋 Players to watch: Monza’s Andrea Petagna has four SA goals against Lazio, with his last two scoring appearances coming in wins. Mattia Zaccagni may be a stumbling block in that aspect as six of his last eight league goals have come in Lazio wins (W6, D1, L1).
⚡ Hot stat: Five of Monza’s last six league games, and each of Lazio’s last five SA matches, have seen at least one goalless half.
Monza vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 2 April 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
Coach José Mourinho reminded his Roma side that all is not lost in their quest for a Champions League spot after their 1-0 defeat against Lazio in the Derby della Capitale before the international break. Roma entered the break just one point adrift of the Serie A (SA) top-four, but they must get their discipline in check as the Lazio game marked a second consecutive SA match in which they were reduced to ten men during the first half (L2).
Mourinho now returns to the dugout after his two-match touchline ban, though that didn’t prevent the revered Portuguese boss from clashing with Lazio’s president Claudio Lotito in front of the dressing room. With the derby verbals out the way, his focus quickly switched back to aiming to replicate Roma’s recent run of five consecutive home clean-sheet victories, which was interrupted by their latest home 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo, a game in which Mourinho wasn’t on the touchline.
A Manolo Gabbiadini-inspired 3-1 victory over Hellas Verona gave Sampdoria a glimmer of hope in their desperate bid for safety, although the fact they start this round nine points behind 17th place would indicate the time is fast running out in their survival quest. Worryingly, that was only their second competitive victory in 2023 (D3, L8), while two of their three SA wins this season have arrived against fellow bottom three sides.
That doesn’t leave much hope for the travelling fans, who have seen their team lose each of their three away league matches against current top-six sides without finding the net, a plight they’ve also suffered in four of the last eight H2Hs (W1, D2, L5).
📋 Players to watch: After grabbing an assist for Italy against England during the international break, Lorenzo Pellegrini will be looking to get back on the goal trail here and he netted Roma’s winner in the 1-0 reverse fixture. Sampdoria’s hero from the last round, Gabbiadini is also their last player to score against Roma after salvaging his team a point here last term (1-1).
⚡ Hot stat: Roma has scored 15 of their 35 league goals beyond the 60th minute.
Monza vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 2 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
With Napoli and AC Milan drawn to square off in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter-finals, these two sides are about to become familiar with each other as this Serie A (SA) clash is the first of three H2H meetings over 17 days. A club-record 71 points from their first 27 SA games has given the hosts an almost insurmountable 19-point lead atop of the table, prompting talks of Napoli being ‘champions-elect’. Coach Luciano Spalletti has been the architect of this campaign and he wants to officially secure the title first before working on his contract renewal, although club president Aurelio De Laurentiis announced his confidence by stating “Spalletti will stay in Naples.”
Only Lazio was able to crack Napoli’s code across their last 11 SA home games (W10, L1), so a return to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona only reinforces their credentials in this match. Even with such a formidable home record, Napoli needs to be on guard considering they’ve lost the last two top-flight home H2Hs, only losing more consecutive home league games against Milan between 1948 and 1951.
That may be a positive piece of news for Milan to cling onto, as their Scudetto triumph last season is now no more than a distant memory. They’ve endured an even steeper decline over their last 11 league matches (W3, D3, L5), which not only dumped them out of the title race but also put at risk their participation in next season’s UCL.
Manager Stefano Pioli tried to boost morale by stating “nobody is perfect or unbeatable” as he plots to avenge a 2-1 loss in the reverse fixture, but his biggest hurdle looks to be his side’s wretched away form, with the Rossoneri losing four of their last five SA road trips (W1). Ten goals conceded during those defeats is a stark reminder of their defensive frailties as only relegation-battling Cremonese have conceded more goals than Milan (16) in their nine SA games preceding this round.
📋 Players to watch: Three times the winner of the SA player of the month award this season, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been a key cog in the Napoli team, with each of his 13 scoring club appearances this term resulting in a win. Milan could look to Olivier Giroud for inspiration, with the veteran scoring in his last two SA matches against Napoli, each time netting their only strike.
⚡ Hot streak: The home team on the day hasn’t led at half-time in ten straight SA H2Hs (HT: D7, L3).
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