Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Napoli vs Salernitana - Match Preview
⚽ 29 April 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Napoli responded to their Champions League exit against Milan in perfect fashion on Sunday, beating Juventus 1-0 thanks to a stoppage-time goal to move 17 points clear at the top of Serie A (SA). Their first league title since 1989/90 has been inevitable for weeks, and they could confirm it this weekend should they beat Salernitana and Lazio fail to beat Inter Milan the following day.
That should ensure a festival atmosphere in Naples, but to hold up their end of the bargain, the Partenopei will have to win their first home game of the month (D2, L1). “We have to wait to uncork bottles,” manager Luciano Spalletti warned, but if Napoli could choose an opponent to play in search of what could be a title-clinching victory, Salernitana would be high up that list as they’ve never lost a home H2H and won all three meetings anywhere since their visitors returned to SA.
Salernitana has hit form at the right time with their top-flight status at stake, with an eight-match unbeaten run in the league (W2, D6) moving them seven points clear of the relegation zone. Seeking a third consecutive SA season for the first time, their 3-0 win over Sassuolo on Saturday moved them a little closer to making that a reality.
Considering one of their two league away victories this season (D7, L6) came against second-placed Lazio, Salernitana will believe they have what it takes to mix it with those at the sharp end. That awful record in Naples certainly counts against them but as they’ve drawn each of their last four SA road fixtures, they may fancy their chances of playing the role of party poopers this weekend.
📋 Key battle: Napoli is yet to lose a match in which Victor Osimhen has netted this term (W19, D1), including when he completed the scoring in January’s reverse fixture (W 2-0). Less prolific, but still a threat is Salernitana defender Lorenzo Pirola, as both of his goals this term came via headers inside the opening ten minutes.
⚡ Hot stat: Napoli has scored a league-high 15 SA goals this term after the 75th minute.
AS Roma vs AC Milan - Match Preview
⚽ 29 April 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
Roma’s 3-1 defeat to Atalanta on Monday night has thrown the race for Serie A (SA) top four wide open and now another crucial battle with AC Milan, who are on the same points ahead of this round, awaits. Concerningly for Roma, they now have a growing list of absentees and will be sweating on the fitness of key man Paulo Dybala who left the pitch with a painful grimace after a challenge in Monday night’s defeat.
This injury crisis led coach José Mourinho to joke in a post-match interview with club legend Francesco Totti that he would use him for this contest, and even went as far as to suggest that he’d participate himself! But jokes aside, a return to the Stadio Olimpico could be just what the home side need, having won seven of their eight league games here in 2023 ’ to nil’ (L1).
Milan was one of the sides who felt the impact of Juventus’ 15-point deduction being overturned the most as it led to them dropping out of the top four. However, they reacted well with a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Lecce, which was decided by two magical moments from Rafael Leão, helping them creep back into the top four last weekend. Still, Stefano Pioli’s men have won just two of their last seven league games (D3, L2).
The Champions League semi-finalists travel south once again after two successful trips to Napoli this month (W1, D1) and a rather disappointing 1-1 draw at Bologna. Worryingly for them, the spectacular 4-0 win over league leaders was Milan’s only away league victory against a team that started this round 11th or better (D2, L5).
📋 Players to watch: In fine form, Lorenzo Pellegrini has collected four goal contributions (G3, A1) across his last three matches, whilst Milan’s two-goal hero from their last outing, Leão, has scored once and assisted three times in the last five H2Hs.
⚡ Hot stat: Eight of the last nine H2Hs have seen both teams find the net.
Torino vs Atalanta - Match Preview
⚽ 29 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
With European football out of realistic reach and the relegation zone firmly in the rearview mirror, few teams scream ‘nothing to play for’ more than Torino. While nothing may be on offer in the table in terms of prizes, Torino is still playing for the highest Serie A (SA) finish since 2018/19 when they finished seventh, a feat they will achieve should they better last season’s finish of tenth.
Beginning that run to an impressive top-half finish against Atalanta will probably be straightforward, especially as Torino has lost the last three home H2Hs by a whopping 13-3 aggregate scoreline! There appears little chance of that improving here if Torino’s SA form in Saturday-held home games this season continues (D1, L4), with all four defeats coming via the same 1-0 scoreline.
Currently occupying the seventh spot, Atalanta’s fate remains yet undecided as they wait on who wins the Coppa Italia to learn if SA will have seven European spots up for grabs or not. In the meantime, La Dea can make sure that doesn’t get left to chance as they continue to hunt down a top-four finish, with just four points separating them from the fourth spot ahead of the round.
With three wins from five SA games (D1, L1), Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are certainly finding form at an opportune time, with a 3-1 victory over top-four rivals Roma last time out offering renewed hope in their European chase. While Atalanta strengthening their push certainly isn’t assured, goals are definitely likely to be on the menu here, with the last seven H2Hs between the two sides seeing a whopping average of 5.6 goals per game scored!
📋 Players to watch: Torino’s Yann Karamoh has found his shooting boots since the SA halfway point, netting three game-opening goals in that time. Teun Koopmeiners netted a hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-1 victory in the reverse, one of a run of 13 successive winning club goalscoring appearances.
⚡ Hot stat: Torino is the only SA side not to have scored a home league goal in the opening 15 minutes this season.
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