Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Inter vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 10:30 GMT +0
Inter Milan is the only Italian top-flight club still fighting on three fronts, with their progression to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-finals now coupled with a Coppa Italia final. The Nerazzurri wrapped up a 2-1 aggregate victory against Juventus to advance in midweek, with boss Simone Inzaghi describing his side’s approach as “excellent”, but they’ve been far from that in Serie A (SA) of late, winning just one of their last six league outings (D1, L4) as their top-six spot now looks precarious.
Despite victory there in midweek, the San Siro has been far from a safe haven for Inter recently, as they’ve lost each of their last three SA matches on home soil by a 1-0 scoreline. A fourth defeat would be their longest such streak this century, and would further damage their top-four push as the Nerazzurri sit two points adrift of the UCL places ahead of this round. The visit of Lazio should inspire confidence as Inter has won each of the last three league meetings on their own turf, forming part of an incredibly strong overall H2H record as hosts (W46, D29, L11).
Lazio arrive in Milan after seeing their eight-match unbeaten run end with a 1-0 defeat to Torino last week. Boss Maurizio Sarri was left furious in the aftermath, insisting “the refereeing influenced things”, but perspective may be needed as his side remains in pole position to finish as the best of the rest in Italy behind runaway leaders Napoli.
The Eagles should be confident of bouncing back here as they do tend to travel well, not conceding a single goal in their last five SA road trips (W4, D1). Their 11 clean sheets on the road is the most in the division, while 21 goals conceded across all league games makes their defensive record the joint-second best return in Europe’s top-five leagues. That should mean confidence is high in securing a league double after winning the reverse fixture 3-1, as Lazio aims to qualify for the UCL for just the second time since 2007/08.
📋 Players to watch: In his last meeting with Lazio at the San Siro, Romelu Lukaku scored twice and assisted another as Inter ran out 3-1 winner in February 2021. Lazio’s Sergej Milinković-Savić could be the man to respond, as his five career goals against Inter are his joint-best tally against any side.
⚡ Hot stat: Lazio is a fast starter, scoring ten in the first 15 minutes of SA games this term while conceding none - both the best in the division.
Napoli vs Salernitana - Match Preview
⚽ 30 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.
Bologna vs Juventus - Match Preview
⚽ 30 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Bologna saw their five-game unbeaten run (W2, D3) halted with a 2-1 loss to Verona last Friday, potentially denting their already slim hopes of finishing seventh and qualifying for continental football. Despite that, manager Thiago Motta urged his side to “continue on the path” whilst he reportedly prepares to sit down to discuss a contract extension.
Getting back to winning ways will need Bologna to address their winless Serie A (SA) record (D4, L17) against Juventus that dates back to February 2011. Despite the possible low morale owing to that barren stretch, the Rossoblù could hold their own as they are unbeaten across four games (W2, D2) at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara whilst managing three clean sheets.
Juventus were knocked out of the Coppa Italia semis (L 2-1 on aggregate) by Inter Milan on Wednesday with a 1-0 loss making it three defeats without scoring across four competitive matches (D1). Coach Massimiliano Allegri urged his side to “roll their sleeves up” as, with the league title all but mathematically out of reach, the Old Lady only has the Europa League semis to salvage a trophy in 2022/23.
There’s still a lot to play for in the league, as well as a top-four spot which isn’t yet guaranteed, whilst a new trial regarding their suspended 15-point deduction adds a new dimension to their season. The visitors will have to keep their end of the bargain regardless and need to halt a three-game losing sequence in the league, last losing more consecutive top-flight matches in April 1962. It’s no better on the road, with Juventus already losing six away matches this league campaign, their joint-most in a single top-flight campaign since 2009/10.
📋 Players to watch: Musa Barrow has had an engaging sequence of four games for Bologna (G1, A3, YC1) with each of his goal contributions coming in wins. Meanwhile, Federico Chiesa’s wait for his first league goal of this campaign could be over, going by his personal record of four goals in the last two H2Hs.
⚡ Hot stat: Juventus have conceded a league-low one goal beyond the 75th minute this campaign.
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