Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
AC Milan vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 6 May 2023 - 13:00 GMT +0
Back-to-back home matches seemed like a good opportunity for AC Milan in their quest for a top-four Serie A (SA) finish, but a surprising 1-1 draw against Cremonese somewhat dented those hopes. It was a point rescued in the final minutes by Junior Messias’ free kick, but given it served as their fourth stalemate in five league outings (W1), leaving them two points behind fourth-placed Inter, there is clear room for improvement.
In spite of that wealth of draws, Milan have won five of their last eight competitive home matches (D3) and will hope a swift return home to face Lazio can start their final push here considering they’ve won three of their four home SA outings against sides currently above them in the table (L1). Still, the threat of another stalemate looms large as Milan is one of three teams in the top-five European leagues to have recorded nine draws in 2023.
It was only last weekend that Lazio lost 3-1 here at the San Siro against Inter and Maurizio Sarri’s men travel north again after Wednesday's 2-0 home win over Sassuolo. That victory halted their recent two-game bump (L2) and helped them maintain the dream of a second-placed finish alive, though they now face fierce competition from Juventus for that spot.
Despite being the joint-second best travellers in SA this season (W9, D4, L3), two of Lazio’s three away league defeats arrived against fellow Champions League hopefuls Juventus and Inter, with those games responsible for 60% of Lazio’s ten away SA goals conceded this term. That record could be about to get worse too, given the visitors have lost each of their last three away H2Hs against Milan, conceding nine goals in the process!
📋 Players to watch: Milan’s Olivier Giroud has three goals in as many competitive meetings with Lazio (W2, L1), and he netted twice before the break in the last home H2H. Lazio’s Luis Alberto has already made seven career goal contributions against Milan (G3, A4), including a goal and an assist in the reverse fixture which Lazio won 4-0!
⚡ Hot stat: Four of the last six H2Hs have seen a goal scored inside the opening ten minutes.
AS Roma vs Inter - Match Preview
⚽ 6 May 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
Hopes of a top-four finish are dwindling for Roma, who are now winless in three straight games after relinquishing the lead in a 1-1 draw at Monza on Wednesday, a result which saw the Giallorossi drop out of the top-six altogether. Coach José Mourinho continued his war of words with the match officials, wearing a microphone on the touchline to record his interactions with the referee! It was his players that bore the brunt of his frustrations on this occasion, as the Portuguese bemoaned that he couldn’t “rotate easily” in the midst of their gruelling fixture schedule.
A return home might help their cause as the Giallorossi has won eight of their last ten matches in all competitions (D1, L1) at the Stadio Olimpico. With seven clean sheets across their last nine home SA matches (W7, D1, L1), Roma has even displayed the traditional defensive solidity of Mourinho’s sides.
Courtesy of a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture, Inter Milan could lose consecutive league H2Hs for the first time since February 2017 with another defeat here, but come into this fixture in impressive form. A 6-0 win over Verona on Wednesday made it four consecutive wins for only the second time this season, while that was the first time since September 2013 that they scored 6+ goals in an away league game.
That ought to give them confidence ahead of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie against AC Milan next week, but any thoughts that the Nerazzurri may not prioritise the league were quashed by coach Simone Inzaghi, who claimed they “have an obligation to finish in the top four.” Achieving that goal could be boosted by victory here, and Inter look well placed to earn that given they’ve avoided defeat in their last five visits to the Stadio Olimpico to face Roma (W2, D3), scoring two or more goals in each game.
📋 Players to watch: Finding some late-season form, Roma’s Tammy Abraham has four direct goal contributions (G2, A2) in his last three home matches, while former Giallorossi forward Edin Džeko is coming off a brace against Verona and scored in a 3-0 win here last season.
⚡ Hot stat: Ahead of this round, Roma has scored the most SA goals (12) beyond the 80th minute.
Cremonese vs Spezia - Match Preview
⚽ 6 May 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Time is fast running out in Cremonese’s battle to beat the drop, but with a home game against Spezia, another of the sides, firmly in the relegation mix-up, perhaps they aren’t dead and buried just yet. While a six-point gap to safety appears daunting, that deficit could be halved come Saturday night as Spezia are the side just above the dotted line, though that will obviously require a win, something Cremonese have done just three times in Serie A (SA) all season!
Considering all three of those have come across their last ten league outings, you can’t help but expect Cremonese to be left with a bitter taste of ‘what could’ve been’ after their 23-match winless start to the SA season. Despite valiantly picking up a point at the San Siro against Milan in midweek, with two more daunting away fixtures against Juventus and Lazio on the horizon, Cremonese’s home form will likely be key in deciding their fate, and they do interestingly hold an unbeaten home H2H record against Spezia (W3, D2).
With just one win from 15 SA games (D6, L8), few would argue that Spezia could have any complaint for finding themselves anxiously looking over their shoulder. Only outside the bottom three by virtue of the H2H ruling, Spezia boss Leonardo Semplici insists his side “have the means to save ourselves” but it’s about time they showcased that here to open more breathing space to one of the sides chasing them.
Winless in seven in SA action on the road (D4, L3), the prospects appear slim, and with three of those games in that run also seeing them take the lead, it’s clear to see where Spezia’s problem lies. That’s also a fate Spezia suffered in the reverse fixture, throwing away a 2-1 lead to draw 2-2, and with just one clean sheet from their last 15 SA games, don’t be surprised to see Semplici’s side nervous even if they hit the front.
📋 Players to watch: Veteran Cremonese forward Daniel Ciofani is ageing like a fine wine, and his performances tend to follow suit, with his last five goals arriving after half-time. With three goals in Spezia’s last six away league outings, all of which arrived before the hour mark, Daniele Verde could be their go-to man for inspiration.
⚡ Hot stat: Spezia has scored a joint-league-high 61% of their SA goals in the first half.
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