Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Atalanta vs Bologna - Match Preview
⚽ 8 April 2023 - 14:30 GMT +0
Sitting in sixth place going into the Easter period after easing past basement club Cremonese 3-1 last weekend, Atalanta have the chance to at least temporarily open up a seven-point gap over Juventus. Their mission to collect a third straight Serie A (SA) victory looks simple on paper, with La Dea entering the round as one of just four teams boasting a league match win rate of over 60% as pre-match favourites (W12, D3, L4).
While any increased cushion inside the European qualification berths may be fleeting, just two failures to score in a positive overall home record this term (W7, D3, L4) surely makes it a mere question of when La Dea breaks the deadlock. To that, the answer is simply ‘any time, with only a slight majority (13) of their 24 home league goals coming after the break.
Having seen Bologna start April with a 3-0 victory over Udinese to solidify their top-half status and revive speculation of manager Thiago Motta being poached by bigger clubs, some visiting fans making the trip to Bergamo may secretly harbour a belief in witnessing a significant shock. A defeat surely ends Bologna’s interest in the top six, but a victory would make this season the first since 2008/09 to see both H2Hs won by away sides.
Such revenge for a defeat in January’s reverse fixture (1-2) would close their gap behind La Dea to just five points. However, it should be noted that Bologna has lost all six of their prior away league fixtures against teams in the current top seven, conceding twice or more in all but the most recent of those games (0-1 vs Roma on January 4).
📋 Players to watch: Marten de Roon has netted Atalanta’s first goal in each of their previous two wins, though his last decisive open-play strike dates back to a 1-0 win over Bologna in March 2018! However, he was outshone in the previous round by Musa Barrow, who had a hand in all three of Bologna’s goals in their most recent victory (G1, A2).
⚡ Hot stat: Atalanta have kept a second-half clean sheet in four of their last five SA home wins.
Torino vs AS Roma - Match Preview
⚽ 8 April 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0
After failing to win at Sassuolo (1-1), Torino have seen their faint hopes of qualifying for Europe hurt by a two-match winless run (D1, L1) that left them ten points adrift of Serie A’s (SA) top six ahead of this round. Boss Ivan Jurić will be looking to get them back on the right track for the visit of Roma, and he remains confident his side ‘can do well, with the team expressing its best qualities in front of the home crowd’.
This is a fixture they’ve certainly enjoyed hosting down the years (W37, D28, L16), while Torino has lost just two of their last eight SA home matches (W4, D2). Continuing that run may depend on finding more potency in front of the goal, as Il Toro (11 goals) have outscored only Sampdoria and Cremonese on their own turf this term.
Roma suffers from similar issues, netting the fewest amount of goals (38) of all top seven clubs. Regardless, José Mourinho’s men continued their quest to finish inside the UEFA Champions League places with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria that left their manager ‘satisfied’, as his side moved level on points with fourth-placed Inter ahead of this round.
One thing that’s bound to be bugging Mourinho is his side’s away form, as the Giallorossi has failed to win any of their last six away matches in all competitions (D2, L4). Four of those games occurred in league competition, leaving Roma on the brink of a five-match winless streak on the road in SA for the first time since the end of the 2020/21 season.
📋 Players to watch: Torino striker Antonio Sanabria will be looking to find his shooting boots on home soil, as seven of his eight SA strikes this term have arrived on the road. He’ll be fighting for the limelight with Paulo Dybala, who remains unbeaten across 18 personal H2H meetings against Torino (W11, D7).
⚡ Hot stat: Torino’s home games produce fewer goals than those involving any other single side in the division, with just 23 being scored in their 13 such matches this season.
Lazio vs Juventus - Match Preview
⚽ 8 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Back-to-back Serie A (SA) wins ‘to nil’ have not only seen Lazio stretch their current league run without conceding to six games, but also strengthen their grip on second-place as they start this round with a four-point cushion to the chasing pack. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Lazio, who ended last season with the second-worst defensive record in the top half, while Maurizio Sarri‘s men now boast the division‘s best defensive record with only 19 goals conceded.
Carrying such form, it seems like a great time to face a Juventus side who they’ve beaten just once here across the last 11 H2Hs (D2, L8). Given six of Lazio’s eight SA home wins this term came without conceding, another solid defensive display should be expected here, but considering the last time Lazio beat Juventus without conceding was back in 2004, that certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion.
The Bianconeri moved another step closer to the top six thanks to a narrow 1-0 victory over Hellas Verona, but still remain six points adrift of the coveted Champions League places. They followed up that Verona victory with a 1-1 draw in the Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg against Inter in midweek, a game which ended in chaos with three red cards shown in stoppage time.
Without the well-publicised 15-point deduction, Juventus would interestingly be four points clear of Lazio in second, and coach Massimiliano Allegri will be eager to confirm his side’s theoretical ‘second-place’ status that results have merited with an eye-catching result here. Something will have to change though, as the visitors have lost three of their four SA away matches against current top-six sides (W1) this season, a record which will need to be improved upon if Juve is to keep eating up the ground on the European places.
📋 Players to watch: After rounding off the scoring against Monza, Sergej Milinković-Savić became the highest-scoring non-Italian player for Lazio (G65), with four of his last six goals coming in 4-0 victories. The matchwinner against Hellas Verona, Moise Kean will be looking for a better performance at the Stadio Olimpico than his 40-second appearance before seeing a red card against Roma last month!
⚡ Hot streak: Juventus have won the first half ‘to nil‘ in four straight H2Hs.
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