Under-strength Juve will still have too much for Inter

Serie A 2010/11

Juventus warm up for their Champions League quarter-final at Bayern Munich with a trip to Milan but opponents Inter shouldn't cause them much trouble, says Dave  Farrar, who also looks at Atalanta v Sampdoria and Torino v Napoli.

 

Inter v Juventus

Saaturday, 14:00

 

It was Inter who finally ended Juve's 49 match unbeaten run, creating the most memorable night of the season so far, and with Antonio Conte's team almost certain of  the title, Saturday afternoon in Milan is going to be all about Inter maintaining their position in the race for the European places.

Inter's current form is a long way from the way that they were shaping when the teams met in Turin.  They have won only two of their last eight Serie A matches, losing  three of those, and they go into this weekend seventh in the table, four crucial points behind fourth placed Fiorentina. Inter are 3.45 to win on Saturday,  with Juventus 2.28 and the draw priced at 3.5.

 

Juve are clearly the better side, and while we could doubt their desire to put on a big performance (with a Champions League game against Bayern to think about), they  were so hurt by that defeat last year that I think that they'll want revenge. I doubt that Conte will play his full strength side, with Giorgio Chiellini likely to be  rested, but even a refreshed Inter may not be good enough against them. Juventus won 2-1 here last season and I think they'll do so again, by a similar scoreline.

 

Recommended Bet

Back Juventus to win @ 2.28

 

 

Atalanta v Sampdoria

Saturday, 14:00

 

I'm not entirely sure why Atalanta are as short as 2.3 to beat Sampdoria this weekend. The perception seems to be that the home team continue to fight  relegation, while Samp are pretty much guaranteed a comfortable midtable finish. There might, therefore, be an element of complacency about Delio Rossi's team.

 

But Rossi is such a good organiser and motivator that I'd be surprised if Samp put in a substandard display in Bergamo. And remember, a win for Atalanta takes them  above Samp, and so the coach will not want to see his team drawn into an unlikely relegation scrap.

 

Samp have been impressive enough since Rossi took over, losing only twice, and one thing that he has managed to do brilliantly is organise them defensively as  evidenced by clean sheets in Naples and Turin, only looking fragile against Cagliari last week.  I'm happy to put that down as an anomaly, and give Samp better than a  3.65 chance of winning here.

 

Atalanta went down fighting against Napoli last time, and their games tend to be full of goals (only one 0-0 draw all season) but if the visitors can stop German Denis  and co though, the game could be set up for them. They'll defend well, look to counter attack, and I think that can work against a team which has already lost five  times at home this season.

 

Recommended Bet

Back Sampdoria to beat Atalanta @ 3.75

 

Torino v Napoli

Saturday, 20:00, Live on ESPN

 

Saturday night's live match between Torino and Napoli has real potential: not, maybe, as a five goal thriller, but as a chance to see whether a fortnight off domestic  duties can galvanise Napoli into the run of form they need to hold onto second place in Serie A.

 

Napoli haven't beaten Torino since 1996, and they're priced at 2.4 to do that on Saturday night.

 

It was a huge relief to Napoli fans to get their first win since the start of February against Atalanta last time, and with Jesse J lookalike Edinson Cavani getting  his first goals in five matches, and Goran Pandev ended a long scoring drought, there will be those who'll be supporting Napoli for the trip to Turin.

 

I won't be one of them though. Torino continue to be one of the most underrated teams in Serie A, and that's because they play well, and then draw too many games.  They've been involved in 12 stalemates so far, more than any other side in Serie A, and the form of Alessio Cerci was finally recognised with a call up to the national  team. Cerci is Torino's key man, scoring two in his last four, and I think that Giampaolo Ventura's side can really trouble Napoli.  The visitors' cause isn't helped  by Cavani's travel problems these last few days: he'll either be missing or very tired.

 

Without Cavani, Napoli shouldn't be as short as they are, and with Torino looking to frustrate and deny space, they could well be heading for a 13th draw of the  season.

 

Recommended Bet

Back Draw in Torino v Napoli @ 3.3

 

(Source: Betfair)

 

Bet HERE

 

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