Back Inter to make it eight in a row v Lazio on home turf

Serie A 2010/11

Dave Farrar isn't overly excited about the midweek action in Serie A, but whatever the fixtures there's a winner or two to be found. Our man gives it his best shot...


Inter v Lazio


I can't remember a set of Serie A fixtures quite as unappetising as this midweek round. That means that stakes will be at a minimum, as, to a certain extent, will  interest. There aren't too many Serie A issues to be decided now, and eyes are starting to look towards that Rome derby Coppa Italia final, which will at least give  the season a spectacular send off.


Andrea Stramaccioni's Inter surely can't wait to see the season end. Inter could have been managed better, but their injury crisis has now become almost comical:  Tommaso Rocchi's knock against Napoli meaning that they ended that match without a fit striker. He is likely to return here, and even Antonio Cassano could be on the  bench, and so normality might just be resuming, just as the season reaches its end. That tends to be the way of things with Inter.


I'm not at all surprised to see Lazio trading as favourites here: they are fresh from a 6-0 win over Bologna, when Miroslav Klose was in sensational form with five  goals, but 2.54 for the away win looks a bit skinny. Inter are in poor form, but played relatively well in Naples, and Lazio looked so poor in the matches prior to that Bologna game that I couldn't have any faith in them at such a short price.


Inter won't exactly be chasing down Udinese for that final Europa League spot, as I think that the club will be happy to concentrate on the League next season, but  there's still a sense of pride around San Siro, and the players won't want to be remembered as the team which lost more games in a single campaign than any other Inter  side. That's what will happen should they lose once more this season.


Lazio still have two routes into the Europa League, via Serie A or the Cup Final, and Vladimir Petkovic's team deserves at least that honour, although it's European  involvement which has hurt them this season. The Europa League has really taken its toll. It robbed them for a while of Klose, and we were reminded at the weekend just  how important he is to them.


I think that there'll be goals at San Siro, but for a side that can be so dour away from home (Lazio have only one goal in their last six away), I'm not interested in  the idea of Over 2.5 Goals at 1.82.


By process of elimination, and in the interest of value, I will have a small bet on Inter for the first time this season. I know that they are frustrating, and have  been overrated for much of this season, but a price of 3.0 for a home win against an equally inconsistent side is a little insulting. Inter have won their last seven home games against Lazio, and I'll be cautiously supporting them to make it eight in a row.


Recommendation: Back Inter to beat Lazio @ 3.0



Elsewhere, I think that Juventus could be a little overpriced to win in Bergamo against Atalanta at 2.22 but I haven't been privy to just how hard they've been celebrating their Serie A win and so I'll swerve them.


I think that Milan are a near certainty to win in Pescara but are also prohibitively short at 1.18.


The draw in Torino against Genoa is currently trading at 1.84 which tells you pretty much everything about what will happen there, and even though I'd normally fancy Bologna at home against Napoli at a price as big as 5.3, I'm never EVER backing Bologna again after their disgraceful display at the Olimpico on Sunday.


I'd also normally like the idea of Catania winning at Sampdoria at 4.9, but they have so little to play for that I can't be sure of their motivation either. So you see what I mean. Not the most appetising set of fixtures from a punting point of view. However, we can have an interest in another game...



Siena v Fiorentina


I was cursing myself for tipping the draw rather than the Roma win against Fiorentina on Saturday night. I felt sure that Roma would out-perform their price, but  didn't quite have the conviction that they'd win. I was right until Pablo Osvaldo scored in the last minute.


This week, Fiorentina play the Tuscan derby against Siena, knowing that they really must win to keep their chances of finishing fourth on track. I think that third  place has pretty much gone, but Vincenzo Montella will want as high a finish as possible as reward for the excellent season that La Viola have enjoyed.


Fiorentina are 1.71 for the win on Wednesday night, and given the way that both teams have been playing lately, I think that's more than a fair price. Siena have failed to win any of their last four home games, and have failed to score in each of those games. They've lost their last three Serie A games without scoring, and bear in mind that Fiorentina have scored in 10 of their last 11 games and won three of their last four away games. They suffered a blip against Roma, but it hasn't suddenly made them a poor side.


Fiorentina have a suffocatingly good record against their Tuscan rivals, and I think that they'll extend it here, despite a couple of absentees. Fiorentina are simply  a class above, and will make that tell.


If you're worried about a local derby atmosphere unsettling the visitors, then don't. Siena's ground has a strange, temporary feel to it, and the feeling of the crowd  is a long way from oppressive in a parkland setting. And this should be a walk in the parkland for the team in purple.


Recommendation: Back Fiorentina to beat Siena @ 1.71


(Source: Betfair)




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