In this post betting tips and previews of the 20th round of italian Serie A matches scheduled on Wednesday 6 January.
GENOA - SAMPDORIA
- Leonardo Pavoletti will be back after serving his suspension, while Diego Perotti is still banned.
- Genoa made Luca Rigoni their first signing of the transfer window and he may come straight into the starting XI.
- Vincenzo Montella will have almost his full squad available, with the chance of fielding his strongest XI.
- Luis Muriel should therefore be dropped in favour of Eder and Antonio Cassano, which means the Colombian could be for sale in this window.
- Genoa suffered four consecutive defeats before the break, in which there were also many disciplinary problems for the men in red and blue. Gian Piero Gasperini has had a couple of weeks to work and figure out how to fix their problems.
- Sampdoria endured a similarly poor streak before getting back on track with a draw and a victory, which should have lifted some pressure off them. The winter break should have also given Montella some time to convince the players of his methods.
- Both teams come into this derby at a crossroads: Sampdoria need to continue how they finished 2015, while Genoa desperately need points to avoid being dragged into the relegation battle. This will also be the first derby played at night in years, which should help create an even better atmopshere. Expect a very tense match, with the crowd playing a big part.
SAMPDORIA DOUBLE CHANCE (1.42 Matchbook)
DRAW (3.35 Matchbook)
CHIEVO - ROMA
- Federico Mattiello and Mariano Izco are aiming to be back on the pitch by the end of the month.
- Riccardo Meggiorini and Alberto Paloschi are slight favourites ahead of Roberto Inglese to start up front.
- Roma will be without three key players as Miralem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan and Edin Dzeko are all suspended.
- The good news is Francesco Totti is back available to play, but Gervinho is favourite to start in attack.
- Chievo have had three victories and as many defeats in their last six games, and they may want to take advantage of Roma's problems in midfield to get points and strenghten their position in the middle of the table.
- Roma dropped points in four consecutive games before getting back to winning ways against Genoa at the end of 2015. Rudi Garcia has been close to getting sacked all season and he will have to navigate past this tricky encounter with half his midfield unavailable.
- Roma's decision to stick with Garcia over the winter break probably means that a victory here and against Milan in the next round could keep him safe at least until the end of hte season.
ROMA DOUBLE CHANCE + UNDER 3.5 (1.70, Sporting Bet)
JUVENTUS - VERONA
- Andrea Barzagli and Mario Mandzukic are not fully fit, which means Daniele Rugani and Alvaro Morata should be ready to take their places.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Sandro will patrol the two flanks.
- Luigi Delneri had previously stated that Luca Toni and Giampaolo Pazzini could play together, but he is actually shaping up a 4-2-3-1 with just the World Champion on the pitch.
- Eros Pisano should be safe to play at right-back since Jacopo Sala is suspended.
- Juventus have won their last seven matches and they will have been well rested over the festive break ready to hit the ground running once again. Allegri's team are now only three points off top spot.
- Verona are still searching for their first win in the league this season but they did manage to pick up some points in their most recent matches. However, they are eight points from safety and running out of matches to ensure their top-flight status. But, with Luca Toni up front, they should not be underestimated.
- The Bianconeri are clear favourites here, but they will have to ensure they kill the game quickly and not let Verona's confidence grow. They will probably start with a high pressure and look for an early lead in order to control the game.
HOME WIN HANDICAP (-1.0) (1.85, PaddyPower)
HOME WIN + NO BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE (1.60, PaddyPower)
NAPOLI - TORINO
- Mirko Valdifiori should be back in the starting XI as Jorginho is suspended.
- Dries Mertens and José Callejon are in competition to complete the attacking trio.
- Joel Obi is the only unavailable player for coach Giampiero Ventura, who has recovered some key players like Nikola Maksimovic.
- Danilo Avelar could make his comeback from the start after suffering a long injury and only getting limited game time in recent matches
- Napoli will feature in the final match of Gameweek 18 and could have the chance to go top if Inter and Fiorentina drop points. They will fancy their chances to do so against a Torino team not going through their best moment.
- Torino have struggled to find consistency, which hasn't been helped by injuries to all areas of the field. But they now have some key players returning and could make Napoli's job more difficult than expected.
- Napoli have struggled when teams match them for their best qualities and Torino could employ this tactic here. Napoli are still favourites, however.
HOME WIN (1.48 PaddyPower)
EMPOLI - INTER
- Marco Giampaolo should field the usual XI, with Lorenzo Tonelli the only doubt.
- Federico Barba is ready to take his place alongside Andrea Costa.
- Felipe Melo is suspended and will be replaced by Marcelo Brozovic.
- Should the 4-3-3 lineup be confirmed, Stevan Jovetic may be benched at start, only to come in during the second part.
- Empoli secured their fourth win on the spin against Bologna last time out and will now host the league leaders.
- Inter's home loss to Lazio has officially put Juventus back into the title fight. It also raised disciplinary problems on and off the pitch for Roberto Mancini's team.
- Empoli will be a tricky trip for all teams this season, but Inter have had a fortnight to prepare for the match. Dropping more points here would really be damaging for Inter's title ambitions.
AWAY WIN (2.25, 5Dimes)
INTER DOUBLE CHANCE (1.38, 5Dimes)
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UDINESE - ATALANTA UDINESE DOUBLE CHANCE + UNDER 3.5
--- UNDER 1.5 1st HALF
LAZIO - CARPI
HOME WIN --- LAZIO DOUBLE CHANCE + OVER 1.5
MILAN - BOLOGNA MILAN DOUBLE
CHANCE + OVER 1.5
PALERMO - FIORENTINA FIORENTINA DOUBLE CHANCE --- AWAY WIN
SASSUOLO - FROSINONE HOME WIN HANDICAP (-1.0)
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