Benevento and Bologna will have to grind to stay in Italian Serie A this season and the grind may start as early as Saturday’s game between the relegation candidates.
Home form and, in particular, home frugality was what earned Benevento its place in last term’s Italian Serie B play-offs and how the Wizards perform in front of their own supporters will go a long way to determining their Italian Serie A fate this season. Benevento has Italian Serie B’s stingiest home defence last term, conceding just 14 goals in 21 games prior to the play-offs and then limiting Spezia, Perugia and Carpi to only one goal between them on their away assignments.
Benevento was competitive in its Italian Serie A opener at Sampdoria, leading through Amato Ciciretti’s 15th-minute goal before Fabio Quagliarella netted either side of half time for Samp to register a 2-1 home win. Benevento will have targeted selected Italian Serie A fixtures as being three-point opportunities and this weekend’s home match against Bologna will certainly be one of those games.
Like Benevento, Bologna copped an Italian Coppa Italia flogging at home to a lower-league opponent before its Italian Serie A campaign began. Bologna shared the spoils with Torino in round one of Italian Serie A and now the Red and Blues have to hit the road mindful of being ordinary on their travels last season. Bologna scored just 16 goals in its 19 Italian Serie A away matches last term and only relegated duo Palmero and Pescara won fewer road games.
Marathonbet is offering odds of -135 about Benevento and Bologna combining for under two and a half goals and, while that type of bet does not make for a stress-free 90 minutes of viewing because every time that the ball enters the penalty area your heart flutters, it constitutes value.
Napoli’s form across all competitions in the early weeks of the season suggests that Juventus will not have everything all its own way in Italian Serie A this term. Napoli won 3-1 at Verona to open its Italian Serie A campaign with three road points and the Partenopei made light work of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage with a couple of 2-0 wins over Nice to make the lucrative phase 4-0 on aggregate.
Atalanta finished last season’s Italian Serie A adjacent to Napoli on the ladder but the Goddess relinquished some key personnel during the summer months and they are long odds to qualify for a UEFA tournament via the league based on their first-up 0-1 home loss to Roma. Atalanta beat Napoli to nil at both home and away in last term’s Italian Serie A but the Goddess are heading down the ladder and the Partenopei have the roster finish higher than last season’s third place.
One thinks that it is worth taking a punt on Napoli to win and both teams to score on Sunday, an option that is trading at odds of +188 with Bet365, Coral and William Hill. Napoli let in at least one goal in 22 of its 34 Italian Serie A matches last term, including all bar one of its divisional home games versus sides also among the top 12 on the ladder.
Milan is equal top of the Italian Serie A ladder after one round as a consequence of its 3-0 win at Crotone. Milan was the Italian Serie A talking horse leading into the big kick off and the Red and Blacks, much changed from last season, look like home bankers at odds of -400 with BetStars to defeat a Cagliari side coming off a 0-3 loss at Juventus.
Benevento v Bologna – Under 2.5 goals
Saturday 26th August, 17:00 GMT
Napoli to beat Atalanta & BTTS
Sunday 27th August, 19:45 GMT
Milan to beat Cagliari
Sunday 27th August, 19:45 GMT