With Cup football dominating the midweek coupons, we’re taking a trip around Europe to find the best odds and the best value on offer. There are two excellent matches on offer in Italy with Juventus and Lazio renewing rivalries in a repeat of last year’s final on Wednesday, and Napoli set to take on Inter Milan on Tuesday night. Both games are live on Sky Sports, and both games promise to be highly competitive affairs to give us a treat of midweek action.
Juventus ran out eventual winners of the competition last year as they completed a domestic double, beating Lazio 2-1 after extra time with Matri’s 97th minute winner after it had ended all square in 90 minutes. Those two are set to take to the field again on Wednesday night with a place in this year’s semi final at stake, and it’s hard to look past the Old Lady coming through again. On Tuesday evening it’s Napoli against Inter Milan, with the Naples side having recently replaced the early Serie A leaders at the top, and such is their home record against Inter that they look to hold all the aces.
Lazio v Juventus
We start with Juventus who are a reasonable +125 with BetVictor to overcome Lazio at the first time of asking on Wednesday night.
The Italian Champions had a less than perfect start to the Serie A season, finding themselves in mid-table after a poor run of early results, but they’ve regained the winning thread by taking 11 victories from the last 12 games in all competitions, with the only reverse a 1-0 away defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League. That game is easily dismissed however, as the Old Lady had already qualified for the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition and the result was not of huge importance. The impeccable recent league form has seen them rise to 2nd in the table two points behind Napoli, and on course for a repeat of last year’s Serie A title. More impressively they’ve scored at least twice in the last eight league victories, including a 2-0 win against Lazio on this very ground in early December.
Lazio are back in 9th position after displaying the sort of inconsistent form that befits a mid-table competitor. They’ve won 8, drawn 4, and lost 8 of their Serie A games this season, and although they are unbeaten in the last seven games since that aforementioned loss at the hands of Juve, they are far from convincing overall. Four of those seven matches have been draws, and the home form doesn’t really give the impression that they can overcome Juventus on Wednesday night. They’ve only managed to find themselves on the winning side twice in the last seven games at home, with two defeats and three draws, so they are hardly formidable in front of their own fans.
Juventus have won here on three of their last four visits, and a price above even odds on them forging through to the semi final of this grand competition seems more than acceptable given their incredible recent winning form.
Napoli v Inter Milan
Napoli meanwhile are priced at -137 by Coral to secure a home victory over Inter Milan and safe passage through to the semi final, and it’s worth taking when you bear in mind their excellent record against this rival in Naples.
Napoli have beaten Inter Milan on nine of their last thirteen visits to this part of Italy, with the other four matches drawn, and the home side are in amazing form at the moment to boot. They’ve lost just once in 26 games since the early season defeat at the hands of Sassuolo, and at present are on a run of five straight victories. Their only other loss this term was a shock 3-2 away defeat to Bologna, but they remain unbeaten at home all season. In fact, they’ve won 12 of the last 13 on home ground since last September, and that includes victories against Juventus, Fiorentina, and Tuesday night’s rivals Inter – a game they won 2-1 in November. Higuain scored twice in that fixture and it was the day that Napoli replaced Inter at the top of the Serie A table. They haven’t relinquished that lead as yet, and are on target to fight Juventus all the way for the title.
Inter’s early season form saw them surge clear at the top of the league, but they appear to have hit the rudders lately with a string of poor results. They’ve been beaten at home by Lazio and Sassuolo in recent weeks, and could only manage a 1-1 draw last time out against Atalanta. They are still well on touch with the two leaders at the top of the table, but the dip in form must be a concern. Away form has generally been pretty good this year, and they’re unbeaten in three road trips since the 2-1 reverse to Napoli, but they are coming up against a very good side here on a ground that they do not fare well at.
The winners of these two ties will face each other in the semi final, with the other set to be played between AC Milan and Lega Pro side Alessandria, who have made a romantic journey through to the last four of the competition. While both of this week’s ties will be keenly contested, it’s hard not to imagine a Napoli v Juventus semi final and we expect both teams to put up a good showing as they aim to make that a reality.
Juventus to beat Lazio
Wednesday 20th January, 19:45 GMT
Napoli to beat Inter Milan
Tuesday 19th January, 19:45 GMT
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