Juventus to fly and Cesena to fall

Juve
Italian Serie A
is not the top dog of European football in the 2010s but it remains a domestic league of significance and one thinks that Juventus will win it once again.

What is remarkable is that Juventus is available at odds against to win Italian Serie A for the fourth season in a row, with Coral top of the shops at +130 . Remember, Juve took out last term’s championship with a record of 33 wins, three draws and two losses, with its only defeats occurring away to Fiorentina (2-4 after it led 2-0 midway through the second half and, also, it was three days before an important UEFA Champions League road game against Real Madrid) and Napoli (0-2 on the weekend before the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals). Juve bounded away with the Italian Serie A title, finishing 17 points clear of Roma.

Have the happenings of the summer months been sufficient for Juventus to be anything other than the hit favourite for the Italian Serie A championship? Sure there have been changes, not least at Juve, which is under new management, but odds against about a side that won last term’s trophy by 17 points seems a remarkably generous offer by bookmakers.

Antonio Conte, the Juventus coach who led the Old Lady to three consecutive Italian Serie A titles, has left to take charge of Italy’s national team. Massimiliano Allegri has succeeded Conte after being out of work for six months following his departure from Milan, which he had led to Italian Serie A glory in 2011. Not everyone is convinced that Allegri is a great manager but the fact is that Juve has the best squad in Italian Serie A and the championship is very much the Turin-based side’s to lose, particularly as its roster is every bit as strong as it was last season.

Roma was the only Italian Serie A team to get within 20 points of Juventus last term – third-placed Napoli was 24 off the pace – so, if one thinks that Juve is vulnerable under Allegri, Rudi Garcia’s side is the most logical alternative. But Roma does not appeal as much as Juve.

First, Roma has to manage both domestic and international commitments for the first time since the 2010-2011 season and taking part in the UEFA Champions League will test its depth because of the number of testing midweek matches.

Second, Roma lost both its Italian Serie A games versus Juventus last term – 3-0 in Turin and 1-0 in Rome. Those head-to-head results suggest that the 17-point gap between the sides at the end of the season was a fair reflection.

And third, Roma has been insufficiently busy in the transfer market. Yes, buying Juan Iturbe from Verona was a good bit of business but Ashley Cole could not get a game for Chelsea last term and yet he will go straight into Roma’s first 11.

Juventus should be odds on to win Italian Serie A so, if one does not mind long-term bets at odds of +130 , Juve is the play. One was expecting to see Juve quoted at odds of -167 .

With regards to Italian Serie A relegation betting, there is a trend worth following if one does not mind backing odds-on pops and waiting nine months to collect. Since Italian Serie B introduced play-offs to determine its last promotion spot, a system that has been operational for each of the last six campaigns, five winners of the play-offs have been relegated from Italian Serie A at the first attempt. Not only that but three of those six teams have finished at the foot of the Italian Serie A ladder, including Livorno last term.

Cesena earned its Italian Serie A place by defeating Modena 2-1 and Latina 4-2 in back-to-back two-legged ties. Cesena had finished the Italian Serie B regular season in fourth position, six points behind second-placed Empoli and another 14 points adrift of champion Palermo. BetVictor is offering odds of -175  that Cesena goes back to Italian Serie B.

Tips Summary

Juventus to win Serie A
Starts 30th August
Odds:  +130
Where to Bet: Coral

Cesena to be relegated
Starts 30th August
Odds:  -175
Where to Bet: BetVictor

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