Juventus has celebrated victory in each of its last four matches against Fiorentina and one rates the Old Lady’s chance of getting the better of the Purples in Saturday’s Italian Serie A even higher than the bookmaking fraternity.
The world record transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United has made headlines all around the globe and the new faces at Juventus, including former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, have received more than their fair share of column inches also. But Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri’s starting line-up versus Fiorentina is likely to feature eight old timers so continuity should not be an issue for Juve.
Famously, Juventus lost 0-1 at home to Udinese in the first round of last season’s Italian Serie A but that was the only divisional game that the Old Lady lost in front of their own fans. Juventus has won each of its last 16 Italian Serie A home matches – 13 of them with the added bonus of a clean sheet – and Fiorentina’s warm-up results have been very disappointing, losing to Celta, Cesena, Leverkusen, Schalke and Valencia in friendlies contested since the end of July.
Juventus is available at odds of -200 with many bookmakers, including Bet365, BetVictor and William Hill, to improve their already impressive recent record against Fiorentina. Even though Fiorentina finished last term’s Italian Serie A in fifth place, it is worth noting that the Purples ranked 12th of the division’s 20 teams in the season’s second half.
Unibet is listing attractive odds of -103 about both sides scoring in Sunday’s Italian Serie A game between Atalanta and Lazio, a generous offer that one is keen to snap up.
Atalanta’s new boss, Gian Piero Gasperini, is a devotee of attacking football and, in particular, the 3-4-3 formation. Atalanta scored freely in its friendly matches, it belted Cremonese 3-0 in last week’s Italian Coppa Italia game and one expects it to take Sunday’s Italian Serie A match to a Lazio team that has endured a chaotic few months.
Lazio sacked Stefano Pioli in April. Lazio informed Simone Inzaghi that he was surplus to requirements only to recall him when Marcelo Bielsa resigned just two days after his unveiling. Lazio’s Italian Serie A preparations have been hindered by its off-the-field problems and one thinks that it is likely to be badly underdone versus Atalanta.
Both sides have scored in each of the last three Italian Serie A games between Atalanta and Lazio in Bergamo and, with both teams featuring quick attackers and below-par defenders, goals should be on the cards at decent odds.
Finally, Sunday’s Italian Serie A match between Pescara and Napoli is another game in the competition’s opening round that should be entertaining for neutral viewers to watch.
The composition of newly promoted Pescara’s side is such that it is likely to take the Italian Serie A match to Napoli in spite of bookmakers rating the home team as a significant underdog. Pescara boss Massimo Oddo favours attack over defence and his side’s midfield is full of players who are confident on the ball. Pescara scored and conceded lots of goals in obtaining promotion from Italian Serie B last term so the odds are that the Dolphins will carry over those characteristics into the top flight.
Over two and a half goals is trading at odds of -125 with Marathonbet and that price strikes one as being worthy of a wager. Napoli has the potential to cover the line on its own if its friendly results are any guide. Napoli beat Hertha 4-1 in its last warm-up game and its match prior to that ended in a 5-0 thrashing of Monaco. Napoli forward Manolo Gabbiadini has been in his element ever since being asked to fill the void created by Gonzalo Higuain’s move to Juventus.
Juventus to beat Fiorentina
Saturday 20th August, 19:45 GMT
Atalanta v Lazio – Both Teams to Score
Sunday 21st August, 19:45 GMT
Pescara v Napoli – Over 2.5 Goals
Sunday 21st August, 19:45 GMT
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