Parma To Ham It Up Against Catania

Carlos TevezParma is one of Italian Serie A’s form sides, its only home league losses have happened against the competition’s top two teams and it is playing the bottom club whose away record reads ten losses and one draw from 11 games yet Ladbrokes is offering odds of 1.60 that Roberto Donadoni’s outfit overcomes Catania on Sunday.

Those odds do not make a great deal of sense. Parma has won each of its last four Italian Serie A matches, despatching Udinese (1-0 at home), Chievo (2-1 away), Livorno (3-0 away) and Torino (3-1 at home) to stretch their unbeaten league run to ten games. The last team to defeat Parma in Italian Serie A was the likely champion, Juventus, three months ago.

Catania, on the other hand, is two points adrift at the foot of the Italian Serie A ladder, without a win in any of its last five matches and hardly celebrating after picking up its first away point of the season. According to the poor souls who sat through Catania’s game versus Internazionale, it was worse than watching paint dry; it was like having to make the paint, apply to the walls and then watch it dry.

Maybe bookmakers are reading too much into the fact that Catania’s most recent road victory occurred versus Parma in last term’s corresponding fixture. If they have taken that into account then they are clutching at straws. Parma ought to be shorter than odds of 1.60 to improve their Italian Serie A home record to six wins, four draws and two losses while consigning Catania to their 11th away defeat.

Juventus dominates the sports news in Turin but Torino is going about its business nicely, occupying seventh position on the Italian Serie A ladder and challenging for one of Italy’s five berths in UEFA club competitions. Torino is trading at odds of 1.73 with Coral to beat Bologna at home and the United Kingdom’s Big Three betting companies may regret going out on a limb.

Torino has tasted defeat just once in an Italian Serie A home match this term and there was no shame in losing 0-1 to Juventus in its city derby. Torino has registered home draws with the division’s powerful sides – it has earned points against Fiorentina Internazionale, Milan, Roma and Verona – and it has posted home wins over the section’s lightweights having beaten Atalanta, Catania, Chievo, Lazio and Sassuolo.

Bologna is one of Italian Serie A’s lightweights, positioned as it is in 17th place on the ladder and with only one win to show for its last dozen efforts. Furthermore, Bologna’s away numbers are up there with the worst in the league. And, if one requires any additional encouragement to back Torino, consider this: no team among the elite has won fewer games than Bologna. Yes, not even Catania has performed worse.

Finally, the best Italian Serie A over/under two and a half goals play this weekend appears to be Verona and Juventus to over the mark at odds of 1.73 with BetVictor.

Verona is Italian Serie A’s top entertainer. Verona matches are averaging 3.27 goals and 16 of the promoted side’s 22 games have gone over two and a half goals. Juventus is fun to watch as well, with the championship favourite’s matches boasting a mean of 3.18 goals and 13 of its 22 games going over two and a half goals. Moreover, Juventus beat Verona 2-1 in the reverse fixture, Fabrizio Cacciatore scoring against the run of play in the 36th minute before Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente netted in the space of six minutes to make the scoreline reflect the match itself.

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