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Weekend Italian Serie A matches – Saturday 1 February 2014
Under two and a half goals in the Italian Serie A relegation six-pointer between Catania and Livorno is the best bet on the weekend program in Italy’s top football division.
The all-important Italian Serie A match is set up to be low scoring. Bottom-of-the-table Catania is the second least entertaining team to watch among Italy’s elite, with its league games averaging only 2.38 goals. Ten of Catania’s 21 matches have gone under two and a half goals and the cellar dweller has featured in a division-leading four 0-0 draws. And to say that Catania cannot afford to lose to Livorno, its nearest neighbour on the ladder, would be a massive understatement. Lose and Catania is as good as down.
It is a game that Livorno cannot afford to lose, either, as a Catania victory would see the sides swap places at the foot of the Italian Serie A ladder. Another factor that will play on the mind of Livorno’s players and staff – at least if they have got any sense it will – is that head-to-head results rather than goal difference settle ties at the end of the season. Livorno defeated Catania 2-0 in the reverse fixture so a draw would be as good as two points for Livorno in its one-on-one scrap with Catania in the relegation zone.
Livorno’s Italian Serie A matches are averaging 2.67 goals, with its games going under two and a half goals 10 times out of 21. However, the statistic that really leaps off the page is that Livorno has not scored a top-flight goal on the road for 675 minutes – that is nine and a half matches. Livorno has fired blanks against Napoli, Bologna, Internazionale, Chievo, Lazio, Fiorentina and Roma since scoring on the stroke of half time versus Verona in late September.
BetVictor is offering odds of 1.75 that the Italian Serie A game between Catania and Livorno goes under two and a half goals. None of the relevant statistics point to the match being action packed and, with so much on the line for both teams, a nervy low-scoring encounter is the likely outcome.
While fans in Catania may not see many goalmouth incidents, the opposite may be true of fans in Sassuolo because Italian Serie A’s most goal-friendly sides will tackle each other in the Emilia-Romagna town. Sassuolo against Verona is the game and Coral and William Hill may regret offering odds of 1.91 that the teams combine for more than two and a half goals.
Sassuolo’s Italian Serie A games averaging 3.24 goals, with 10 of its 21 matches going over two and a half goals. Verona is the top-flight side to watch if one wants to see action, with its games averaging 3.29 goals and 15 of its 21 matches going over two and a half goals. Sassuolo has the worst defence in the division by quite some distance and it has decided that its best chance of retaining its elite status is to play to its strengths, which are in the front third. Verona is relatively safe in eighth place on the ladder so it can play its natural, open style in Sassuolo as well.
Finally, Juventus and Internazionale is a marquee Italian Serie A fixture known as the Derby of Italy but bookmakers are underestimating the gap between Juve and Inter by offering big odds about the former winning to nil.
Juventus is available at odds of 2.55 with BetVictor to beat Internazionale without conceding a goal. Juventus has won all ten of its Italian Serie A home games, six of them with clean sheets. Internazionale is experiencing a horror run of form, failing to register a win in five matches across all competitions since getting the better of a mediocre Milan and scoring only once in that time. The difference between Juventus and Internazionale on the ladder is only four rungs but it is 23 points, which is a wider gap than the one that separates Inter from Catania at the bottom of the pile.