Rossoneri trading on their reputation

Mario BalotelliMilan is on track for its worst Italian Serie A performance since 1982 when it was the fourth and final team relegated from the top flight and its novice boss, Clarence Seedorf, appears powerless to stop its slide down the ladder.

The pressure on Milan did not lift on the weekend. Abdoulay Konko put the ball into his own net to hand a lead to Milan but the Rossoneri could not hang on for a much-needed win, conceding a second-half Alvaro Gonzalez goal as Lazio drew level 1-1. Milan did manage to curtail its four-game losing streak but it did not deserve to beat Lazio in Rome and now it travels to Italian Serie A’s fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Milan lost the reverse Italian Serie A fixture 0-2, Juan Manuel Vargas and Borja Valero scoring Fiorentina’s two goals in a match of relatively few clear-cut chances. One cannot believe that Fiorentina is available at odds of 2.25 with Bet365 and BetVictor to do the Italian Serie A double over Milan. Even allowing for Fiorentina’s rough trot of late – the Viola lost its UEFA Europa League last-16 tie against Juventus and also its Italian Serie A game versus the Vecchia Signora – it is superior to Milan according to almost any measure of which one could think and, therefore, it should be odds of 2.10 at the maximum. Given the 15-point gap between Fiorentina and Milan on the Italian Serie A ladder, the Viola should be odds-on shots.

Only Italian Serie A’s top two teams, Juventus and Roma, have won more home matches than Atalanta so the Nerazzurri have to be of interest at odds of 1.83 with several firms, including Boylesports and PaddyPower, to rack up their 10th home victory of the season when Livorno visits.

One of Italian Serie A’s strongest home performers against one of the division’s away easybeats – Livorno has the third worst road record behind Catania and Cagliari – seems like a betting opportunity, particularly when one considers that Atalanta has won four games on the spin, its latest victory courtesy of a last-gasp Giacomo Bonaventura goal away to Internazionale. Twenty-four hours earlier, Livorno had lost 1-3 at Torino having trailed 0-3 with a few minutes to go.

Livorno did beat Atalanta 1-0 in the reverse Italian Serie A fixture four months ago but the Nerazzurri did not stand a chance once Carlos Carmona received his marching orders in the 35th minute. That form reference looks unreliable. What appears much more relevant is that Atalanta has accrued 29 Italian Serie A home points to Livorno’s eight on the road.

Finally, the Italian Serie A relegation six-pointer between Chievo and Bologna screams under two and a half goals, an option that is trading at odds of 1.57 with Ladbrokes.

Chievo’s 29 Italian Serie A matches have averaged 2.28 goals, which is the equal lowest in the division, and 15 of them have gone under two and a half goals. Bologna’s 29 Italian Serie A games have a marginally higher mean of 2.31 goals but 16 of them have gone under two and a half goals. Put Chievo and Bologna together and what does one get? A goalless draw in November and that was when Bologna had Alessandro Diamanti in its ranks. Since then Diamanti has linked up with Marcello Lippi at Guangzhou Evergrande in China, taking the big bucks on offer and leaving Bologna even less likely to score heavily in Italian Serie A.

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