Samp to ramp up its UEFA qualification push


The best bet on the Italian Serie A coupon is Sampdoria to win the first game of Round 26, with Bwin, Coral and WilliamHill offering odds of -110  about Samp defeating Cagliari.

One was incorrect to oppose Sampdoria in its Italian Serie A away match versus Atalanta, with Samp coming from behind to win 2-1. That selection was based on Sampdoria being riddled with suspensions but Samp’s top Italian Serie A goal scorer, Eder, playmaker Roberto Soriano and midfielder Pedro Obiang are available for the visit of Cagliari on Saturday.

Sampdoria has drawn more Italian Serie A home games than it has won but it is one of the just three teams yet to lose in front of its supporters and it welcomes a Cagliari side that has not improved since Gianfranco Zola became its manager.

Cagliari has one point to show from its last five Italian Serie A matches and, perhaps most worryingly of all for Zola, it has not kept a clean sheet in any of its last 11 games across all competitions since drawing 0-0 at Parma, the team that is marooned at the foot of the league ladder.

The reverse Italian Serie A fixture between Sampdoria and Cagliari resulted in a 2-2 draw but Samp led 2-0 on the road before Fabrizio Cacciatore was sent off and Danilo Avelar converted the subsequent penalty kick in the 59th minute.

Sassuolo’s defensive injury problems are unlikely to clear up in time of its Italian Serie A match at Juventus so one cannot see past Juve at odds of -455  with WilliamHill.

The Sassuolo doctors have until Monday to get their side’s best defenders in a fit state to tackle Juventus in Turin but the early signs are that Eusebio Di Francesco will be selecting his team from a limited pool of players. Lazio scored three unanswered goals in its Italian Serie A away game at Sassuolo last weekend so heaven help Di Francesco’s side if Juventus hits its straps as it goes in search of its seventh consecutive home victory across all competitions.

Juventus is almost certain to line up against Sassuolo minus Andrea Pirlo but Juve’s strength in depth is considerable as it demonstrated by drawing 1-1 at Roma without its veteran playmaker. Having maintained its nine-point Italian Serie A lead over Roma, Juventus will not want to let the Wolves back into the title race by dropping points versus Sassuolo.

Rounding out one’s Italian Serie A match betting portfolio is Torino at odds of +200 with Betfred to win at Udinese on Sunday.

The recent form of Torino and Udinese is like chalk and cheese, with the former unbeaten in nine games across all competitions and qualified for the UEFA Europa League last 16 after overcoming Bilbao 5-4 on aggregate and the latter having won one of its last 11 matches in various events.

Conservative punters may prefer to back Torino with some sort of safety net but it has little to gain from playing for one Italian Serie A point since it is almost safe from relegation and six points adrift of the top five. Torino ought to approach Sunday’s Italian Serie A game against a beatable Udinese team with a win-at-all-costs mentality.

With regards to Italian Serie A exotics, the smartest play is under two and a goals in Saturday’s match between Chievo and Roma at odds of -154  with BetVictor.

Chievo’s 25 Italian Serie A games have had a league-low mean of 1.92 goals, with under two and a half goals paying out 16 times. Under two and a half goals has paid out in 16 of Roma’s 25 Italian Serie A games as well, including in eight of the 12 league matches that the Wolves have played.

Tips Summary

Sampdoria to beat Cagliari
7th March 19:00 GMT
Odds:  -110
Where to Bet: Bwin, Coral, WilliamHill

Juventus to beat Sassuolo
9th March 20:00 GMT
Odds:  -455
Where to Bet: WilliamHill

Torino to beat Udinese
8th March 14:00 GMT
Odds:  +200
Where to Bet: Betfred

Chievo v Roma Under 2.5 goals
8th March 14:00 GMT
Odds:  -154
Where to Bet: BetVictor

Andrea Pirlo
Cagliari. Juventus
Pedro Obiang
Roberto Soriano

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