Title-clinching game may be low on goals

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One point is all that Juventus requires from its last five Italian Serie A matches to guarantee its fourth consecutive championship and one thinks that is likely to result in Saturday’s game between Sampdoria and Juve being low on goalmouth incident and, therefore, low on goals.

While it would take something extraordinary for Juventus not to clinch its 31st Italian Serie A title – after all, Juve’s last 45 league home matches have produced 41 home wins and four draws – there is no doubt whatsoever that Massimiliano Allegri wants the championship sewn up before his players go head to head with Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

An Italian Serie A draw at Sampdoria will do the trick for Juventus so, in the finest traditions of the competition, one expects the title favourite to play for one point and only go for three points if an opportunity in which Juve does not have to throw caution to the wind presents itself.

Apart from Juventus, Sampdoria is the only other Italian Serie A team yet to lose a home game so all three results are live runners but the bet that leaps off the coupon is under two and a half goals at odds of -133 with several bookmakers, including BetVictor and Ladbrokes.

First, there is the statistical argument. Only Chievo has featured in fewer Italian Serie A matches that have gone under two and a half goals than Sampdoria – 22 of Samp’s 33 games have not exceeded the popular line, including a joint league-high 12 of its 16 home assignments. And Juventus is no slouch when it comes to under two and a half goals in its Italian Serie A matches, with 19 of its 33 games anywhere and 10 of its 16 road trips not exceeding the mark.

Second, there is the situational argument. At 0-0, one can see Juventus sitting back and forcing Sampdoria to make all the running. At 0-1, one can see Juventus shutting up shop and inviting Sampdoria to score not once but twice. And at 1-0, one can see Juventus not going beserk what with its UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid three days later and many other opportunities to secure the Italian Serie A title in the coming weeks.

An Italian Serie A match that may be entertaining for a neutral viewer to watch is Sunday’s game between Atalanta and the side standing between Juventus and the championship, Lazio. Over two and a half goals is trading at odds of -109 with BetVictor and that stands out as an excellent bet.

Italian Serie A data supports one’s suggested punt because 10 of Atalanta’s 16 home matches have gone over two and a half goals, while nine of Lazio’s 16 away games have burst through the line. Goals have been a feature of Atalanta’s recent Italian Serie A matches as well, with both sides scoring in each of its last six games. According to most reports, Atalanta is playing open football even though it is the team closest to the Italian Serie A relegation zone, while Sunday’s match is a must-win game for Lazio.

Finally, Internazionale has not given up hope of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League and it ought to be too good for a Chievo side that it beat 2-0 in December’s reverse fixture, which was also Mancini’s his first league victory back in charge on the Milan club.

Internazionale, which is available at odds of -189 with Betfred to complete an Italian Serie A double over Chievo, has strung together three wins and two draws to put itself in the hunt for a top-five finish. Chievo is plodding along in the middle of the Italian Serie A ladder and, while it has lost only one of its last eight league matches, its shortage of goals leaves it vulnerable to a team such as Internazionale that is hungry and knows how to score.

Tips Summary

Juventus v Sampdoria Under 2.5 goals
2nd May 17:00 GMT
Odds:  -133
Where to Bet: BetVictor, Ladbrokes

Atalanta v Lazio Over 2.5 goals
3rd May 14:00 GMT
Odds:  -109
Where to Bet: BetVictor

Internazionale to beat Chievo
3rd May 14:00 GMT
Odds:  -189
Where to Bet: Betfred

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