Serie A Predictions Matchday 22

Juventus are once again running away with Serie A leaving the likes of Napoli, Inter, AC Milan, and Roma to fight it out for the remaining Champions League place. At the bottom of the table, Chievo Verona and Frosinone are in the two worst positions, but Bologna and Empoli find themselves in jeopardy of relegation as well.

February 2, 2019

Empoli vs. Chievo Verona

Prediction: Empoli 2-1 Chievo Verona

Napoli vs. Sampdoria

Prediction: Napoli 3-1 Sampdoria

Juventus vs. Parma

Prediction: Juventus 3-0 Parma

February 3, 2019

SPAL 2013 vs. Torino

Prediction: SPAL 2013 0-2 Torino

Genoa vs. Sassuolo

Prediction: Genoa 0-1 Sassuolo

Udinese vs. Fiorentina

Prediction: Udinese 0-3 Fiorentina

Inter vs. Bologna

Prediction: Inter 2-0 Bologna

Roma vs. AC Milan

Prediction: Roma 4-2 AC Milan

February 4, 2019

Frosinone vs. Lazio

Prediction: Frosinone 0-1 Lazio

Cagliari vs. Atalanta

Prediction: Cagliari 1-4 Atalanta

Serie A Predictions Matchday 20

Serie A has finally returned following a winter layoff and a round of cup matches. The Italian Supercup also crowned Juventus the winners following a match with AC Milan. I am just going to give straight predictions as I have not followed enough Serie A to offer a meaningful breakdown.

AS Roma vs. Torino
Prediciton: AS Roma 2-0 Torino

Udinese vs. Parma
Prediction: Udinese 1-1 Parma

Inter vs. Sassuolo
Prediction: Inter 1-0 Sassuolo

Frosinone vs. Atalanta
Prediction: Atalanta 3-0 Frosinone

Fiorentina vs. Sampdoria
Prediction: Sampdoria 2-1 Fiorentina

SPAL vs. Bologna
Prediction: SPAL 0-0 Bologna

Cagliari vs. Empoli
Prediction: Cagliari 1-0 Empoli

Napoli vs. Lazio
Prediction: Napoli 3-2 Lazio

Genoa vs. AC Milan
Prediction: AC Milan 2-0 Genoa

Juventus vs, Chievo Verona
Prediction: Juventus 3-0 Chievo Verona

Logo for Serie A side Juventus

Serie A Breakdown Heading into the Winter Break

The first half of the Serie A season wrapped up this past weekend, and it was full of action. Most of the season has been fairly straightforward with Juventus dominating proceedings over the rest of the pack, and the only Champions League place that has a healthy challenge is fourth which became closer with Lazio dropping points this past weekend, which allowed Roma and AC Milan to make up ground.

The Top 4 is virtually a lock for the top three sides as Juventus, Napoli, and Inter all have secure cushions above the rest of the pack. Lazio currently hold the pole position for fourth place, but only hold a point over fifth place holders AC Milan and a two point point advantage over sixth place Roma. The battle between these three teams should be interesting because Lazio has a recent history of being the most consistent performer among the three sides. Both Roma and AC Milan have struggle for consistency this season, more so the latter, and all three will want to lure potential summer signings with the lure of Champions League football next season.

The biggest surprises of the season have to be Atalanta who finished sixth last season along with a run into the knockout rounds of the Europa League where they almost defeated Borussia Dortmund. This season, they currently languish in eighth place and were eliminated in the final Europa League Qualifying Round on penalties against FC Kobenhavn. Sampdoria are another side who are playing well, and who have posed serious threats to the top teams in Italy. They currently sit in seventh, and should be a contender for one of the European spots in the league.

Before I get into the future predictions, let’s recap the action from the prior matchday.

Last Matchday Results and Breakdown

Juventus 2-1 Sampdoria
Breakdown: Juventus got a Cristiano Ronaldo double that was sandwiched by a converted penalty for Juventus. However, it was Ronaldo’s second, also a penalty that secured the victory for Juventus. Sampdoria did manage to muster a solid effort for a second, but it was disallowed due to VAR.
Chievo Verona 1-0 Frosinone
Breakdown:Emmanuele Giaccherini Chievo Verona managed to take all three points in this match against 10-man Frosinone after they had a man sent off in the 58th minute. While the two bottom teams had very little to separate them, managed to scrape a goal and give his side the full share of the spoils.
Empoli 0-1 Inter
Breakdown: Keita BaldéInter finally got the fruit for its labors in the 72nd minute when broke Empoli’s tough resistance. Both sides did a decent job creating chances, but the quality of Inter was able to show through on a day where they were not at their most clinical given that they controlled the match for large spells.
Genoa 0-0 Fiorentina
Breakdown: This was a match where both teams just lacked the killer edge that would have secured all three points. Possession and shots were fairly equal, as were the chances created by both sides. Fiorentina will most likely be least satisfied with the single point, but both sides will be happy to have gotten something from the game.
Lazio 1-1 Torino
Breakdown: Both sides saw themselves reduced to ten men late on which sealed the fate of the match as a draw, but both sides got a goal that was deserved. Lazio had much more going forward and equalized in the 62nd minute, but ultimately lacked the clinical nature in their finishes that would have secured a home victory and given them a larger lead over fifth place AC Milan.
Parma 0-2 Roma
Breakdown: Roma secured a comprehensive victory, and finally got their two deserved goals in the second half. Parma offered very little going forward and looked more interested in keeping goals out rather than actually scoring goals. This match helped Roma climb back into the European places, and close the gap heading into the winter break.
Sassuolo 2-6 Atalanta
Breakdown: Atalanta secured a comprehensive victory over Sassuolo, headlined by a hat trick from substitue Josip Ilicic. Sassuolo did manage to score twice, but were overcome on day where the road team could not miss the back of the net. Both sides have great attacking initiative, but it was the clinical side of the Atalanta who shone the brightest.
Udinese 2-0 Cagliari
Breakdown: This was another match where both sides were reduced to 10 men, although it had little effect on the outcome which boosts Udinese’s chance of survival. The home side dominated proceedings against Cagliari and will move into the winter break on a high note following a deserved victory.
Napoli 3-2 Bologna
Breakdown: This was a cagey affair at times, but the quality of Napoli was what shone through at the end of the day. Bologna fought valiantly pulling equalizers back twice, but they were undone by the brilliance of Dries Mertens late in the match. The result fortifies Napoli’s position in second although the title race may be over.
AC Milan 2-1 SPAL
Breakdown: Things did not look good for Gennaro Gattuso’s men early on as they fell behind just thirteen minutes into the match. They did manage to equalize three minutes later, and managed to get enough of a hold on the game to knotch a 64th minute winner. This match may save Gattuso from a sacking until after the winter break, but they never really established control in a home match they should have been all over.

Current table

The relegation battle is already starting to take shape with Frosinone and Chievo Verona firmly rooted in the bottom of table. They both look likely candidates to go down. The battle for the final relegation spot is between SPAL 2013, Empoli, and Bologna, who currently occupy the final relegation spot. Although Bologna may edge closer to escaping the relegation zone, they have not shown the sufficient ability to get results against sides at home, and that will seal their fate.

Predictions

Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo
Top Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo
Most Clean Sheets: Samir Handanovic

Juventus (champion and Champions League qualification)
Napoli (Champions League qualification)
Inter (Champions League qualification)
Roma (Champions League qualification)
Lazio (Europa League qualification)
Sampdoria (Europa League Final Qualifying Round qualification)
AC Milan
Atalanta
Torino
Fiorentina
Sassuolo
Parma
Genoa
Parma Calcio 1913
Udinese
Empoli
SPAL 2013
Bologna (relegated)
Frosinone (relegated)
Chievo Verona (relegated)

Logo for Serie A side Juventus

Serie A Predictions Matchday 19

Serie A closes out the first half of its fixture list tomorrow, and we have the breakdown and predictions for every match.

First, let’s look at the table.

Saturday December 29

Juventus vs. Sampdoria

Sampdoria come into the match off a fine vein of form, but their only reward is with the dominant club in Italy. Sampdoria easily dispatched of basement side Chievo Verona 2-0, and find themselves in fifth place entering the final match before the winter break. Juventus enter this match looking their usual dominant selves despite a slip-up last time out against Atalanta that saw them reduced to 10 men when Rodrigo Betancur was sent off for his second yellow card of the match. Any team that has Cristiano Ronaldo should enter the match favorites, and without an indication that he’ll be rested, Juventus will field a strong side albeit without Betancur who finds himself suspended for the match. Juventus walk out comfortable winners and take a healthy lead a the top into the winter break.

Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Sampdoria

Chievo Verona vs. Frosinone

Frosinone come into the match having held a struggling AC Milan to a draw last weekend, and hope that they can carry that same spirit into this fixture against Chievo who currently sit at the bottom of Serie A. Frosinone need to be taking all three points from this match in order to boost their chances of survival. Chievo come into this on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria, and will know that they need to go for a win against another side at the bottom of the Serie A table. Chievo’s season has been a disaster all around as they were docked three points for fielding ineligible players, and have only recently managed to climb into a positive point total. Although my gut tells me a draw is the most likely result, I think this match has a winner in it for the away side.

Prediction: Chievo Verona 0-1 Frosinone

Empoli vs. Inter

Inter come into this match on the heels of a 1-0 victory over 9-man Napoli where they managed to knick a late goal. Inter has consistently been one of the better teams in Italy, and rightfully find themselves entrenched in third place in Serie A. Empoli enter this fixture after losing 3-0 last time out to Torino, and are in desperate need of points in order to secure safety for this season. Having one of the leakiest defenses in Serie A, it could prove difficult for them to stop Inter’s clinical attack. I see a draw in this match as Inter were pushed to the final whistle in their previous match, and this is the kind of fixture they have struggled in this season.

Prediction: Empoli 1-1 Inter

Genoa vs. Fiorentina

One week ago, Fiorentina got the better of AC Milan 1-0, and looked like a side that was making progress towards re-emerging as a top team in Italy. They then followed that up with a sloppy performance against Parma and fell to a defeat 1-0. Genoa come into this match having lost to a similar placed team, Cagliari, in a tight match. However, they overcame Atalanta one week prior by a scoreline of 3-1, which means that they are also a team that lacks consistency at times. Both sides have much that can be desired at times, but are eqaully matched for one another, so expect goals, but no difference between both sides as they get a fair point each.

Prediction: Genoa 2-2 Fiorentina

Lazio vs. Torino

Torino are playing well this season, which culminated in a comfortable 3-0 victory over Empoli last time out. As a side, they boast one of the better defensive records in Serie A and managed to hold Juventus to only one goal two weeks ago. Lazio is one of the unsung teams in Italy as they have produced some solid talent, but consistently manage to finish in and around the Champions League places in Serie A yearly. They currently occupy fourth and are coming off of two straight wins, and they are even in the Last 32 in the Europa League. I expect another solid outing by Lazio who will clinically dispatch of Torino, but it will be close.

Prediction: Lazio 1-0 Torino

Parma Calcio 1913 vs. Roma

The season so far from Roma has been a bit of a mixed bag as they have been a difficult team to predict due to their struggle for a consistent form. They managed to keep their match away against Juventus close, only losing 1-0, but they lost 2-1 to Viktoria Plzen despite fielding a more than capable team. Parma come home on the heels of a 1-0 victory against Fiorentina on the road which should give them hope against a Roma side that has struggled for road form. However, Parma may be concerned about their own form as they have only won one of their last five while managing home draws against two bottom table sides in Bologna and Chievo Verona. Roma should emerge victorious, but it may not be straightforward, and the scoreline will be a bit flattering.

Prediction: Parma 1-3 Roma

Sassuolo vs. Atalanta

Atalanta will come into this match feeling hard done with only a draw to show for their efforts against Juventus, but they did switch off on a late corner for Juventus who levelled through Cristiano Ronaldo. Atalanta did manage a victory against Lazio recently, and should enter this match as the favorites to emerge with all the spoils. Sassuolo find themselves in the middle of the table and are coming off of a 3-1 defeat to Roma last time out. Their recent form is encouraging, and it could yield them a much needed result against a team in Atalanta that is in the top half of the table. This match has a draw written all over it as both sides don’t have a tangible advantage over the other.

Prediction: Sassuolo 1-1 Atalanta

Udinese vs. Cagliari

Cagliari come into the match having only managed to grab a single point against three top seven teams, but they did rebound last time out by defeating Genoa in the middle of the week. Despite not travelling well to other sides, the last time Cagliari travelled to a bottom of the table side, they managed a victory defeating Chievo Verona 2-1. Udinese come into this match with an alright defensive record, but they have struggled for goals this season. They have only mustered a total of two goals across their past five matches which does not bode well for this match. Their record against similar teams is also poor as they could only manage a draw against Frosinone a week ago, despite being two places above them. Cagliari should emerge victorious, but will be made to work against an Udinese side who are eager to grab points.

Prediction: Udinese 1-2 Cagliari

Napoli vs. Bologna

Bologna enter the match having not won a league match since September 30, and not won any match since December 4. They also visit Napoli not scoring many goals, and conceding several which is a combination that has led to them occupying 18th place and the last relegation spot in Serie A. Napoli enter the match on the heels of a frustrating defeat to Inter that saw them reduced to 9 men, and saw racist chants hurled by Inter’s fans at center-back Kalidou Koulibaly. Napoli are a side that will be without Koulibaly and talisman Lorenzo Insigne after both were sent off against Inter, but still have lots of firepower to deploy in their stead. This will end in a comfortable Napoli victory.

Prediction: Napoli 4-0 Bologna

AC Milan vs. SPAL 2013

SPAL have managed to claw out some solid results in their last five fixtures, and held Napoli to only one goal away from home. SPAL should relish their chances against a shambolic AC Milan side, and will feel good about their ability to at least steal a point from this match. AC Milan have started to regress despite heavy investment in their squad over the last two summer transfer windows. Embattled boss, Gennaro Gattuso, could manage his last match for the Milanese side if he is unable to overcome SPAL at San Siro. His side have also only managed to score one goal in their past five matches across all competitions. This match will be nervy, but the quality of AC Milan will see them through to a positive result and the sparing of the sack for Gattuso, for now.

Prediction: AC Milan 2-1 SPAL