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Posted By Topic: SBOTOP: Latest Italian Football Updates       - Views: 411 Change Timezone:
SBOBET 29-Apr 2020 Wednesday 4:03 PM (273 days ago)
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Serie A Take Big Step Toward Restart

It’s now been close to two months since the Serie A season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the league has recently received a major boost regarding the potential return of play.

Serie A players can resume training individually starting May 4 while team training can take place on May 18, Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced recently.

The hope is that Serie A can resume playing games by the end of the month or early June and conclude by August.

Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the COVID-19 outbreak. There have been over 26,000 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest amount in all of Europe.

But after seeing a steady decline in cases over the past few weeks, the country is now planning to ease its lockdown restrictions by the start of May.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has already published its medical protocol to ensure the safety of players and staff. That protocol includes constant testing and enforcing strict health guidelines for teams.

 

Sports minister won’t guarantee Serie A restart

However, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora doesn’t want to raise the expectations of Italian fans just yet. Spadafora made it clear that despite the fact that dates have been set for players and teams to resume practice, it does not necessarily mean Serie A is sure to start back up again.

Spadafora made it clear that the FIGC’s medical protocol will need to be improved and agreed upon before the league resumes.

“We’ll resume training for team sports from May 18, but only if the conditions of safety and security can be confirmed over the next few weeks,” Spadafora told last Sunday in an interview with Italian television.

“The FIGC presented a protocol last night and the scientific committee considered it insufficient, so it needs adjustments”, he added.

While the official date to restart the season is yet to be determined, it appears certain that the season will continue at some point and won’t be completely cancelled.

All 20 Serie A teams voted unanimously last week that they would try and finish the 2019-20 season, even if it extends until the autumn season.

Although, there have been reports that seven clubs — Brescia, Torino, Sampdoria, Udinese, SPAL, Genoa and Cagliari — have expressed reservations about resuming play due to the “incalculable risk” involved amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Whether or not those clubs had a change of heart voluntarily or forcibly remains to be seen.

 

Exciting Serie A title race set to resume

The fact that the season will continue should be welcome news to SBOBET Serie A fans, who will be able to enjoy one of the more competitive title races in recent years.

Juventus went into the halt in play on top of the table, but the reigning champions were just one point behind surprise package Lazio.

The Serie A 2020 betting odds still have the Bianconeri as the title favourites, but the Biancocelesti have shown that they are capable of pushing the Old Lady all the way.

Ciro Immobile eyes to double his effort for Lazio when the Serie A season resumes

Lazio star Ciro Immobile celebrates after scoring a goal during their Serie A clash against Brescia

Lazio captain Ciro Immobile has had a fantastic season, leading the goalscoring charts with 27 goals. Meanwhile, team-mate Luis Alberto has also been responsible for several Serie A 2020 highlights. He leads the league with 12 assists.

Lower down in the table, Inter and Atalanta currently occupy the third and fourth Champions League spots.

Inter looked to be Juve’s strongest title rivals after having a brilliant start under Antonio Conte. But they’ve since gone off the boil, winning just four of their last 11 league matches before the break in play. That includes a comprehensive 2-0 defeat at Juventus in the Derby d’Italia.

It now seems highly unlikely that they can claw back their nine-point deficit on Juve with just 13 matches left on the season.

Atalanta are in fourth, six points behind Inter. Once the season does restart, though, Atalanta will likely be focused more on the Champions League, where they have reached the quarter-final stage, than the league.

Fifth-placed Roma are three points behind Atalanta having played one more game. But they remain in contention for a possible playoff for a Champions League place should Serie A decide to hold one.

Napoli are a further six points adrift of Roma and would at least be in good position to be part of a Europa League playoff.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 29-Apr-2020 at 4:03 PM


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football_all 29-Apr 2020 Wednesday 4:09 PM (273 days ago)            #2
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SBOBET 01-May 2020 Friday 1:59 PM (271 days ago)            #3
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Serie A: Italy’s All-Time Goal Scorers

The Serie A has always been here for as long as we can remember. From its genesis in 1930, Italy’s top-flight league has produced so many football memories to remember.

Much of the success of the league can be owed to a bevy of icons. Throughout decades, several players have made Serie A their personal playground where we were treated with goals galore.

These players have set the standard of goal scoring to which every kid should try and emulate. And with their names forever etched in the history books, it is only apt that we commemorate them.

As we continue to wait for more Serie A 2020 updates like this one, join and discuss with SBOBET as we give you our list of some of the best goal scorers ever in Serie A.

 

Gunnar Nordahl

AC Milan are far off from their past glory and it’s no secret that they are still looking for their next star.

But while they’re at it, perhaps they would be keen on finding someone in a similar mold of Gunnar Nordahl who’s had a successful stint for the Rossoneri.

In his seven years there, the Swedish forward was as unstoppable as it gets. He would score a ridiculous total of 221 goals in that span, making him the club’s all-time leading scorer.

Nordahl would help lead Milan to championship glory in the 50’s. He put his team on his back when they won five capocannonieres as their leading attacker and he’s done it at an ultra-efficient rate of 0.77 goals per game ratio.

Up to this day, Nordahl’s record of 35 goals in a single season is still up in the record books. After a fruitful stint with AC Milan, the Swedish played two more seasons with AS Roma to round out his 10 years in Italy.

 

Jose Altafini

Prolific and dangerous are two words to perfectly describe Jose Altafini especially when he was at the peak of his powers.

In his 18-year career playing in Italy’s top-flight, the “Mazzola” notched 216 goals in 459 appearances playing for clubs like AC Milan, Napoli, and Juventus.

He would also experience success in the international level representing his home country. Playing for Brazil and Italy, Altafini once held the record for most goals in a single European Cup for more than 50 years. He also was part of the Brazilian side that took home the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

 

Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero is one of the main reasons why Juventus are known as the powerhouse who owns the highest Serie 2020 odds of winning the title.

Del Piero played for the Bianconeri for 19 seasons, 11 of them as their skipper. He holds the team record in terms of goals scored (290), appearances (705), minutes played (48,363), and titles won that includes six scudetti, one Serie B title, four Supercoppa Italias, one Champions League crown, one UEFA Supercup, one Intertoto Cup, and an Intercontinental Cup.

The Conegliano-born forward is technically gifted and is quite a set-piece specialist. Del Piero has proven to be capable of being a playmaker and a goal scorer that can torch opposing backlines.

But what really stands out for Del Piero is his unwavering commitment to the club. When Juventus were forcibly relegated to Serie B in 2006 due to calciopoli, Del Piero never backed down and he took it upon himself to get the club back up to its feet.

 

Francesco Totti

Serie A News: Francesco Totti is considered to be one of the greatest Italian players of all time

Francesco Totti during a press conference

He is what we call Mr. AS Roma as his 25 years with the club has been nothing short of spectacular.

Francesco Totti holds multiple records and a couple of championships under his belt. The 43-year-old led Roma to a Serie A title, two Coppa Italia titles, and two Supercoppa Italia titles. He is the second-highest scorer in league history with 250 goals while being the sixth-highest scoring Italian in all competitions with 316 goals.

Totti was also a star playing for his nation. He was part of the Italian side that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup and helped them go to as far as the UEFA Euro 2000 Finals.

With his scoring ability and veteran smarts, Totti is considered as one of the best players in the modern era.

 

Silvio Piola

Silvio Piola was a man ahead of his time. And with his goalscoring exploits back then, he is considered by many as the pioneer of Italian football.

Piola enjoyed a 25-year career in Italy’s top-flight. He played for teams such as Pro Vercelli, Lazio, Torino, Juventus, and Novara.

He is the only player in history to be the all-time Serie A top scorer in three clubs. All in all, Piola scored 274 goals in the league.

While he was capocannoniere twice, it’s shocking to learn that Piola never won a title. He came close, however, in winning it when he finished as a runner-up both for Lazio and Juventus.

It didn’t help when the World War 2 interrupted his professional career. However, with his body of work and longevity, there’s no doubt that he is one of the best players ever in Italy.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 01-May-2020 at 2:00 PM


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SBOBET 04-May 2020 Monday 11:13 AM (268 days ago)            #4
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Serie A 2018 is Agony for Lazio

Italian football fans are as passionate as they come. To some, maybe many, the beautiful game is akin to religion; and results, good or bad, set the tone for the next week.

But the climax of Serie A 2017/18 set the tone for a whole summer for two teams. Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio hosted Inter Milan in the final game of the campaign, needing to avoid defeat to confirm their place in the 2018/19 Champions League, while a win for I Nerazzurri meant they would grab that coveted fourth place.

The action which unfolded over the 90 plus minutes at the Stadio Olimpico is the stuff of dreams…and nightmares.

 

 

Lazio 2-3 Inter Milan

After holding down a top four slot for most of the season the hosts just needed a draw to confirm their Champions League berth, and led with 15 minutes remaining, but two red cards for the hosts and two late strikes for the visitors turned this match dramatically on its head.

We went for a home result with our pre-match SBOBET tips, and when Inter’s Ivan Perisic put through his own goal the hosts were looking good. Danilo d’Ambrosio equalised for the visitors before Felipe Anderson restored Lazio’s lead and the home crowd breathed easier again.

But with around 12 minutes left on the clock Lazio’s sense of order turned to chaos. Inter were awarded a penalty, Mauro Icardi converted with ease and Lazio’s Bosnian midfielder Senad Lulic was sent off. The home crowd was at fever pitch with ten long minutes to survive, but when Matias Vecino found himself unmarked in the box he planted his header home to send the visiting hoards wild.

As Lazio became increasingly desperate, defender Patric was red-carded and their world had fallen apart. The dramatic victory drew Inter level with Lazio and they qualified for a first Champions League since 2012, courtesy of a better head-to-head record.

 

 

Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona

The Old Lady had already won a seventh consecutive Scudetto last week, thanks to a 0-0 draw away to Roma, with a little help from Radja Nainggolan who saw red at the Stadio Olimpico but, to add insult to Lazio’s injury, Roma booked their own place in the Champions League, finishing third.

So Juventus’ final home game of the season was a celebration, and an emotional farewell to club legend and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who had just announced he would be ending his 17-year spell in Turin. The Old Lady’s final game was a walk in the park against relegated Hellas Verona with goals from Daniele Rugani and Miralem Pjanic putting the hosts in charge before Alessio Cerci scored a late consolation.

Gianluigi Buffon’s final Juventus appearance against Verona in Serie A was a fittingly passionate goodbye

Gianluigi Buffon bids Juventus an emotional farewell in final appearance

Buffon left on a high as I Bianconeri kept 22 clean sheets during the season, equalling the Serie A record in a single season, while head coach Max Allegri has led them to a fourth consecutive domestic double.

And with seven consecutive Scudettos in the bag, there’s no sign of Juve relaxing; a big-money move for Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo looks on the cards.

Now that would be a coup for Serie A and its champions.

 

 

Napoli 2-1 Crotone

After pushing I Bianconeri so hard during the 2017/18 title race Napoli signed off with a win over Crotone, sending their visitors back to Serie B in the process.

The visitors fought for their lives but were simply outclassed by a Napoli side which has played fantastic football in another season so close to glory. Goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Jose Callejon saw off Walter Zenga’s strugglers, as the hosts chose to rests to star players Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens.

This is a squad packed with quality and sure to challenge again next term.

 

***********************************************************

Well, folks, that was the climax to the 2018 season, and what a climax! We’re hoping for some Serie A 2020 updates before too long while the football world watches the Bundesliga with interest, as the German league inches towards a possible restart.

Since Euro 2020 was put back a year to leave room for the big domestic leagues to complete, we have been waiting on news in Italy too, and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced that professional teams can return to training on May 18th.

As soon as we can we’ll be back with match previews and reports, and the very best Serie A 2020 betting offers in Asian Handicap betting. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 04-May-2020 at 11:14 AM


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SBOBET 04-May 2020 Monday 11:16 AM (268 days ago)            #5
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Serie A: Atalanta – A Class Act On and Off the Pitch!

So, are Atalanta a Serie A contender or pretender?

Well, applying the letter of the law, the answer is the latter.

They are not genuine challengers for the Italian title and the 15 point gap between them and leaders Juventus when Covid-19 stopped play in mid-March is evidence of that.

However, that doesn’t tell the full picture – or even half of it.

For Atalanta have been nothing short of superb this past 18 months and in lying in fourth spot – where they finished last term along with reaching the Coppa Italia final – and reaching the Champions League quarter-finals when the 2019/20 season was halted, their achievements have surpassed all expectations.

Indeed, there’s nothing ‘pretend’ about their achievements to date for they have accomplished far more than many more illustrious clubs throughout Europe.

How have they done it?

Well, Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez can remember the moment he recognised Atalanta could become a big club and how Gian Piero Gasperini changed their mentality and embarked on an ‘incredible journey’.

Gomez is one of two players I’ve already included in my midfielders of the season so far. His late emergence perhaps wouldn’t have been so stark if he hadn’t enjoyed such an eclectic career.

Then there’s another 32 year-old in Josip Ilicic who made his mark in Champions League days before lockdown affected football the world over (except Belarus).

Josip Ilicic have made 15 goals and 5 assists this season in Serie A

Josip Ilicic celebrates after scoring a goal against Valencia in their 2nd leg clash in Champions League

When the Slovenia international attacking midfielder scored four goals against Valencia in March, the whole of Europe sat up and took notice of what Atalanta fans had been saying for some time.

He is in the form of his life with 25 goals and 5 assists to date and Gasperini has played a big role in this development with emphatic results.

And what of striker Duvan Zapata?

Following relatively unconvincing loans at Udinese and Sampdoria, Zapata moved to Atalanta in 2018 and Gasperini unlocked him. His goalscoring record at La Dea – 34 goals in 52 Serie A appearances over the last 18 months – is sensational. He’s become a penalty box presence most can’t handle, converting close-range chances with efficiency and helping his team assert dominance in the final third.

He’s not the only player whose career has transformed in Bergamo and the pattern is becoming too obvious to ignore.

This is the team, from a city of 120,000 people, which has just gatecrashed the final eight of Europe’s most prestigious club competition – this after losing their first three games in the group phase by a combined 11-2 scoreline before drawing the fourth and winning the final two.

It was a remarkable comeback to not only qualify, let alone eliminate Valencia so comprehensively in the last 16.

Yet they’ve been unstoppable ever since that third group game, a 1-1 draw with Manchester City, followed by winning their next four Champions League matches on the bounce, scoring 13 goals and conceding five.

The team is keen to continue their Champions League adventure and help the people of Bergamo return to normality once the current pandemic is over.

Sadly, Bergamo is the epicentre of the Italian pandemic with, up until a few days ago, 26,977 deaths throughout the country, 13,449 in the region of Lombardy and, more specifically, 2,940 in Bergamo.

Whether that happens remain to be seen.

All 20 Serie A clubs have voted to complete the season, despite reports Torino and Brescia were in opposition to the campaign resuming, causing a split between the government, the Italian Football Federation and the other 18 top-flight sides.

Whether the campaign resumes or not, it can’t be argued Atalanta is a club to be proud of, both on and off the pitch.

To prove the point further, captain Gomez has helped set up a new charity project called The Biggest Game, with well-known stars from all over the world – not just football – donating items.

More than 100 sporting figures from all over the world have signed up to the initiative.

A class act off the pitch, matching their endeavours on the pitch,

Atalanta’s squad may not be the fourth most talented in the league, and yet there they are, with Gasperini brave enough to blood young players rather than seek the safest path to 40 points, and on a game-by-game basis, you can also count plenty of occasions when his tactical manoeuvring was essential.

Neither a contender, nor a pretender – just a football team achieving against the odds!

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 04-May-2020 at 11:17 AM


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SBOBET 04-May 2020 Monday 11:18 AM (268 days ago)            #6
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Juve’s Kings of Serie A

When a bunch of students in Turin put together a football club, way back in 1897, they had absolutely no idea what they had started, but 123 years on we know full well.

Juventus is the biggest and best club in Serie A, winning the last eight consecutive Scudettos, and here in the SBOBET football team we are united in our Serie A 2020 betting tips to back a ninth consecutive title, as and when we have a restart in Italy.

The Old Lady currently has one of the best players of all time in her ranks in Cristiano Ronaldo, but throughout history she has been blessed to have some of the finest players in world football, picking up 35 league titles and 13 Coppa Italias along the way.

So today I’m picking out my favourite five Bianconeri stars of all time, see how many you agree with.

 

5- Roberto Baggio

When Roberto Baggio moved from Fiorentina to Juventus in 1990 for £8m, he was the most expensive player in the world and he had the most famous ponytail in sport, earning him the nickname ‘Il Divin Codino’. And he was a divine footballer, often playing as a second striker, with superb vision, a brilliant cross and a deadly finish. In one game, a 5-1 victory over Ancona, he scored four goals in the opening 20 minutes in a devastating display.

Baggio headed to AC Milan in 1995 but had left his mark, scoring 78 goals in 141 appearances and winning the 1995 league and cup double, and in 1999 he came fourth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll.

 

4- Michel Platini

Platini is one of two French players in my top five Juve list, having ended an illustrious career with five seasons in Turin between 1982 and 1987. While there he won three consecutive Ballon D’Ors between 1983 and 1985 and was a popular choice as the best player on the planet at the time.

Playing as an attacking midfielder he scored 68 goals in 147 appearances for Juventus and was renowned for his ability to find the killer pass and convert free-kicks at will. He inspired the Old Lady through a golden period, winning two league titles and the 1985 European Cup, where he scored the only goal in victory over Liverpool, though the triumph was overshadowed by the Heysel Stadium disaster where 39 supporters tragically died.

 

3- Zinedine Zidane

Former Juventus player Zinedine Zidane manages to win the Ballon D'Or in 1997

Former Juventus player and Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane during their match vs Real Betis

Azzurri fans will forever remember ZZ’s contribution to the 2006 World Cup final when he saw red after headbutting Marco Materazzi. The Frenchman was dismissed immediately and Italy went on to win the cup on penalties.

That was his last appearances for Les Bleus and one which lives in the memory for all he wrong reasons, but certainly not in Italy! He was a popular figure, particularly in Turin, after a glittering spell at Juventus at the end of the 20th century. A dominant midfielder who created space with ease, he was named Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year in his first season, 1996/7, as the Old Lady won the league, retaining the title the following season as ZZ picked up the Ballon D’Or.

 

2- Allesandro Del Piero

No outfield player sums up Juventus more than Allesandro Del Piero. A one club man in Serie A, he scored 208 goals in 513 games for I Bianconeri between 1993 and 2012 becoming Juve’s all-time leading goal scorer. In 1996 Del Piero was awarded Roberto Baggio’s Number 10 shirt, which had also been worn by Platini, and he never looked back.

A prolific poacher, he bagged 346 in all competitions, leading Juventus to six league titles. In his final game he scored against Atalanta as Juventus picked up the Scudetto, and while his 27 goals in 91 games for Italy make him the fourth highest scorer in the nation’s history, it is in Turin where he is truly beloved. Former team-mate Pavel Nedved summed up the feelings of Bianconeri fans when he said: “When anybody in the world says the word ‘Juve’ they have a picture of Del Piero in mind; I think that says it all.”

 

1- Gianluigi Buffon

But my number one is a goalkeeper. He made an emotional farewell to the Old Lady in 2018, but Gigi Buffon headlined once again in the Serie A 2020 news at the beginning of this season when he returned for another stint in Turin at the start of this season, making another seven appearances to add to his previous 509.

Regarded by many as the best goalkeeper of all time, Buffon is the most capped player in Italian history, playing 176 times for the Azzurri. The brilliant shot stopper captained Juventus to win nine Scudettos and four Coppa Italias while winning the 2006 World Cup.

He’s collected the most clean sheets in Serie A, a colossal 294, a record unlikely ever to be broken.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 04-May-2020 at 11:18 AM


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SBOBET 07-May 2020 Thursday 3:33 PM (265 days ago)            #7
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Serie A: Clubs Back in Training

After being given the green light by the Italian government last week, Serie A clubs have begun to go back to training on Monday, May 4 as the country begins to ease lockdown restrictions following their severe coronavirus outbreak.

Players will be allowed to train individually for now, with team training scheduled to resume on May 18. Although, they must still observe social distancing guidelines during training, with only one player allowed on one half of the pitch.

Sassuolo were the first team to officially return to training, while fellow Serie A sides Roma, Napoli, and Inter Milan will follow suit in the coming days.

 

 

Ronaldo returns to Italy as Serie A training resumes

Current Serie A champions and leaders Juventus recently recalled their players currently abroad ahead of the resumption of training.

Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sami Khedira, Wojciech Szczesny and Douglas Costa were among the players who returned to their home countries to be with their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The players coming from abroad will have to spend 14 days in quarantine before they can begin training. Ronaldo just arrived back in Turin from his hometown of Madeira, Portugal on Monday and will begin his two-week isolation.

Ronaldo had gone to Madeira one day before Serie A was suspended to visit his mother, who had suffered a stroke. And due to Italy’s lockdown, he has spent the last two months in Madeira with his family.

The 35-year-old was having another brilliant season before the halt in play. He was racking up Serie A 2020 highlights with 21 league goals in 22 games.

Meanwhile, Juve players already in Italy will be able to resume training this week. The team has reportedly already been testing players prior to their return to training.

Juventus had three players test positive for COVID-19 — Blaise Matuidi, Paulo Dybala and Daniele Rugani — and all have since recovered.

 

Serie A clubs have been given permission to restart individual training sessions

San Siro stadium were left empty due to the coronavirus pandemic situation

Sports minister still noncommittal over Serie A restart

The resumption of individual training could be seen as a significant step toward the league restarting play.

However, Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora has made it clear that while teams will be allowed to train by May 18, there’s still no certainty as to when or even if Serie A will resume.

“I’m reading strange things but nothing has changed compared to what I have always said about football: the teams’ training will not resume before 18 May. The resumption of the league? No way for now,” Spadafora wrote on Facebook.

Italy was among the hardest-hit countries in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it makes sense that they exercise caution in restarting Serie A.

They still need to make sure all the protocols are in place to protect the players and prevent another outbreak before they sign off on resuming the season.

 

 

Lazio counter sports minister’s Serie A comments

In response to Spadafora’s comments, Lazio sporting director Igli Tare contends that the government has no authority to cancel the season due to the coronavirus and that the season will just resume when it’s possible, even if it later in the calendar year.

“I heard that the order could come from the Minister of Sport this week,” Tare said to Sky Sport Italia. “But that would not be within his remit. FIFA, UEFA and FIGC have explained that the leagues must be finished within the calendar year.

“If we don’t start the league again in June, we will do it when it’s possible. I’m also talking about August and September and taking advantage of the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be in December. I think finishing the season would be a great experience for the next one.”

Lazio are understandably eager to resume the season; the Biancocelesti are Juventus’ closest challengers for the title.

They suffered massive heartbreak back in 2018, but missing out on this great chance to win a third title in club history would be a much tougher pill to swallow.

Simone Inzaghi’s side are just one point behind Juventus, having gone unbeaten in the league going back to September last year. They beat Juventus twice — in the league and in the Italian Super Cup — in December last year.

But while Lazio have been in impressive form, the Serie A 2020 odds still favour the Bianconeri, who have a deeper and more talented squad. Still, SBOBET Serie A would love to see this exciting title chase continue in the near future.

 

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SBOBET 13-May 2020 Wednesday 7:29 PM (259 days ago)            #8
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Serie A Return Is Anything But Straightforward

The general consensus had been that Italy was turning a corner for the better.

Amid the struggle of a pandemic, the tragedies of a nation hard hit, arrived hope that the situation was improving in a country now easing its lockdown measures.

Furthermore, the possibility that sport soon could resume and lift spirits of many throughout a football-fanatical country acted as a shining beacon.

Across Europe, in Germany, in France, in Great Britain and yes, in Italy too, leagues and broadcasters are tackling this serious emergency together by trying to find balanced solutions.

It is far from simple, however.

The demands of the Italian Government and their scientific committee are proving too much for Serie A clubs to deal with, and simply impossible for Serie B sides.

Another serious problem arising from changes to the medical protocol is the issue of culpability, as a club medic will be considered liable if anyone contracts Covid-19.

Today came confirmation from the Ministry of Health that ‘without doubt, if anyone tests positive for COVID-19 within a club, it all stops’ under the Serie A protocol.

If training does resume next week it will be under strict medical protocols and the 2019/20 campaign in Serie B is increasingly unlikely to restart because the clubs are not as financially-equipped as the top-flight teams to follow the extensive measures.

So, there you have it. Complex, although necessary, obstacles abound.

Oh for the days when we could enjoy action involving some of the world’s leading talent plying their trade in some of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Oh for the chance to resume the season and allow one of the most exciting title races Italy has seen in years to reach its conclusion.

Inter are 9 points behind Juventus at the top of the Serie A table

Lazio sit second in Serie A, one point behind Juventus

Yet, such has been the impact of this virus in the country that football doesn’t seem as important right now.

That view was heightened or certainly lent some perspective, with the sad news that Atalanta midfielder Andrea Rinaldi had died aged just 19 after suffering a brain aneurysm while training at home during the lockdown.

What the next few weeks will bring who knows, but there is much to discuss with health the overarching priority.

Let’s look at the latest statistics, figures which continue to drop after they had reached and passed the peak of the pandemic.

At the time of writing, there have been 172 deaths related to Covid-19 over the last 24 hours in Italy, but only 952 remain in intensive care, with another 2,452 given the all-clear.

In addition, another 2,452 have been declared cured, so 109,039 have made a full recovery now.

While a massive improvement, the resumption of contact sport remains a concern. And then there’s the fans. The chances of seeing supporters in the stands is a long way off.

Not with everyone though.

Take this quote from virologist Maria Rita Gismondo:

“I don’t understand why there are so many fears on reopening the gates to football and none when authorising an open-air concert.

“The rules to ensure safety, like social distancing and obligatory masks, are the same in a stadium as when attending an opera. In fact, the rules would be easier to apply in a stadium than a theatre.”

Certainly, food for thought.

It’s one step at a time.

When the time is right football will return and must return.

The number of people employed in and around the game in Italy is staggering, from kit staff to caterers, drivers and press officers.

Football is a unifying force that will help the country move forward. Calcio is as much an element of Italian life as pizza, pasta and a passeggiata in the sunshine.

We can all agree to that!

 

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SBOBET 21-May 2020 Thursday 3:03 PM (251 days ago)            #9
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Serie A Back in Training

Clubs in Serie A have returned to full training this week as a restart of football in Italy within three weeks becomes a realistic proposition.

Slowly but surely sport is climbing back onto the agenda as countries worldwide strain to keep a tight grip on the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In Spain, England and Italy, scientists have mercifully reported the lowest death figures since mid-March.

Italy was the European epicentre of the virus in its early stages, but progress is such that the government has permitted Serie A to resume full training.

It’s the first time players have been allowed to train without restrictions since the league was put on hold in early March after prime minister Giuseppe Conte gave the go-ahead.

Players have been training in isolation for over a week now, but the restrictions have been removed and, while there is no fixed date for a return, 16 of the 20 top-flight clubs voted to play on 13th June at a league meeting last week.

Fans desperate to hear positive Serie A 2020 news have reasons to be cheerful, particularly those with realistic aspirations of a league triumph.

 

Lazio’s tilt at the title

For much of the first half of the season, Inter Milan jostled with Juventus for the top spot, but while Inter have fallen away, Lazio have been on a phenomenal run to climb to within a point of Juve at the top of the Serie A table.

With 16 wins and two draws since the end of October, including an impressive victory over Juventus, Lazio had incredible momentum which was stopped in its tracks by the coronavirus outbreak.

 

 
 
 
 

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Simone Inzaghi’s team had a score to settle with Inter and they will be more than happy to wave Antonio Conte’s team goodbye in the run-in.

Back in 2018, the Roman side just needed to draw with I Nerazzurri in the final fixture of that campaign to secure a Champions League place. With just over 10 minutes remaining they seemed to have it in the bag, 2-1 up and coasting.

Conceding a penalty, which Mauro Icardi converted, and having two players sent off as Inter struck a late winner has given Lazio fans nightmares ever since. But a 2-1 win at home to Inter in February will have helped.

This time, Lazio turned the game around after Ashley Young had given the visitors a first-half lead. A penalty converted by top scorer Ciro Immobile and a second from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic put an end to Inter’s title hopes while keeping Lazio’s well and truly alive.

But they still have to stop the mighty Juventus.

The champions will do all they can to hold off Inzaghi’s team, and the latest Serie A 2020 betting odds here at SBOBET backed another Bianconeri Scudetto before the lockdown, but when we get back in action is sure to be a battle to the finish.

While Lazio clearly have the momentum, the Old Lady has the experience in terms of how to handle league climaxes, winning 35 titles and the last eight in succession.

Lazio have some big game players, but Juve’s stars are on a different level in terms of experience. Gigi Buffon’s return to Juventus came as a surprise to some but he will be invaluable in the run-in as will Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won league titles in England, Spain and Italy.

And there was good news for Old Lady fans when the Italian press reported that one of their players has beaten the virus. Bianconeri forward Paulo Dybala has finally recovered from COVID-19 a month after being diagnosed with the illness.

Serie A: Paulo Dybala has been declared fit after recovering from Covid-19 disease

Paulo Dybala arrives to Juventus training facility in Turin

The club has announced the player has tested negative and will no longer be subjected to the home isolation regime.

Good news all round.

 

Relegation battle set to resume

At the bottom end of the table, there is a six-team fight between Fiorentina in 12th and Lecce in 18th to avoid the drop.

SPAL in 19th and Brescia in 20th look doomed, but only five points separate the six teams above them and with Lecce and 17th placed Genoa both winning three of the last six the heat is really on the teams between 12th and 16th.

Torino, down in 15th, will be particularly twitchy, without a point from the last six games and just two points above the drop zone; the break may just have stopped the Turin giants free-falling into Serie B.

 

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SBOBET 21-May 2020 Thursday 3:07 PM (251 days ago)            #10
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Serie A: Five Things to Know About Ciro Immobile

He’s Lazio’s lethal goal scorer, and he’s ripping up the Serie A league again this season; yes, we’re talking about the irrepressible Ciro Immobile.

Before the enforced break in play, he was well on target to win the Capocannoniere, with 27 goals from 26 games, six more than his nearest rival Cristiano Ronaldo. And as we approach the return of football in Italy, Immobile is sure to stay in the Serie A 2020 news while his team continues its assault on the Scudetto.

After a nomadic start to his career, the now-30-year-old Immobile has matured into one of the best strikers in world football, for club and country. Born in Naples, as a young player he headed north, took an ill-fated trip to Germany and then eventually settled down in the Italian capital.

He’s a player who can terrify defences with his pace and ability to time a run to perfection, able to finish with either foot or his head. He’s a coach’s dream, hard-working, tracking back when needed and pressing opponents with ferocity.

 

1) Moulded by Juventus

A young Immobile impressed as an under-17 at Sorrento in the 2007/8 season, scoring 30 goals. That’s where he caught the eye of the Juventus scouts. At the end of the season, he signed for I Bianconeri for a modest fee of 80k Euros.

In March 2009, he made his Serie A debut in a 4-1 victory over Bologna, coming on as a substitute to replace the Juve legend, Alessandro Del Piero. Later that year, he replaced Del Piero again in his first Champions League game against Bordeaux. He was understudy to one of the greatest of all time and learned well.

 

2) Jointly owned by Genoa (briefly)

While impressing on loan at Pescara with 14 goals in the first half of the 2011/12 season, Genoa moved in January to pay 4m Euros for half the player’s rights.

He stayed at Pescara for the remainder of the season, firing the seaside club to Serie A as league top scorer with 28 goals. Immobile became a Genoa player when the loan expired in summer 2012. But a year later he was back in Turin.

 

3) Capocannoniere at two teams

After Immobile had failed to impress at Genoa, Juventus’ big rivals, Torino, took a gamble and signed the striker for the 2013/14 season and it certainly paid off.

At 23 years of age, the Turin side could see something in the young striker, even though he had only scored five goals in 33 games at his previous club.

Torino’s faith was rewarded handsomely as Immobile won the Capocannoniere with 22 goals, the first Torino player to achieve that feat since 1977. He finished the 2014 season with a bang, scoring in Torino’s penultimate fixture against Parma before being sent off and missing the final game against Fiorentina.

 

4) Struggles in Dortmund

Immobile was on the move again, and in June 2014 he made his first foray away from his homeland to sign for Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. But he lasted just a season at the Signal Iduna Park, scoring just three league goals and a total of 10 in all competitions, and he was shipped off to Sevilla on loan in 2015.

His return to Italy, to play for Lazio, launched his career to new heights.

 

Ciro Immobile continues to lift Lazio to ovetake Juventus on top of the Serie A table

Lazio’s Ciro Immobile drives the ball during their Serie A match against Bologna last February 2020


 

 

5) Subbed before Lazio’s capitulation against Inter

Since signing for Lazio for 8.75m Euros in 2016 Immobile hasn’t stopped scoring. In 2017 he bagged 23, behind only Roma’s Edin Dzeko in the Capocannoniere, and in 2018 he ended up with 29 goals, sharing the top scorer trophy with Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi. But despite the personal triumph that campaign ended in despair.

Lazio’s disastrous last game of the 2018 season, a defeat to Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico still hurts in Rome and holds particularly sad memories for Immobile. Lazio just needed a point to confirm a Champions League place.

At 2-1 up with 15 minutes to play, head coach Simone Inzaghi took off his star striker to be replaced by defender Jordan Lukaku. Inter roared back as Lazio lost their shape and discipline and ended up snatching a 2-3 victory, and the final Champions League place.

But he’s back with a vengeance this season and he’s one of the favourites here in the SBOBET football writing team; and while Juventus are heavily backed by Serie A 2020 betting odds to win a ninth successive Scudetto, Immobile will have something to say about that.

The Serie A clubs are back in training and hopefully matches will resume soon when their star striker will be spearheading Lazio’s push to the finish line. It’s a race not to be missed!

 

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SBOBET 26-May 2020 Tuesday 12:26 PM (246 days ago)            #11
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Serie A Aims to Complete by August 20th

The football-crazy nation of Italy is getting ready for Serie A to return within three weeks after top-flight clubs voted to resume the season on 13th June.

There is no dissent among the clubs, with 16 votings for the 13th and four asking for the season to recommence a week later. The plan is to complete the campaign by August 20th with the 2020/21 campaign beginning on 1st September.

The players have been back in training since early May though making a restart was never going to be easy. And with 12 rounds of fixtures still to play this is a fairly tight timescale. The Italian Football Federation will meet with Lega Serie A to work out a revised timetable, to incorporate the Coppa Italia, also to be completed by the end of August.

The head of the Italian Olympic committee has said that the league is 99 percent sure of starting on time: “To talk about the chances of finishing it, you would need a crystal ball,” said Giovanni Malago. “It’s a real risk, but Serie A’s primary and only objective is to restart.”

The German Bundesliga has made a successful comeback, with no report of any issue as yet, and Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has said La Liga can kick off again on June 8th, two weeks from today. Javier Tebas, the La Liga president has suggested playing games every day of the week to get the season finished in good time.

It’s all encouraging stuff; but the Italian football chiefs are working on a contingency should they run into problems. If the Serie A season restarts only to be postponed or halted again, the league will look for a new format to determine final standings, including play-off rounds to find the league champions, European qualifiers and relegation clubs.

 

Let’s pick up where we left off…

We all hope it won’t come to that, and that when football starts up again, it won’t stop until the end of next season! There are plenty of matters to be settled from top to bottom including a thrilling title race. When we do get back to football Lazio will be ready to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto, with top scorer Ciro Immobile on target for another Capocannoniere.

Juventus is a point ahead but with an inferior goal difference, though the Serie A 2020 betting odds back I Bianconeri, mainly because they have recent experience of title run-ins and are looking for a record ninth successive league triumph.

 

European places

Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan had a brilliant first half of the season but they have fallen away since Christmas and look nailed on to stay in third place. The final Champions League spot is a battle between Atalanta, who currently sit in fourth, three points ahead of Roma.

Atalanta have been more consistent though, while Roma followed a run of three consecutive losses with back-to-back wins. Napoli is in sixth, with Milan, Verona, Parma and Bologna all in the hunt for the final Europa League place. Milan’s hopes of winning that race have taken a blow this week with the news that veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has injured his Achilles, and that is likely to keep him out for the remainder of the campaign.

 Serie A: Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be out for few weeks after reportedly suffering Achilles injury

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly suffered Achilles injury in training

The big Swede was always going to be in the Serie A 2020 news from the moment he signed for the Rossoneri in the winter window. But this is not an announcement fans wanted to hear after the 38-year-old scored three goals in his first eight appearances.

 

Relegation

While Brescia and SPAL are in deep, deep trouble at the bottom, nine and seven points from safety, the third relegation spot looks like a six-way battle. Lecce is in the uncomfortable seat at the moment, but level with 17th placed Genoa on 25 points. Sampdoria has 26, Torino 27, Udinese 28 and even Fiorentina, in 12th on 30 points, is far from safe.

Hopefully we’ll be back with SBOBET odds for Serie A within a couple of weeks. The leagues are coming back slowly but surely. The Bundesliga is already up and running, La Liga is going to be next, with Serie A and the Premier League to follow.

Life won’t be the same for a while yet, and one change might be that we see domestic football running through June, July and August, before the next season starts in September.

We’ve missed live football over the past two months but it seems we might just be about to get an avalanche!

 

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SBOBET 03-Jun 2020 Wednesday 2:31 PM (238 days ago)            #12
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Serie A Options in Case Season Can’t Finish

The Serie A season is finally set to restart after a three-month break in play, with June 20 now confirmed as the return date.

However, it’s still not a 100 per cent certainty that the season is played out fully by the August 20 target date.

With the Italian government’s insistence on the entire team undergoing a two-week quarantine if any player or staff tests positive, any further delay could prevent the season from being completed.

The Italian Football Federation made Serie A 2020 news by confirming that if the league undergoes a temporary suspension, play-offs and play-outs will be held to settle issues at the top and bottom of the table.

But in case even those are not possible, what are their options for settling the season? SBOBET takes a look at four potential options Serie A could take if the season can’t conclude as planned.

Stefano Pioli looks to help AC Milan improve their Serie A record

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli gives instructions to his players during a match

Option 1: Keep the table as is

This option is as straightforward as it gets. In this scenario, the season is called over, with the current standings considered final.

Juventus, who the Serie A 2020 odds still have as big favourites despite being just a point ahead of Lazio, would be top if this option were instituted now. Although, it remains to be seen if they will be necessarily crowned champions. Juve would also finish top in all the other touted options.

Lazio unfortunately won’t get the chance to continue their title charge in this scenario. But they will get a Champions League place along with Inter and Atalanta, while Roma and Napoli would be through to the Europa League group stage. Milan at seventh would still need to go through the Europa League qualifying stage.

Meanwhile, Lecce would be relegated to Serie B, joining SPAL and Brescia. Genoa would be safe on goal difference.

While this isn’t the ideal ending for fans, it is at least the easiest to understand, with no further calculations needed.

 

Option 2: Simple points per game

The big drawback to Option A is that due to the postponements in play, there are still eight sides who have played just 25 games while the rest have played 26. So halting the season as is would be unfair to those sides who’ve played a game fewer.

The simple points per game option would solve that by dividing a team’s total points to games played to get its average PPG.

The final outcome of the simple PPG model won’t be all that different from Option A, except for AC Milan, who would drop from seventh to ninth. Hellas Verona would then go seventh and into the Europa League qualifying while Parma would go climb to eighth.

 

Option 3: Weighted points per game

There is also a weighted PPG option, which is similar to the simple PPG, but it takes home and away form into account.

To calculate weighted PPG, divide points by the number of games played for home and away form separately. Then, multiply each number by 19 and add them together to create a total points tally.

But while this option is technically “fairer,” it wouldn’t make much of a difference to the simple PPG option as Milan would still drop down to ninth. Aside from a few midtable teams swapping positions, there aren’t any notable changes to the table.

 

Option 4: Back to 19 games

The big drawback of the weighted PPG option is that there is an imbalance in the strength of the opponents they’ve played.

A potential option to solve that imbalance is for everyone to go back to 19 games, where they’ve played each other exactly once.

This option would significantly shake up the standings as they currently stand. While Juve would still be on top, Inter would overtake Lazio for second, while Roma would be on top of Atalanta via goal difference.

Cagliari and Parma would make the Europa League group stage, while Genoa would go down since they’re a point behind Lecce.

It’s hard to see this option being a popular one, though. It would disregard all the players’ efforts in those 6-7 matches, and even then, it still won’t completely balance the scales for all teams.

Clearly, all four options have their flaws and are no one’s ideal scenario. Hopefully, though, it doesn’t have to come to the point where Serie A has to choose any of those options. The best situation is still that the season can resume and that all issues be settled on the pitch.

 

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SBOBET 08-Jun 2020 Monday 1:34 PM (233 days ago)            #13
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Serie A Return Draws Near – With Disagreements!

It seems certain that Italian football is on the way back – the only problem is the arguments over how and when!

In Sardinia over the weekend, the beaches were packed, prompting Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini to suggest perhaps fans could be back in stadiums by July.

Then there’s the Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini who is opposed to allowing five substitutions per match.

Deemed to be a measure to improve safety when Serie A restarts, Gasperini believes it will lead the game to become more distorted: ‘We become like basketball, it’s like being allowed to change your engine midway through the Grand Prix. It hurts the spectacle,’ he said the other day.

‘After that, who’s the genius that argued it would prevent injuries?’.

Then there is the small matter to resolve between television companies who pay big money to get the best slots for ratings with the plan to play matches at 4.15pm, 6.30pm and 8.45pm local time.

And, of course, what about those who the fans want to watch?

Well, even the players themselves briefly got in on the act by warning they would struggle in the heat of June and July if matches were to be played in the mid-afternoon heat (that option now averted).

All in all then, behind the general united front, there are very different interests and much to resolve before football returns.

It does seem the Coppa Italia will reopen the Calcio calendar, with reports the semi-finals will be brought forward, scheduled for June 13-14, and the Final on June 17.

Again, that has not pleased everyone with Players’ Association President Damiano Tommasi admitting he’s ‘perplexed’ by the Coppa Italia plan.

The Italian Cup, which was halted at the semi-final stage, will be completed the week before the league restarts.

Serie A is set to return this June 20

Serie A will be back this June 20 to continue the much-awaited season

The league then aims to complete the 25th round of fixtures with the four postponed matches — Atalanta v Sassuolo, Hellas Verona v Cagliari, Inter Milan v Sampdoria, Torino v Parma — on the weekend of June 20-21, and schedule the next round of matches for the following week.

Putting aside all the differences of opinion, there is plenty to look forward to and also time for reflection.

Indeed, it would have been fitting if Atalanta’s home match had been the first league game – a symbolic gesture given Atalanta is in Bergamo, which was one of the provinces hit hardest by Covid-19.

However, that honour goes to Torino and Parma on June 20, followed by Verona-Cagliari later that evening.

There is also the thrill of a genuine title challenge to behold with reigning champions Juventus one point clear of Lazio at the top of the table.

The Bianconeri have won the Scudetto for the past eight years but this time there is a feeling Lazio are ready to push them all the way.

That the Aquile have beaten Juventus and Inter in Serie A this term underlines that their threat is a genuine one and they are inarguably Scudetto challengers, defying the SBOBET Serie A betting odds.

 

Juventus-Lazio is earmarked for Monday, July 20 – a potential end of season title showdown.

The longer-term is mapped out too with the summer transfer window for the 2020-21 season set to run from September 1 to October 5.

It is increasingly likely that each club and the individual player will have to renegotiate deals that are due to expire on June 30, whether they are loans or contracts, to avoid chaos in July and August.

Indeed, the first major deal has just been confirmed with French champions Paris Saint-Germain signing striker Mauro Icardi from Inter Milan.

The 27-year-old Argentina international joined PSG in September on a season-long loan with a buy-out option.

So, there you have it. A way forward.

Despite Giulini’s best intentions, it’s unlikely stadiums will be open to fans for the remainder of this season.

Although, on the flip side, coronavirus cases are on a sharp downward curve in Italy to such extent bosses are even considering opening grounds at a third of their normal capacity, with one in three seats occupied, to ensure social distancing rules can be obeyed.

With domestic seasons urged to finish by August 4 so that the Champions League and Europa League can be completed in August, the entire football calendar has been transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet with clubs slowly progressing step by step, protocol by protocol, hurdle by hurdle towards the season reopening, the overall picture is surely good news for the majority of football fans.

 

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SBOBET 08-Jun 2020 Monday 1:37 PM (233 days ago)            #14
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Five Matches You Just Can’t Miss in Serie A

Europe’s big leagues are on the way back and we have a feast of football to enjoy over the next two months, with Serie A throwing up exciting battles right through the league table.

In Germany and England the runaway leaders, FC Bayern and Liverpool have their leagues virtually sewn up, but in Spain, where Barca and Real Madrid prepare to do battle, and in Italy, the title races could well go down to the wire.

Juventus are in pole position but their lead over Lazio is a solitary point after head coach Simone Inzaghi has lead Le Aquile on an amazing run in search of a third Serie A title and a first since 2000. Meanwhile, further down the table, there are matters to be settled in terms of European qualification and league survival.

When the action restarts in two weeks time the Serie A fixtures will be coming thick and fast, and here at SBOBET we’ve picked five mouth-watering clashes from the first month.

 

Verona vs Napoli – Tuesday 23rd June

The opening round of fixtures, to be played on the 23rd and 24th June, throws up a couple of fascinating tussles at the top end of the table, and when Napoli head to Verona they could cement their position in the final guaranteed Europa League place. After a poor first half of the campaign, Gennaro Gattuso has steadied the ship and five wins from the last six have re-awakened Gli Azzurri’s campaign.

Verona have been the surprise package this season and stunned Juventus in February with a 2-1 win. But a defeat at home to Napoli would leave them seven points off the pace.

 

Atalanta vs Lazio – Weds 24th June

Inzaghi’s Lazio has a real test on its return to action, away to fourth placed Atalanta. The visitors have lost just two games all season, and those were early in the campaign before they embarked on a 21 match unbeaten run. They were the form team in Europe before the break but will the loss of momentum cost Lazio dearly?

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are in a Champions League spot and the Serie A 2020 betting odds suggest they’ll stay there. La Dea is in the quarter-finals of this season’s competition and will face PSG in their next game, having finished third in Serie A last season. While Lazio has the league’s hottest striker in Ciro Immobile, the hosts have plenty of firepower, with Josip Ilicic (15), Luis Muriel (13) and Duvan Zapata (11) scoring 39 goals between them.

 

 

AC Milan vs AS Roma – Sunday 28th June

A late winner courtesy of former Manchester United striker Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave Roma a win in a seven goal thriller away to Cagliari after a double from Nikola Kalinic had put the Romans in charge. They currently sit in fifth place, three points behind Atalanta and have designs on a Champions League place.

Meanwhile, AC Milan are struggling along in seventh place, with two wins and two draws from the last six games and they have been leapfrogged by Napoli who now have a three point lead. I Rossoneri needs to make a statement of intent here.

 

Torino vs Genoa – Thursday 16th July

A month before the break, Torino was in the hunt for Europe while Genoa looked doomed, but this is now a big relegation six-pointer. The Turin giants lost the last six while Genoa managed three wins from four and just one defeat in six, to sneak out of the bottom three.

A win would take Genoa above 15th placed Torino who will look to captain Andrea Belotti, who currently has nine goals, to fire them to safety.

 

Juventus vs Lazio – Monday 20th July

Ciro Immobile is currently leading the Serie A top scorer race with six goals ahead Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile will both lead their respective teams Juventus and Lazio

The battle of the league’s top two is just over a month away, and if both Juventus and Lazio manage to pick up where they left off, then the winner of this game will take the initiative. It’s Cristiano Ronaldo against Ciro Immobile, the two leaders in the race for the Capocannoniere, though the Lazio man has a six goal lead (27 to 21) and looks to pick up the award for the third time.

While Lazio have been sprinting up on the rails Juventus are holding them off, just, thanks to their magnificent home form, winning 12 and drawing one of their 13 home games, and they have Atalanta and Roma still to play at the Allianz Stadium. Whether the Old Lady will be quite as imposing in an empty ground remains to be seen, and home advantage may count for little as we have seen in the Bundesliga.

Lazio have had the better of Juventus this term, winning their home fixture 3-1, and of all the Serie A 2020 results due in over the next weeks and months, this is the big one!

 

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SBOBET 10-Jun 2020 Wednesday 2:05 PM (231 days ago)            #15
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Serie A: Billionaire Ronaldo, Recovering Dybala, Resolute Napoli

The return of Italian football is now just a few days away. This weekend will see the Coppa Italia semi-finals between Juventus and AC Milan and Inter and Napoli, while Serie A will restart its season the following week on June 20.

But even though the games haven’t started yet, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to make headlines. This is after the Juventus superstar reached another remarkable milestone that no other footballer has ever achieved.

Meanwhile, Juventus team-mate Paulo Dybala shared how his recovery from the coronavirus is going. Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli also gave updates on the futures of some of the club’s top stars, including Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly.

As always, SBOBET is here with all the big Serie A 2020 news to get you all caught up before the season restarts in a few weeks.

 

Ronaldo becomes first footballer to reach billionaire status

Cristiano Ronaldo is officially football’s first billionaire.

Forbes reports that the Portuguese superstar made $105 million before tax in the last year, which saw him ranked second on the list of highest-paid athletes behind tennis superstar Roger Federer. That was enough to bump his career earnings up over the $1 billion mark.

The 35-year-old Ronaldo becomes just the third athlete after golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather to reach the billion-dollar club during their career and is the first to do so while playing a team sport.

Although, Ronaldo’s chief rival, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, is expected to join that exclusive list of billionaire athletes as soon as next year.

Right now, Ronaldo is getting ready to return to action and help Juventus win their ninth straight Serie A title. The Serie A 2020 odds have the Old Lady as clear favourites as they are a point ahead of second-placed Lazio with 12 games left.

Ronaldo has had another stellar season with 21 goals in 22 games, second in the league behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile.

 

Paulo Dybala still not 100 per cent fit after coronavirus scare

Paulo Dybala is preparing to play a starring role for Juventus once Serie A resumes

Juventus’ Paulo Dybala reacts after missing a chance to score during a match

Paulo Dybala is similarly preparing to play a starring role for Juventus once the season restarts. However, the Argentine forward has admitted that he is still not quite back to full fitness since he tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I had coronavirus, but I feel much better now,” Dybala said during the Instagram Live transmission.

“I am still not quite at 100 per cent, but I’m pretty good. We’ve started training again and football is coming back, so soon we will be able to do what we love the most.”

Dybala was one of three Juventus players — Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matiudi the other two — who tested positive for COVID-19. It took him close to two months to fully recover from the virus.

Dybala has had a fine season for Juve, scoring seven league goals in 24 appearances. That includes his brilliant strike to seal Juventus’ 2-0 win over Inter in the Derby d’Italia, their last game before the coronavirus-induced break.

 

Napoli boss discusses stars’ futures

There has been much speculation this season surrounding Napoli. A couple of big-name players such as Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon are out of contract at the end of the season, while stars Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz have also been linked with big-money moves abroad.

Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli has recently come out and addressed the futures of those stars. Giuntoli says contract talks with Mertens have been progressing and expects the Belgian striker to sign a new contract. However, Callejon’s fate remains unclear.

“Things are moving forward with Mertens. There’s a will on both sides to continue together,” Giuntoli told Sky Sport. “We hope to formalise the renewal shortly.

“With Callejon, we’re waiting. He hasn’t decided what he wants to do with his future.”

Regarding the future of Koulibaly, Giuntoli has made it clear that they won’t sell their star defender at a reduced price despite the coronavirus pandemic.

As for Ruiz, Giuntoli points out that the Spanish midfielder still has a three-year deal with the club and will discuss a contract renewal next season.

Giuntoli also added that the club has been pleased with the job manager Gennaro Gattuso has done since coming in and hopes he will stay on to lead the team toward the future.

Gattuso is grieving the passing of his sister Francesca, who passed away at the age of 37 after an illness.

Gattuso took charge of Napoli in December after the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. The club has won nine of his 15 games in charge, with one draw and five losses.

He has a chance to land Napoli’s first piece of silverware in six years with the Coppa Italia. Napoli have a 1-0 lead over Inter heading into the second leg at home.

 

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SBOBET 15-Jun 2020 Monday 3:44 PM (226 days ago)            #16
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Serie A: Juventus are Favourites – But It’s Their Toughest Assignment Yet

Whenever you think of Serie A, of its illustrious history and pedigree, thoughts of the ‘old lady’ of Turin and the role she has played in the Italian football story are never too far away.

That is still the case as we move ever nearer to the league’s return.

First, of course, we have the matter of the Coppa Italia final in midweek where, after scraping past Milan, Juventus are looking to add to their record of 13 crowns in the 73rd edition of the competition.

Win that and the momentum will firmly be with them in pursuit of a league and cup double (and I’ve not even mentioned the Champions League yet).

Before Covid-19 halted football, Juve were on a tear with only three defeats in 2020, including a fine victory over Derby d’Italia rivals Inter Milan that maintained their narrow lead at the top of Serie A.

They have been so good, so unstoppable at times domestically, that they deserve all the credit they receive and now are in pursuit of a ninth successive Scudetto.

Who knows, perhaps there will be some fans back to see them in action before too long after the Ministry for Health in Italy said he hopes to have fans in Serie A stadiums by August and September, and won’t rule out July either as the pandemic eases.

So exactly what state are the Bianconeri in as Maurizio Sarri and his team return to league action and Serie A highlights?

It will be fascinating to see just how much influence Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to exert. Early reports suggest he has returned from Madeira in formidable form, and there is little doubt he will have benefitted greatly from the pause from a physical perspective.

Sarri has much to consider.

Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi and Daniele Rugani all tested positive during the stop before shaking off the coronavirus; Gonzalo Higuain and Giorgio Chiellini were hurt just a few days after returning to training, while Douglas Costa has again failed to feature regularly throughout the season due to various injuries.

Considering that the leaders have the oldest squad in the league, Sarri will need to be careful with managing the physical condition of his players, especially with a thriving Lazio hot on their heels and only one point off the pace.

The mentality will also be just as important as the end of the 2019/20 campaign is crammed into a six-week period.

With several players, including Higuain, Miralem Pjanic, Federico Bernardeschi and Adrien Rabiot linked with moves away this summer, management will need to ensure all those involved are firmly focused on the job in hand.

What’s more, there are now reports Juve could be willing to sell a player they only recruited last summer in Aaron Ramsey with suggestions the club is looking to cut the Welshman as a result of the financial ramifications of the coronavirus crisis.

Sarri is said to be unconvinced by the former Arsenal man who failed to make the matchday squad for the club’s first game back, that Milan Coppa Italia tie on Friday.

On the face of it, it appears the Welshman has done very little wrong to be one of the names earmarked to leave Juve this summer. A combination of injuries, a lack of game time owing to competition in midfield, an unconvinced manager and the financial constraints of an unprecedented situation have all served to damage Ramsey’s chances of success in Italy.

Serie A: Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri is unimpressed with Aaron Ramsey

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey in action with AS Roma’s Jordan Veretout

Regardless of the future of Ramsey and other players though – and how such speculation could affect the mood inside the camp – what Juventus have shown already this term is an ability to handle unusual circumstances.

Take, for example, their win over Inter Milan in early March – a result which all but ended Inter’s title hopes.

Yes, it can be natural for players to lose focus and forget what is at stake when you play after a long pause in an empty stadium in the middle of June.

But remember, Juventus did just that in the Derby d’Italia and put in arguably one of their best displays during their 2-0 success in an empty Allianz Stadium.

Never mind that they did barely enough to see off 10-man Milan on away goals in the Coppa Italia semi-final, they did what they needed to and are now just 90 minutes away from claiming the silverware which Lazio won 13 months ago.

The SBOBET Serie A betting odds still make them favourites to retain the Scudetto.

If they do so, it will arguably be their toughest achievement overcome to date.

 

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SBOBET 25-Jun 2020 Thursday 6:57 PM (216 days ago)            #17
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Serie A: Juventus Must Rebound After Cup Failure

Bologna vs Juventus

Juventus missed out on their chance to reclaim the Coppa Italia as they suffered a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to Napoli in the final.

But the Old Lady must now put that disappointment behind them as they restart their quest to defend their Serie A title.

Juve are still on top of the table, one point ahead of title challengers Lazio, and they will look to extend that lead with their visit to Bologna.

The Rossoblù are comfortably in midtable and can play carefree football, which could make them dangerous opponents for the champions.

 

Talking Points

Bologna in a bad run of form

Bologna went into the break in play on the back of three straight games without a win. They lost 3-0 to Genoa, which is easily their heaviest home defeat of the season.

Serie A: Can Bologna win against Juventus in front of their home supporters

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic acknowledges the fans before their match against Lazio

They then needed a stoppage-time equaliser from Rodrigo Palacio to draw 1-1 against Udinese at home. They also lost 2-0 away to Lazio, although the Serie A 2020 odds were heavily against them in that match.

But despite this dip in form, they still rewarded manager Sinisa Mihajlovic — who has been battling leukemia since last year — with a new contract.

Bologna will be without regular starting centre-back Mattia Bani, as well as defensive midfielder Jerdy Schoten and back-up forward Federico Santander due to suspension.

Bani’s absence at the back will be a blow to Bologna’s subpar defence, which has conceded 42 goals this season and has failed to keep a single clean sheet in the league since the fifth game of the season September.

But on the bright side, all of Bologna’s key attackers will be well-rested and ready to go at a Juve side that hasn’t looked all too impressive since returning to action.

Forwards Riccardo Orsolini (seven goals, four assists) and Rodrigo Palacio (six goals, three assists) have had strong seasons for Bologna.

Meanwhile, Musa Barrow has made an immediate impact since arriving from Atalanta. The 21-year-old has three goals and an assist in seven appearances for Bologna. He scored two of those goals in Bologna’s 3-2 win over Roma, which is without a doubt one of their best Serie A 2020 results.

 

Juventus unconvincing since restart

Juventus have not looked all too impressive in their two games back since the break. They just about squeezed past a 10-man AC Milan side in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals, then lost to Napoli in the final on penalties.

Cristiano Ronaldo, in particular, has not played up to his usual high standards. He missed a penalty against Milan and was unable to make much of an impact in the final. Had it not been for the heroics of 42-year-old Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus might not have even made it to penalties.

 

 

Juve have failed to score in both of their matches thus far, the first time they’ve gone goalless in back-to-back games all season. But even before the pause in play, Juventus weren’t looking all that dominant, especially away from home.

They also failed to score in their 1-0 loss to Lyon in the away leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie. They also suffered back-to-back losses to Napoli and Verona in the league. Although, they did beat rivals Inter 2-0 in the Derby d’Italia.

However, it still seems reasonable to expect a strong response from the champions following their cup final defeat.

 

History

Juventus have absolutely dominated their head-to-head matchups with Bologna over the years. The two sides have played each other 43 times since 1996, with Juve winning 32 of them to Bologna’s two.

Bologna’s last league win over Juve came all the way back in 2011. In the 15 games since, Juventus have won 12 of them, including seven in a row.

Juventus beat Bologna 2-1 in their first meeting this season. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring, and Miralem Pjanic scored the winner in the second half after Bologna equalised through Danilo.

 

Betting Tip

??
Bologna vs Juventus 1X2 Juventus @ 1.60
June 23, 03:45 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds still have Juventus priced as heavy 1.60 favourites over Bologna, who are 5.40 to score a shock home win over the champions. Meanwhile, a draw is 3.90.

It’s hard to imagine Juventus failing to win third game in a row, especially after a disappointing performance against Napoli. Ronaldo will especially be raring to find the back of the net one again after failing to do so in each of their first two games back.

The champions should have too much for Bologna and extend their dominance over them at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

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?? = €20 (HIGHLY CONFIDENT) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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SBOBET 25-Jun 2020 Thursday 6:59 PM (216 days ago)            #18
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Serie A: Atalanta Set to Test Lazio’s Title Credentials

Atalanta vs Lazio

Lazio are set to resume their quest to reclaim the Serie A title for the first time in 20 years. The Biancocelesti are four points back of Juventus after the champions’ 2-0 win over Bologna and can’t afford to lose much more ground on the leaders.

But their first game back will be a major test of their championship credentials as they pay a visit to dangerous Atalanta.

Atalanta and their amazing attack picked up right there whey they left off as they smashed Sassuolo 4-1 over the weekend. And now, they have their sights set on dealing a huge blow to Lazio’s Scudetto hopes.

 

Talking Points

Atalanta still can’t stop scoring

Atalanta were on a brilliant run of form before the break in play. They had gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions (six wins, one draw) and made it to the Champions League quarter-finals after thrashing Valencia 8-4 on aggregate.

But the long break didn’t halt their momentum one bit as they smashed four goals in their first game back against Sassuolo. Duvan Zapata led the charge with a brace, pushing his season tally to 13 goals in just 16 Serie A appearances.

Duvan Zapata has proved his outstanding aerial abilities many times in Serie A

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata celebrates after scoring his side’s fourth goal against Sassuolo

Zapata has now scored five goals in his last two league outings; he recorded a hat-trick in Atalanta’s last Serie A match before the suspension, which was a 7-2 demolition of Lecce.

Atalanta have so many attacking weapons that they still destroyed Sassuolo despite missing top scorer Josip Ilicic (15 goals in 21 Serie A appearances) due to an ankle injury.

Ilicic had been in brilliant form, scoring eight goals his last six league games. He also scored five of the team’s eight goals in their Champions League tie against Valencia, including all four in their 4-3 second-leg win.

It remains to be seen whether Ilicic will be able to return against Lazio, but the latest Serie A 2020 updates indicate that his condition has improved and that he has a chance to play.

 

Lazio’s defence to be put to the test

Lazio’s dreams of winning their first Scudetto since 2000 are still very much alive. They find themselves in second place thanks to a remarkable stretch which has seen them go undefeated in their last 21 Serie A matches (17 wins, four draws) and win 16 of the last 18.

Captain Ciro Immobile has played a major part in Lazio winning all of those games. The Lazio skipper is having the best season of his career. He leads the league with 27 goals and has also added seven assists.

But Lazio’s success has been a complete team effort. Luis Alberto, who leads Serie A with 12 assists, Joaquin Correa, Felipe Caicedo, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have supported Immobile well in attack.

Meanwhile, Lazio’s amazing defence also deserves a lot of credit. Despite not having any household names at the back, Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi have still been able to craft the best defence in the league, which has conceded just 23 goals this season.

That Lazio backline is set to face its toughest away test to date with an Atalanta attack that has already shown it can cause the Lazio defence many problems. Inzaghi will have to make some key adjustments to his defence to prevent a similar outcome.

 

History

Lazio and Atalanta have had quite a competitive head-to-head history in recent years. Lazio hold the slight edge in wins (11-9) over Atalanta, with five draws.

Although, Atalanta are undefeated in their last five meetings against Lazio, with two wins and three draws.

Their first matchup this season was one of the most remarkable games of the 2020 campaign. Atalanta had gone up 3-0 in the first half at the Stadio Olimpico.

But Lazio staged a miraculous comeback in the second half. Immobile and Correa scored twice in quick succession, then Immobile equalised from the penalty spot in stoppage time as Lazio somehow rescued a point.

 

Betting Tip

??
Atalanta vs Lazio 1X2 Draw @ 3.65
June 25, 03:45 (GMT+8)

This match is really tough to call. SBOBET odds actually have Atalanta as slight favourites at 2.19, with Lazio priced at 2.96. A draw is 3.65.

Both clubs have been in outstanding form, but while Atalanta have shown they are still firing on all cylinders, Lazio are more of a mystery.

Clearly, Lazio have more to lose in this match as defeat would be a major blow to their Serie A 2020 odds of winning the title. That’s why I foresee Inzaghi to be more cautious with his gameplan to avoid Atalanta’s dangerous attack from doing damage.

It’s unlikely to be quite as exciting as their first meeting, but with the comparable quality of both sides, I still expect a similar result: a stalemate.

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SBOBET 25-Jun 2020 Thursday 7:01 PM (216 days ago)            #19
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Serie A: Atalanta Send High-Flying Lazio Crashing Down to Earth

Atalanta 3-2 Lazio

Lazio’s Serie A title hopes were dealt with a heavy blow as they lost in a high-scoring affair against Atalanta last Wednesday night at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

The Simone Inzaghi-managed squad were initially holding a 2-0 lead after scoring two quick goals in the match’s first 11 minutes. However, the home team dug deep and mounted a furious comeback to stun their visitors.

The trio of Robin Gosens, Ruslan Malinovskiy, and Jose Palomino stepped up big time by providing the much needed goals to complete the rally on a rare occasion that their usual suspects were not on target.

The result widened the gap between Juventus and Lazio in the Serie A standings, which favours the former in our Serie A 2020 odds for the championship. As of this writing, the defending champions have 66 points while I Biancocelesti sit at the second spot with 62 points.

Atalanta, on the other hand, maintained their grip at the solo fourth spot with 54 points and they can possibly overtake Inter Milan at the third spot should they continue their lethal scoring ways.

It was a mouthwatering clash to witness between these two top teams that may have given our football fans a jolt of excitement since the league’s restart.

So without further ado, let us recap last night’s package of La Liga 2020 highlights here at SBOBET.

 

Highlights of the game

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini looks worried during a Serie A match

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini reacts on the sidelines during a Serie A match against Lazio

Prior to this match, my colleague pointed out that this might be a goal-fest and it turned out to be true since defence was optional in this match.

After all, these two teams lead the league in scoring this season – with Atalanta punching in 77 and Lazio finding the back of the net 62 times.

It was Lazio’s first game back since late February, and they were coming off back-to-back high scoring wins against Genoa and Bologna before the mandated break.

Whereas for Atalanta, they defeated Valencia, 4-3, in their latest Champions League tiff and they dominated Sassuolo by scoring four goals too.

The Biancocelesti landed the first punch in this heavyweight clash when they launched a counterattack within the first five minutes.

Joaquin Correa tried to volley the ball over to a cutting Jony, but his pass was picked off by Marten de Roon, whose deflection unfortunately bounced the ball to the back of the net.

And then six minutes later, the Biancocelesti scored their second goal of the evening when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic picked up a loose ball just outside the penalty box and fired a long-range strike to put themselves up 2-0.

Midway into the first half, Atalanta would have their first real chance when Duvan Zapata was on the receiving end of a lovely pass from Papu Gomez. However, his short shot went too wide past the left post.

Robin Gosens would put Atalanta in the scoring column when he scored via a header off of a wonderful cross by Hans Hateboer just before halftime at the 38th minute.

And then come the second half, the floodgates have opened for the home team.

In the 66th minute, Ruslan Malinovskiy scored his sixth goal of the year by launching an emphatic equaliser from outside the box after a botched corner kick.

To complete the comeback, Jose Palomino scored the final goal in the 80th minute with a header coming from a set-piece from Alejandro Gomez as Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha misjudged the flight of the ball.

Alejandro Gomez would try to add another goal for good measure in the last few minutes when he received a through ball from Duvan Zapata. However, Thomas Strakosha was there to block the shot away.

 

Key statistics

With the win, Atalanta dealt Lazio their first league loss since September 25, 2019 – ending their 21-match unbeaten run.

Atalanta controlled 59-per cent of the possession while having 21 total shots compared to Lazio’s eight.

Lazio never had a single corner attempt in this game while Atalanta had 11.

Despite having not scored in this game, Ciro Immobile remains on top of the league in terms of goals scored this term – with 27 goals and seven assists as of this writing.

 

What’s next?

Atalanta head on over to the Dacia Arena where they’ll face Udinese on Monday and then they will face another top club in Napoli four days later at home.

Lazio will try to regroup against the visiting Fiorentina on Sunday before flying over to the Olimpico di Torino to visit the 13th-seeded Torino team.

 

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SBOBET 29-Jun 2020 Monday 8:15 PM (212 days ago)            #20
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Serie A: Parma Face a Stern Test in Inter Milan

Parma vs Inter Milan

An exciting match awaits us here in Serie A as Inter Milan visit Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini this upcoming Monday.

The Nerazzurri continue their quest for a championship and they are trying to keep up with league leaders in Lazio and Juventus as they have fallen to third place in the standings with 58 points – trailing by four points behind Lazio and eight points behind Juventus.

Inter Milan continue their solid run since the league’s restart, gathering one win and one draw in their first two matches, although it feels like they should’ve won two straight already.

Antonio Conte’s men missed out on an opportunity to win against Sassuolo last night at home and they will be eager to get back on their feet with a victory on the road.

Parma, on the other hand, have been on a fine run recently as well. After coming from behind to draw level against Torino in their first match, the Gialloblu crushed Genoa on the road last Wednesday.

They are sitting on the eighth spot right now with 39 points, exceeding their expectations for this season. So it will be interesting on how they’ll fare against a top-tier team this time around.

Talking Points

Parma beaming with confidence

When I covered Parma during the first matchday of the 2019/20 season, I was curious to see on whether their recent promotion to top-flight is no fluke.

Roberto D’Aversa retooled his squad during the offseason by bringing in the likes of Hermani, Yann Karamoh, Dejan Kulusevski, and Gaston Brugman.

He has done a great job in managing Parma since his arrival in 2016 by leading them to new heights year after year and by laying a viable foundation for the team’s future.

Parma have defied the odds with their current place at the table. Initially, they were just aiming to maintain their top-flight status. However, they now have a puncher’s chance of getting an Europa League spot.

Their summer signings have been instrumental to their campaign, but the key factor behind it is the emergence of Atalanta loanee Andreas Cornelius – who leads them in scoring with 11 goals and two assists so far.

Cornelius was talismanic against Genoa as he provided fans with a ton of Serie A 2020 highlights here in SBOBET. The 27-year-old striker just became the third player in league history to score hat-tricks in both games against the same opponents.

The Danish forward is also getting some help from Dejan Kulusevski and Gervinho who have recorded 11 goals and 11 assists for this campaign.

Although they haven’t been one of the top scoring sides in Serie A, they make up for it with their decent defence having only conceded 33 goals as of this writing.

Time and time again, Roberto D’Aversa is proving that he is the right man for the job in Parma, and his boys are definitely coming in confident for this weekend’s match.

Romelu Lukaku has now scored 18 Serie A goals this season, his second-highest scoring campaign in his career to date

Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal

Inter Milan missing a key piece at the back

Inter Milan remain a formidable side in Serie A, but they would need to string together a couple more wins in order to stay afloat within their expectations.

They are in the lighter part of their schedule as of the moment, so the opportunity to improve their standing is theirs for the taking.

Antonio Conte’s men took care of business in their restart fixture against Sampdoria. However, they let their game against Sassuolo get away from their grasp, ending in a high-scoring draw.

One of their leaders at the back in Martin Skriniar has been meted a three-match ban due to his misbehaviour in the said game.

His absence will be sorely missed come this Monday, so it’s expected that Stefan de Vrij and Diego Godin will try to fill in the void.

History

Parma and Inter Milan have already faced off 47 times prior to this fixture, with the former winning in 15, the latter winning in 19 along with 13 draws.

The Nerazzurri have been superb against the Gialloblu on the road, winning 13 times in their 23 matches total at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

In their most recent matchup together, Parma and Inter Milan went back and forth notching four goals total – with Romelu Lukaku delivering the final blow in the second half.

Betting Tip

??
Parma vs Inter Milan Inter Milan Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.06
June 29, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Our latest Serie A 2020 odds point for Inter Milan to cruise into victory. They are priced at 1.58, while Parma are at 5.80 and a draw is at 3.85 in the 1×2 market.

Despite Parma’s hot stretch lately, Inter Milan remain head and shoulders above them in terms of overall quality – especially in the attacking department.

However, if Parma can make Inter Milan uncomfortable in key stretches in this game, this match might be closer than expected.

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SBOBET 29-Jun 2020 Monday 8:20 PM (212 days ago)            #21
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Serie A: Two Giants Jockey for Euro Posts!

AC Milan vs AS Roma

Named as one of the five matches remaining in the 2019/20 Serie A season that you can’t afford to miss, my job is to tell you why!

Well, for a start, Milan need to do better than in their last contest against a major rival, so will surely attack.

In fact, if they lose this one then they can all but kiss goodbye to European football next term.

Roma are far more comfortable but their quest for Europe looks more like the Europa League than the Champions League they have become accustomed to in recent seasons unless they can claw back a sixth point deficit on high-flying Atalanta.

The San Siro would be a good place to start.

So, there you have it – two reasons why this will be worth watching and why a compelling encounter awaits.

Talking Points

Milan marked their return to football with a convincing win over lowly Lecce this week but if they are to qualify for Europe next season – after their Coppa Italia hopes were narrowly ended–should be setting their sights on sixth placed Napoli, rather than Roma.

On saying that, finishing seventh would be enough for Europa League football next term thanks to Napoli’s Coppa Italia triumph last week.

Since replacing Marco Giampaolo at the helm in October, there have been signs of improvement for Milan under Stefano Pioli.

Despite that, there is increased speculation Pioli will be replaced by Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

That is because while they have only lost one of their last seven matches, they have only won two out of their last eight at home.

As well as losing to Genoa in their most recent home league outing, Milan have also dropped points to Hellas Verona, Sampdoria, Sassuolo, Napoli and Lazio at San Siro since early November.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still out of action, but Ante Rebic is more than comfortable filling in as a more mobile centre-forward, supported by Samu Castillejo, HakanCalhanoglu and Giacomo Bonaventura.

Simon Kjaer suffered a knee injury against Lecce but the scans showed no damage to the ligament and the 31year-old, initially ruled out for this clash against the Giallorossi, may yet make it. If not, Matteo Gabbia is likely to step in.

For Paulo Fonseca’s men, the main threat will be frontman Edin Dzeko who, according to renowned Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport this week, will be offered a new contract until June 2023.

Only one year has passed since the Bosnian international seemed set for a move to Inter, but the deal fell through due to economic complications.

In recent weeks, the Nerazzurri had reportedly returned for the striker, who has contributed 14 goals and six assists in his 26 Serie A games this term.

But the 34-year-old has taken over the captaincy at the Olimpico and the report claims he will be offered to extend his current deal with a further year in the Eternal City.

Edin Dzeko's brace enough to help Roma beat Sampdoria 2-1 in Serie A

Edin Dzeko became Roma’s joint 5th top scorer of all time with 104 goals

Dzeko, who has scored four goals against Milan in Serie A (three of which have come at San Siro),is currently on 104 goals, 34 behind the club’s former hero Roberto Pruzzowho has claimed Dzeko can catch his tally of 138 goals in the Giallorossi shirt, second only to Francesco Totti.

Roma fought back to beat Sampdoria 2-1 in their first game since March, thanks to a brace of Dzeko volleys. This weekend, Fonseca should rotate his squad, with Gianluca Mancini returning from injury, Cengiz Under and Lorenzo Pellegrini stepping in for Carles Perez and Javier Pastore.

So, with both sides needing the points, Serie A highlights are very likely.

History

Milan have traditionally had the upper hand in this heavyweight battle.

They have won 79 of their encounters, Roma have enjoyed 48 victories and there have been a further 54 draws.

Roma beat Milan 2-1 earlier this season in Rome when Dzeko and NicoloZaniolo cancelled out Theo Hernandez’s equaliser.

Milan won this fixture last term though by the same scoreline when Patrick Cutrone scored a last minute winner.

That is only one of two victories Milan have managed over Roma in their last 15 games, dating back to 2012.

Betting Tip

??
AC Milan vs AS Roma Over 2.75 goals @ 2.03
June 28, 23:15 (GMT+8)

Legendary Italian boss Fabio Capello has claimed the nine-point gap between Roma and Milan doesn’t represent the difference in quality and he’s probably right.

That is why I am expecting a close encounter.

The one thing neither side wants is a draw which you can back 1X2 @ 3.30 with SBOBET’s Serie A betting odds, compared to Milan @ 2.68 and Roma @ 2.53.

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SBOBET 29-Jun 2020 Monday 8:22 PM (212 days ago)            #22
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Serie A: Milan Make Their Mark

AC Milan 2-0 AS Roma

It was billed as a Serie A clash both sides needed to win, and in the end, the side that needed the points the most, the one that showed the most desire and hunger when it mattered, won the day.

They left it fairly late.

Until the final 16 minutes, in fact, as Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu provided two Serie A 2020 highlights for Milan from the penalty spot as they moved up to seventh spot as a result.

While Milan appear to be a work in progress, Roma, who remain fifth, seem to be going backwards and unlikely to qualify for the Champions League – a competition of which they reached the semi-finals only two seasons ago.

Highlights of the game

There was a mixed feeling before kick-off about which Milan we would see: The side which had lost only one of its last seven matches, or the outfit which had won just twice out of its last eight at home?

Indeed, as well as losing to Genoa in its most recent home game, Milan had dropped points to Hellas Verona, Sampdoria, Sassuolo, Napoli and Lazio at San Siro since early November, as they watched city rivals Inter Milan jump well ahead of them in the standings.

So, the joy amongst the players and staff after they secured their first win of the season against a team in the top six was tangible.

The crucial moments, when they arrived, were arguably of Roma’s own making.

Davide Zappacosta gave the ball away to Rebic and that caused panic.

Franck Kessie saw his acrobatic volley parried away by Antonio Mirante. Rebic then hit the rebound off the post before the Croatian managed to turn in the rebound from close range.

Then another defensive error followed.

Theo Hernandez burst into the penalty box and was clipped by on-loan Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. Calhanoglu duly converted the resultant penalty, blasting the ball into the roof of the net.

Until that point, the match had been in the balance.

The Serie A clash between Milan and Roma features a touching tribute to COVID-19 victims

Jerseys are placed in the central stand of the San Siro Stadium to pay tribute to the victims of COVID-19

Following a minute’s silence before kick-off for former Milan and Roma striker Pierino Prati (who passed away last week), in addition to a touching tribute to the victims of Covid-19, Roma started brightly.

Another ex-Man Utd man, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, pulled the ball back for to Justin Kluivert, whose shot was fingertipped away to safety by Gianluigi Donnarumma – described before kick-off as the best goalkeeper in the world by the legendary Paolo Maldini.

Shortly after that, the in-form Edin Dzeko failed to keep a free header on target from a Kluivert delivery.

It took a while for Milan to create a chance but when it came – midway through the first half – Giacomo Bonaventura could only blast the ball over the bar after a Rebic flick.

The Croatian also put Mirante under immense pressure on a back-pass, but the veteran goalkeeper managed to dribble his way out of trouble.

It was then Calhanoglu’s turn to miss a free header before the same player tested Mirante with a free-kick.

Good defending from Smalling, throwing himself in the path of a strike from Alexis Saelemaekers – linked this week with a permanent move to the club – and another important save from Mirante to deny Calhanoglu kept the game goalless.

The visiting goalkeeper made an even better save to keep out a scuffed Lucas Paqueta effort.

Then came the defensive aberrations and Milan took full advantage. For now, at least, they are up to seventh.

Key statistics

Milan have won two consecutive top-flight home games against Roma for the first time since 2004, under Carlo Ancelotti.

This match lifted Milan to minus one goal difference and 42 points. They have picked up 21 points in 11 matches in Serie A in 2020, as many as they gained in their first 17 games before the turn of the year.

With 10 matches remaining between now and August 2, if they stay in seventh spot they will play Europa League football next term after Napoli’s Coppa Italia triumph last week.

What’s next?

The SBOBET Serie A 2020 betting odds will continue to change from day to day and no wonder with such a hectic schedule.

That schedule continues and Milan now face two away games within a week.

Relegation scrappers SPAL welcome them on Wednesday night (July 1) before they travel to the Stadio Olimpico to take on title challengers Lazio at the weekend.

Roma host Udinese on Thursday evening (July 2) and visit Napoli – the side directly below them in the table – next Sunday night.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 4:36 PM (197 days ago)            #23
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Serie A: High-Scoring Atalanta to Deal With Streaking Napoli

Atalanta vs Napoli

Two teams who are in superb form offer a mouthwatering clash for this upcoming Serie A matchday, as Atalanta get to host Napoli at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia this Friday night.

The Partenopei and the Orobici have set their sights in trying to secure a Champions League spot, and it is well within their reach given their current positions at the Italian top-flight standings.

Atalanta and Napoli are in the top six of the Serie A table – with the former occupying the fourth spot with 57 points while the latter is at sixth with 45 points.

But despite the points differential between these two, a lot is on the line depending on this Friday night’s results.

A win here by Atalanta can give them a puncher’s chance of entering the top three while a victory by Napoli will get them to draw level against the fifth-seeded AS Roma assuming the latter will lose against Udinese.

So we can expect for these two teams to go all out as their matchups are filled with fireworks that are sure to entertain football fans worldwide.

Without further ado, here is the match preview from SBOBET.

Talking Points

Atalanta’s midfield is underrated

With the way Gian Piero Gasperini’s side is playing right now, it’s hard to see anyone stopping them anytime soon.

The Orobici continue to fly high with their lethal scoring ways – having notched 10 goals already since the restart and they remain on top of the league with goals scored at 80 already.

Not only do they score in bunches, but they also win in big-time games too. Before winning against Udinese just last night, the Orobici put a massive dent to Lazio’s title hopes with a statement win.

Despite giving up two goals in the first 15 minutes of the match, Atalanta dug deep and used a strong second half in order to mount the comeback.

Robin Gosens scored their first at the 38th minute and then Ruslan Malinovskiy and Jose Luis Palomino added their own for good measure.

Their multitude of goal scorers has been given a lot of credit this season, but their strong play in the midfield sometimes gets overlooked.

A huge part of their success is because of Remo Freuler’s impact there. The 28-year-old Swiss international’s fitness levels are exceptional and his incisive passes often pave the way for Atalanta to attack.

Marten de Roon also deserves some credit with his versatility in the middle. The Dutch international is good at breaking up opponents’ passes while providing attacking support at the same time.

These two will be the key players to look out for if you’re Napoli along with their strikers and forwards.

Napoli continue to flourish under Gennaro Gattuso

Napoli have been running like a well-oiled machine as they are unbeaten in their last five matches in Serie A.

Since the restart, the Partenopei have scored impressive wins over Verona and S.P.A.L. by recording five goals and conceding only one.

Not only that, but they were also able to bring home their first silverware in over six years when they defeated Juventus in the Coppa Italia finals.

These recent Serie A 2020 results should be credited to team boss Gennaro Gattuso, who has done an exemplary job since taking over the club after Carlo Ancelotti left last December.

Serie A: Can Dries Mertens help Napoli to win against Atalanta?

Belgian striker Dries Mertens in action for Napoli against Juventus

Under Gattuso, Napoli’s forward in Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon, Arkadiusz Milik, and Hirving Lozano have been given the freedom to attack which has unlocked a whole new dynamic for the team.

Although they have only scored 46 goals so far this term, one can’t simply underestimate their overall quality as they have the capability to flip the switch at any time.

History

Atalanta and Napoli have faced each other in 30 matches so far – with the former winning in nine games while the latter has won in 12 along with nine draws.

In the last time these two locked horns in their reverse fixture, it ended in a 2-2 draw – marking it the first time that there wasn’t any winner in their last 10 encounters.

These two teams went back and forth at the time as Nikola Maksimovic, Arkadiusz Milik, Remo Freuler, and Josip Ilicic have supplied the goals.

Four of their last five matches have ended in wins for the visiting side, so homecourt advantage is not a thing to be considered when placing your wagers.

Betting Tip

??
Atalanta vs Napoli Atalanta Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 1.87
July 03, 01:30 (GMT+8)

The Serie A 2020 odds have Atalanta as the slight favourites with their priced pegged at 2.13, while Napoli are priced at 3.20 and odds for a draw are at 3.45 in the 1X2 market.

Initially, I had a hard time to pick a winner between these two, but it is hard to overlook Atalanta and their lethal scoring ways more than anything.

Although Napoli has yet to be beaten in quite a while, their defence will be put to the test against the high-flying Orobici who have took the Italian top-flight by storm.

Nonetheless, this game should be marked on everyone’s calendars and I can’t wait for these two teams to go at it this weekend.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 4:43 PM (197 days ago)            #24
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Juventus vs Torino

Italian league leaders Juventus host neighbours Torino on Saturday afternoon… but there will be no tea party in Turin.

Maurizio Sarri’s Bianconeri are on target for a ninth successive Scudetto and are looking for a fourth consecutive victory, and they will have no sympathy for local rivals Torino, who still have work to do to guarantee their place in Serie A for the 2020/21 season.

It looks like a mismatch between two teams separated by a gulf in class, and even the derby day atmosphere won’t help Torino as they face the champions behind closed doors.

Talking Points

Three big weeks for Old Lady

Atalanta’s win over Lazio last week gave the latest Serie A 2020 betting odds a sharp shove in the direction of Juventus, and despite Simone Inzaghi’s chasers winning their last two, against Fiorentina and Torino, the Old Lady goes into the weekend with a healthy four point lead.

Lazio has a tough home game against Milan this weekend and anything other than a win could hand the title to Juve. I don’t expect the hosts to falter so, equally, Juventus need to keep the pressure on against Torino. Over the next three weeks I Bianconeri face three top teams, Milan, fourth placed Atalanta and then Lazio. If they navigate that run, the Scudetto will be in the bag.

Sarri’s men returned from lockdown with a disappointing penalty shootout loss to Napoli in the Coppa Italia final, but have responded well with three victories in the league, against Bologna, Lecce and recently against Genoa where Cristiano Ronaldo scored a long distance pile driver in a 3-1 win, his 24th league goal of the season.

The Old Lady still has eyes on a European crown with a second leg Round of 16 tie against Lyon to navigate, but in the meantime Sarri will continue to shuffle his pack in the league, with likely return to action of Aaran Ramsay and Blaise Matuidi.

Il Toro inching to safety

While Juventus heads towards another league title, Torino’s new boss Moreno Longo has plenty of work to do to ensure his side stays in the top flight. They are still not out of the woods, six points clear of the bottom three but having played a game more than most of their rivals; and the Torino fans will be watching the Serie A 2020 updates from around Italy with some trepidation as 18th placed Lecce has a winnable game against Sassuolo this weekend.

Can Torino sway the Serie A odds when they face match favourites Juventus?

Torino captain Andrea Belotti celebrates after converting a penalty against Lazio

In Andrea Belotti Torino have a natural leader; he’s in Serie A’s top ten goal scorers list this season with 12, and his goals should see Il Toro ultimately safe.

He scored an early spot kick to give his side a 1-0 lead over Lazio but they eventually lost 1-2, though pushing the second placed side so close should give the derby underdogs some confidence.

Longo was drafted in to replace the sacked Walter Mazzarri in February but he picked up a team on a dreadful run and he has struggled to turn it around. His side has now lost eight in ten league games, though they returned to action with four points from a draw with Parma and a 1-0 win against Udinese, but back-to-back defeats have left Il Toro in jeopardy.

I don’t hold out much hope of Torino avoiding a third consecutive loss.

History

This derby has been completely one-sided in recent years; Juventus have won 23 of the 33 meetings since 1993, with seven draws and just three victories for Torino and I Bianconeri have won nine of their last 11 matches against their neighbours. But there was a 1-1 draw here last season and only a late equaliser by Cristiano Ronaldo denied Torino a first away derby win in 24 years.

But Juve’s home record this season of 13 wins, one draw and no defeats, alongside Torino’s six away defeats on the run leads us to one conclusion.

Betting Tip

??
Juventus vs Torino Juventus Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 2.00
July 4, 23:15 (GMT+8)

Our latest SBOBET odds predict a home victory. No surprise there. I Bianconeri is at 1.30 to win, with the draw at 5.20 and the Torino win at 8.00.

And Juventus don’t tend to scrape through matches, winning six of the last seven by two goals or more, so that’s where I’m heading.

The most likely score line is 2-0 at odds of 5.40, but if you fancy a shock result and a repeat of Torino’s efforts last season at this venue…then 1-1 is at 9.60.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 4:49 PM (197 days ago)            #25
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Serie A: Atalanta Blast Napoli to Stay Within Striking Distance of Third Spot

Atalanta 2-0 Napoli

Atalanta continue their high-scoring and winning ways here in Serie A, as they defeated Napoli, 2-0, at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia Stadium last Thursday night.

The underrated midfield duo of Mario Pasalic and Robin Gosens got the job done for the home team as they fired two quick goals in just within the first ten minutes of the second half.

This latest victory is Atalanta’s seventh straight win in the Italian top-flight. They have solidified their hold at a Champions League spot and they have inched closer to Inter Milan, despite the latter dominating Brescia, 6-0, last Wednesday.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men now have 60 points – only trailing by four points against the third placers in Inter Milan.

The win also put a halt to Napoli’s good run in form, snapping their five-game winning streak. Gennaro Gattuso’s side remain in sixth place with 45 points and their Serie A 2020 odds for a Champions League spot looks bleak as of the moment.

This match was unlike before where both teams have scored goals in bunches. But overall, it was fascinating to see these two in-form teams go at it last night.

As always, SBOBET is here to recap last’s night package of Serie A 2020 highlights.

Highlights of the game

Upon hearing that these two clubs will meet up, I was expecting for goals to come in bunches in this match.

But instead, Atalanta and Napoli were involved in a defencive slug fest where they struggled to score particularly in the the first half, although there were some viable chances.

Napoli struck first when they had a great opportunity as Fabian Ruiz launched a cross from the right flank into the penalty area. However, Kalidou Koulibaly’s header attempt missed the mark on the goalpost.

On the other hand for Atalanta, they had their real first chance when Papu Gomez rifled a belter of an attempt far from inside the penalty area, but the ball didn’t get past the fast hands of David Ospina.

Papu Gomez would try his luck once more via a free kick but David Ospina narrowly saved the ball in favour of Napoli. However, David Ospina’s night would be cut short as he had to be replaced by Alex Meret with the wound that he sustained above his eye.

Fast forward to the second half, Atalanta were the more persistent team and it helped when they made the most of their possessions.

Gian Piero Gasperini is thrilled after Atalanta beat Napoli in Serie A

Gian Piero Gasperini reacts during a Serie A match

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men would finally break through in the 47th minute when Papu Gomez’s cross would find an open Mario Pasalic to finally head in their first goal of the match.

Atalanta doubled their lead after eight minutes when they pushed for a counterattack. They were passing the ball fast and it found its way to Robin Gosens to finish with a diagonal strike into the bottom right post.

Fabian Ruiz would try to score one for Napoli with a counterattack of their own. However, his long range strike went too wide from the bottom left side.

Kalidou Koulibaly, who is expected to leave Napoli this summer, would have one more chance at a goal when he received a volley from Nikola Maksimovic. But his header was just off target, right over the crossbar.

Midfielder Piotr Zielinski came up with a shot on target in the late game after when he was wide open near inside the box. However, Pierluigi Gollini was there to block the shot.

The game could have ended with a 2-1 tally if it weren’t for a late ruling with the help of the VAR. Arkadiusz Milik punched in a goal late but it was ruled out due to him being in an offside position.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

SERIE A

Key statistics

Surprisingly, Napoli have had more attempts compared to Atalanta in this one. They’ve fired away 14 shots with six of them on target.

Robin Gosens continue to be a huge presence in the middle for Atalanta – having scored in two of their last three matches.

Alejandro Gomez has been an underrated playmaker for the Orobici as well, as he has dished out 17 assists already this term.

Napoli were held scoreless for the first time since their January match against Fiorentina.

What’s next?

Atalanta will visit Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena on Monday before hosting Sampdoria three days later.

Meanwhile, Napoli will have a big match ahead against AS Roma on July 6th before visiting Genoa at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium on July 9th.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 7:16 PM (197 days ago)            #26
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Serie A: Napoli To Bounce Back Against Roma

Napoli vs AS Roma

The chase for Europa League places is heating up in Italy and there’s a cracking clash on the way when the two teams currently in the frame meet at the Stadio San Paulo.

Napoli vs Roma is the pick of the Serie A weekend fixtures with the sides in action separated by just three points, in sixth and fifth places respectively.

Both teams are some way off fourth place with Atalanta 12 points clear of Roma and Napoli come into this match off the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to La Dea on Thursday night.

So the battle for fifth place is bubbling up nicely between Roma and Napoli, but the losers of this clash will need to keep a look over their shoulders with Milan and Hellas Verona close behind.

The latest Napoli vs Roma betting odds point to a tight game but the hosts should have the edge despite the San Paulo standing empty.

Talking Points

Cup triumph can launch Napoli to more success

Napoli have flourished under the guidance of Gennaro Gattuso since his arrival as head coach back in December, and they needed to after a shocking first half of the season.

Gli Azzurri have been runners up in each of the last two campaigns and they have not finished a top-flight season lower than fifth over the past ten years.

Gattuso’s aim is to extend that run to 11 campaigns and that would represent a great success, alongside Napoli’s recent cup triumph.

Gli Azzurri held their nerve in a penalty shootout to win the Coppa Italia, beating Juventus on penalties with Arkadiusz Milik planting home the decisive spot kick after Paulo Dybala and Danilo had both missed for Juve.

It was Gattuso’s first trophy win as a manager and potentially a launchpad for more success.

Milik is Napoli’s top scorer with ten goals in the league, but he is supported by the club’s more established stars who have spearheaded title bids in recent seasons.

Belgian ace Dries Mertens has eight goals, scoring the opener in Napoli’s recent 3-1 win over SPAL, while Lorenzo Insigne is also set to line up in attack.

Serie A: Napoli beat Juventus on penalties to win the Coppa Italia

Napoli have won the 2019/20 Coppa Italia

Roma clinging on to the Europa League spot

Paulo Fonseca’s Roma has stuttered over the past seven days.

A defeat to AC Milan last Sunday was followed by another 0-2 reversal at home to Udinese, and that pretty much put a dent to any lingering hopes of Roma making a Champions League place.

Just like his opposite number, Fonseca has a wealth of attacking talent to call on with Edin Dzeko again leading the line with 14 league goals.

Former Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be in line for a call-up as could striker Justin Kluivert.

But I Giallorossi could be without the creative muscle of Lorenzo Pellegrini. He’s the club’s most prolific assist maker with nine this season and young striker Nicolo Zaniolo is also doubtful.

Aleksandar Kolarov is likely to take the captain’s armband in place of Diego Perotti who was red carded in the first half of Roma’s defeat to Udinese.

History

The head-to-head Napoli vs Roma results are nicely in favour of the visitors, with Roma winning 20 of the 41 meetings between these two giants since 1993, while Napoli have won 11 and there have been ten draws.

Roma came out on top in the return by a 2-1 scoreline in Rome back in November as Zaniolo scored his fourth goal in a row, while Napoli keeper Alex Meret saved a Kolarov penalty but couldn’t earn his side a point.

Defeat to Atalanta was Napoli’s first in ten matches and ended a sequence of three wins, though a run of five wins in six is still an impressive return.

While Roma have hit the skids, they have been productive away from home this season, winning half of their 14 away league matches.

Betting Tip

??
Napoli vs AS Roma Napoli Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 1.92
July 6, 03:45 (GMT+8)

This is going to be a fascinating tussle with all three results in play and fifth place at stake.

Here at SBOBET we’re offering Napoli at 2.18 and the draw at 3.20 with Roma at odds of 3.08 to notch an eighth away league win.

But with form on their side and a familiar setting at the San Paulo, I’m backing Napoli to grab a first home victory against Roma since 2014.

The visitors are at odds of 1.97 with the +0.25 advantage and for an alternative bet 2-3 goals is at 1.95.

Napoli to win by the odd goal is where I’m heading.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 7:21 PM (197 days ago)            #27
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Serie A: Can AC Milan Finally End Their Juventus Jinx?

AC Milan vs Juventus

AC Milan did Juventus a massive favour by thrashing second-placed Lazio 3-0 over the weekend. That shocking win allowed Juve to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the Serie A table as the title race looks all but over.

But Milan can still make it a bit more interesting if they manage to beat the leaders at San Siro, which will be easier said than done.

While the Rossoneri have been in fine form of late, Juve have just dominated this rivalry in recent years, which is why the Serie A 2020 betting odds will remain in the Old Lady’s favour.

Talking Points

Milan making some progress under Pioli

AC Milan picked up by far their biggest win of the season as they stunned title contenders Lazio 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Milan had some good fortune with their first two goals. Hakan Calhanoglu’s long-range strike took a significant deflection before looping over Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha. Strakosha was also desperately unlucky not to keep out Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s penalty despite getting a hand on the ball.

Nevertheless, it was still a deserved win for Milan, who limited Lazio to just eight total shots (two on target) at home.

Milan’s Serie A 2020 results under manager Stefano Pioli have been much better since they’ve returned from the restart. They started out with back-to-back wins over Lecce and Roma, both of which were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Their only hiccup in their four games back has been a 2-2 draw against bottom club SPAL. Milan went down two goals and needed an own-goal late in stoppage time to pick up a point despite the fact that SPAL were down to 10 men for half the match.

Hakan Calhanoglu has been one of Milan’s standout performers since the restart. The Turkish playmaker has two goals and two assists in his last four games.

Meanwhile, Ante Rebic has also been a revelation since arriving to Milan in January. He scored seven goals during a nine-game stretch in mid-January to late February and has bagged three goals in four games since the restart.

Rebic, who scored Milan’s only goal against Juventus this season, will now get the chance to make up for his costly red card in their second-leg Coppa Italia semi-final against Juve.

Juventus looking like a juggernaut again

After some unconvincing performances in the Coppa Italia to begin the restart, Juventus are back to their old, dominant selves.

Serie A: Cristiano Ronaldo manages to score in four of Juventus’ recent matches

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Torino

Juve have won each of their first four games back in the league by at least two clear goals. They’ve been especially dominant at home, where they’ve scored four goals apiece in big wins over Lecce and Torino.

Paulo Dybala looks back to his best after his bout with COVID-19. The Argentine has scored in all four of Juventus’ Serie A matches post-restart, including the first goal in their last three games.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has also found the target in all four games, although the first two were from the penalty spot. He’s also added two assists.

Maurizio Sarri has gone with a mostly settled starting XI since the restart with Dybala, Ronaldo, and Federico Bernardeschi up front, and Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Adrien Rabiot in midfield.

Sarri will most likely stick with that same line-up against Milan despite the fact that it hasn’t had all that much success against the Rossoneri this season.

History

AC Milan and Juventus have faced each other three times already this season. Juventus won their first league meeting at home 1-0 thanks to a Paulo Dybala winner.

Milan would once again put up a tough fight as they drew both of their Coppa Italia semi-final legs despite going down to 10 men in both matches. They only went out due to away goals.

But when it comes to league meetings, Juventus have dominated Milan in recent years with 13 wins in their last 14 Serie A matchups. Milan’s last win against Juve was back in 2016.

Betting Tip

??

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:01 PM (197 days ago)            #28
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Serie A: Inconsistent Inter in Danger of Dropping Down

Hellas Verona vs Inter Milan

Antonio Conte’s debut season at Inter is becoming more and more disappointing. The Nerazzurri were touted as major Serie A title contenders after bringing in the highly successful Italian coach, but they’re 11 points behind leaders Juventus after dropping more crucial points since the restart.

Inter now need a victory over Verona to avoid being overtaken for third place by a red-hot Atalanta side who are only one point behind.

The Nerazzurri have dominated Verona over the years. However, they might have their hands full this time around against the Gialloblu, who have been one of the best home sides in the league.

Talking Points

Verona’s formidable home form

Verona’s Serie A 2020 results since returning to action have been quite uneven. They’ve won two of their five matches thus far, with two defeats and one draw.

They really should have beaten Sassuolo away after going up 3-1, but they surrendered a late goal deep in stoppage time which saw them drop two points.

Verona lost 2-0 to a Napoli side that had just come off winning the Coppa Italia. But they did win their other two home matches against Cagliari and most recently against Parma.

Hellas Verona are currently sitting at the eighth place of the Serie A

Hellas Verona players celebrate after the match against Lazio

Verona’s home form has been a major reason why they are up in eighth place in the standings. They have the fifth-best home record in the league with eight wins, three draws, and four losses in 15 matches.

That defeat to Napoli was the first time Verona had lost in their last seven matches at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. They had won their previous four home games, which includes a stunning win over champions Juventus that defied the Serie A 2020 odds.

Verona manager Ivan Juric has crafted a solid defence for most of the season. They’ve conceded just 36 goals, the fourth-fewest in the league behind the top three of Juventus, Lazio, and Inter.

However, they have not been as secure on that end since the restart. They’ve conceded 10 goals in their last five games, including at least two in each of their last four.

Inter remain too inconsistent

Inter Milan’s once-promising season is ending on a sour note. After looking like legitimate title contenders for the first few months of the year, the wheels have come off for Antonio Conte’s side since December.

Suddenly, they lost the consistency they had in the early part of the campaign and it still hasn’t returned since the restart even with the help of a home-heavy schedule.

After beating Sampdoria in their first game back, they could only draw against Sassuolo at San Siro. To their credit, though, they showed great resilience to beat Parma away through two late goals despite being a man down.

Inter looked to be back to their best as they battered Brescia 6-0. Alexis Sanchez had his best game in ages as he scored a goal and added two assists. But then they came right back and lost again at home to Bologna 2-1 despite being a goal and a man up.

Ill-discipline has haunted Inter in recent matches; they’ve had four red cards in their last six games, which began during their Derby d’Italia defeat to Juve.

As a result, they will be without defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Danilo D’Ambrosio, who are both suspended against Verona. But Milan Skriniar, who has also been sent off recently, looks set to return to the starting XI.

Even before the break in play, though, Inter’s defence had already shown signs of underperforming. They’ve kept a clean sheet just twice in their last 13 matches, which is disappointing for a Conte-coached side.

History

Inter’s head-to-head record against Verona in recent years is as one-sided as it gets. The Nerazzurri have not lost to Verona in their 18 meetings since 1996, and have claimed 15 victories during that span. Inter have also scored at least two goals in 15 of their last 16 matches against Verona in all competitions.

Inter won their first meeting of this season 2-1 thanks to goals from Matias Vecino and Nicolo Barella. But both midfielders will be out for this match due to injury.

Betting Tip

??

Hellas Verona vs Inter Milan Over 2.50 @ 1.88
July 10, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Despite Verona’s impressive home form, SBOBET odds still have the home side as 4.00 favourites, with Inter priced at 1.84, while a draw is 3.60. While it’s tempting to go with a Verona victory, Inter are still too good to lose back-to-back matches.

For a safer-looking bet, turn your attention to the over-under, specifically the over. Although the two clubs are in the top-five in defence this season, they have slipped significantly of late, which has resulted in some high-scoring affairs.

There have been three or more goals in all of Inter’s five matches since the restart. Similarly, there have been over three goals in seven of Verona’s last eight home games.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:05 PM (197 days ago)            #29
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Serie A: AC Milan Stun Juventus with Epic Comeback

AC Milan 4-2 Juventus

AC Milan have done it. They’ve finally ended their Juventus jinx, and they did it in epic fashion as they came back from two goals down to claim their first win over the Serie A champions in four years.

Juventus looked on course for another easy victory after early second-half goals from Adrien Rabiot and Cristiano Ronaldo gave them a comfortable lead.

But Milan miraculously overcame the Serie A 2020 odds with four unanswered goals in the last half-hour — three of which came in the space of just six minutes — to stun the champions.

Luckily, though, Juventus’ seven-point lead at the top of the table is still intact after second-placed Lazio, who lost 3-0 to Milan, suffered another shock defeat to Lecce as their title hopes look all but over.

Highlights of the game

Juventus missed the chance to move 10 points clear at the top of Serie A

Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after AC Milan’s Ante Rebic scores against Juventus during the Serie A match

Juventus were on the front foot early on as they created the first notable goalscoring chances in the game. First, Federico Bernardeschi swung in a dangerous free-kick, which Juve skipper Leonardo Bonucci just missed getting his head onto.

A few minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo did his trademark move cutting inside from the left-hand side, but Milan full-back Andrea Conti got a touch on Ronaldo’s shot to send it just wide of goal.

Milan’s first real chance came after 25 minutes, and it fell to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The former Juve star’s first-time shot forced a good save from keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Juventus once again started the brighter of the two sides in the second half, and they took the lead just two minutes after the break.

Adrien Rabiot went on an outstanding solo run from well inside his own half to the edge of the box, where he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

The French midfielder, who signed for Juventus from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer last summer, has finally been getting consistent playing time since the restart. His first goal for the club will now go down as one of the top Serie A 2020 highlights.

Juventus would double their lead just six minutes later as Cristiano Ronaldo capitalised on some poor Milan defending. Two Milan defenders made a complete mess out of dealing with a ball over the top, and Ronaldo made them pay as he slotted past Gigi Donnarumma.

Milan looked dead and buried at that point, but they were handed a lifeline at the hour mark as they were awarded a penalty. VAR penalised Bonucci for hand-ball after Ante Rebic’s header struck his arm.

Ibrahimovic stepped up to the spot and sent Szczesny the wrong way as he scored against his former club. It was game on once again.

And it took Milan just four minutes to find their equaliser. After some fine build-up play, Ibrahimovic laid the ball off to Franck Kessie, who slithered his way past some unconvincing Juve defending and blasted his shot past Szczesny.

The tide had clearly shifted to the home side’s favour, and they took the lead with another strike immediately after the restart. Substitute Rafael Leao’s hopeful shot took a wicked deflection from a Juventus defender, which helped beat Szczesny on his near post.

And to put the finishing touches on a remarkable win, Milan made it four on 80 minutes through Ante Rebic. A disastrous ball from Juve defender Sandro gave Milan the ball inside the box, and Giacomo Bonaventura set up Rebic, whose first-time strike gave Szczesny no chance.

Key statistics

The statistics in this match were surprisingly even. Juventus just edged out the possession battle (51 per cent to 49) and had 14 shots to Milan’s 13. But the home side were on target with nine of their shots compared to Juve’s four.

Ronaldo led the way with four shots as he continued his run of scoring in all five league matches since the restart. He now has 25 goals on the season, four behind Ciro Immobile for the league lead.

Meanwhile, Milan remain unbeaten in their five matches since the restart (four wins, one draw) and have scored at least two goals in all five games (15 in total).

Rebic also kept up his red-hot form for the Rossoneri. The Croatian has scored four goals in five games since the restart and now has 10 goals in his last 13 league games.

His goal should go some way toward making up for his disastrous red card against Juve in the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final.

What’s next?

Juventus will have another tough test coming up as they host the hottest team in Italy, Atalanta. The Banshees have been in blistering form, winning all five of their matches since the restart. The SBOBET odds for that clash will surely be much tighter than a usual Juventus match.

As for Milan, they will look to make it a hat-trick of huge wins in a row as they take on Napoli at San Paolo next.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:12 PM (197 days ago)            #30
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Serie A: Juve Looking to Give Atalanta a Harsh Reality Check

Juventus vs Atalanta

If you’re looking for some weekend entertainment, then this Serie A match is perfect for you.

Focus your attention at the Juventus Stadium this weekend as Juventus will serve as hosts to Atalanta in a battle of the strongest teams in the Italian top-flight.

Juventus, who have been relentless in trying to secure another title, plan on taking care of business at home days after experiencing a tough defeat against the Zlatan Ibrahimovic-led AC Milan.

The Bianconeri are still on top of the table as expected with 75 points, and they have a seven-point advantage over the second-seeded Lazio team.

Not far behind them are Atalanta – who are sitting in the third spot at the updated standings with 66 points. And they have been one of the hottest teams in the league as they have yet to be defeated since the league’s restart.

So this should be a cracker of a match that every football fan should mark on their calendars, as this game has a lot to offer.

From scoring a bunch of goals to topnotch players doing their thing, this match not only offers a lot of fireworks, but it will also have a big impact in the ongoing title race.

Without further ado, here is the match preview provided by SBOBET.

Talking Points

Cristiano Ronaldo chasing history

As much as Juventus are always the strongest team in the Italian top-flight, they cannot be the world-beaters that they are if it weren’t for Cristiano Ronaldo’s talismanic ways.

Despite slowly getting up there with age, CR7 remains the team’s heart and soul in their ongoing title quest.

He is their top goalscorer with 26 goals along with five assists, good for second overall in the league. And he has shown no signs of slowing down as he continues to spoil us with a healthy dose of Serie A 2020 highlights.

While one may argue that Ronaldo has done it all in the game of football, the Portuguese star is still hungry in chasing at least one more historical feat.

He wants to be the winner of the Golden Boot award after this Serie A season, as doing so will surely cement his legacy.

Only Luis Suarez and Ruud van Nistelrooy have won the top-scoring title in three leagues but nobody has done it in three of Europe’s top five leagues.

Ronaldo has already done it in the Premier League and in La Liga, so achieving it in Serie A is the next thing on his list.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has reached at least 30 goals for the season in all competitions and this is the 10th time that he has done it.

That’s quite impressive for a 35-year-old.

Luis Muriel becomes the highest-scoring substitute with 10 goals this Serie A season

Atalanta’s Luis Muriel in action with Lazio’s Patric

Can Atalanta prove their mettle?

A huge test beckons Atalanta and it will be interesting to see on how Gian Piero Gasperini’s men will respond.

Atalanta continue to rise up in the standings with their fantastic form since the restart. And what’s more impressive is that they’ve done it with style and precision.

They’ve averaged 2.5 goals per match since June and they have a growing list of victims.

While defeating the likes of Sassuolo, Udinese and Sampdoria may be a ho-hum to many, they’ve shown that they can compete against the best with their victories over Napoli and Lazio.

So many heroes have emerged for the Orobici. But lately, it has been Luis Muriel who has been getting the job done.

The young Colombian forward was responsible for putting away Cagliari and Sampdoria, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Juve’s defence will key in on him come Sunday.

History

Juventus and Atalanta have faced each other around 39 matches already.

As expected, Juve have the significant edge in terms of the overall head-to-heads as they have won in 28 while Atalanta only won four times along with seven draws.

In the reverse fixture last November, Juventus came out victorious after mounting a stirring comeback on the road.

It only took them less than 20 minutes to turn things around late. Gonzalo Higuain rallied Maurizio Sarri’s men by scoring a brace while Paulo Dybala sealed Atalanta’s fate with a goal of his own during added time.

Goals are abundant whenever these two meet, so head on over to our Serie A 2020 odds and check out our betting tip for this contest.

Betting Tip

??
Juventus vs Atalanta 1×2 Juventus @ 2.10
July 12, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Although these two in-form teams are expected to give us quite a show come Sunday, I may have to favour the home team on this one.

Juventus have already been in superb form in their matches against Atalanta, despite the latter giving them a run for their money in recent years.

I Bianconeri still remain a class above the Orobici which explains the points gap between them currently in the table. However, they can’t afford to underestimate the visitors to avoid any slip-ups.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:18 PM (197 days ago)            #31
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Serie A: Napoli Take On Milan In Mid-Table Clash

Napoli vs AC Milan

The race for both the Champions League and Europa League spots continue to heat up here in Serie A, and we are in for a cracker of a match come next Monday.

This match between Napoli and AC Milan at the Stadio San Paolo is sure to entertain football fans across the globe, especially since both will come in playing with a sense of urgency.

The two are bunched together at the sixth and seventh spots of the Serie A table – with Napoli owning a slight advantage with 51 points while AC Milan aren’t far behind with 49.

Above them are AS Roma, who are level with Napoli in points, so bettors and fans may want to key in to the next few Serie A matchdays in order to see how this will all turn out as far as the Europa League is concerned.

Both of these teams have been hitting strides as of late as they’ve won four of their last five matches since the restart after the mandated break. So it’s expected that we will see a lot of fireworks in this one, given their history together.

Before we get into the games, let’s first take a preview on both of these proud clubs.

Talking Points

Napoli has an emerging new star

Under team boss Gennaro Gattuso, Napoli has been on an upward trajectory.

They were able to bring home their first silverware in over six seasons when they defeated Juventus in the Coppa Italia finals, and it is clear that better things are to come for the Partenopei.

While the likes of Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens have been supplying the goals for Napoli, a familiar face has been making his presence felt.

Hirving Lozano, who was expected to shine in this Serie A season, is slowly re-emerging as one of Napoli’s attacking threats.

He is showing Napoli fans as to why he’s earned his expensive transfer, as his technical skill and speed stood out during the team’s last few games.

Recently against Genoa, the former PSV Eindhoven striker scored the game-winning goal to help his team grab the crucial three points.

It was also his second goal since the restart after getting thrown out of practice before by Gennaro Gattuso for discipline purposes.

“He’s doing better. He deserves everything he’s done lately. Right now, he’s a player showing great things,” said Gennaro Gattuso.

With Lozano in the fold, Napoli have now a viable replacement for Arkadiusz Milik, who is expected to leave the club after the 2019/20 season.

Milik has made it known prior to the restart that he wants a “change of scenery” as he is approaching at the prime of his football career.

AC Milan confident with Ibrahimovic leading the way

AC Milan has been on a tear lately, as they haven’t lost in five straight matches.

The Rossoneri managed to score a rousing comeback win against Juventus, days after crushing Lazio with a 3-0 tally.

So it was inevitable for their leader in Zlatan Ibrahimovic to come up with some interesting comments regarding on the team and its fortunes.

AC Milan are unbeaten since Serie A resumes to action, with 4 wins and 1 draw

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the penalty kick against Juventus

“If I was here from the beginning of the season, we would have won the Scudetto. I am president, coach and player, but they only pay me as a footballer,” said Ibrahimovic in a recent interview.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sure knows how to backup his words as he has been phenomenal ever since he returned to his old club. The evergreen striker has notched five goals and three assists as of this writing, showing no signs of slowing down.

They may need a couple more vintage performances from him in order to boost their Serie A 2020 odds of clinching an Europa League berth.

History

The Partenopei and the Rossoneri have played each other in 28 fixtures.

Napoli hold a slight edge in the overall head-to-heads with 10 wins, while AC Milan won in seven matches along with 11 draws.

In the reverse fixture last November, Hirving Lozano and Giacomo Bonaventura engaged in a six-minute shootout, eventually ending up with a 1-1 draw. Can these two do it again on Monday?

Betting Tip

??

Napoli vs AC Milan 1X2 Draw @ 3.25
July 13, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Looking at the quality between these two teams, it is more likely that they will cancel each out so I’m expecting a draw on this one.

And despite having a couple of world-class forwards in the likes of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Ante Rebic, don’t expect a high-scoring affair since they also have some of the league’s best backlines.

So this means that either placing your bets on either Total Goal 0-1 @ 1.89 or Under 2.50 @ 1.75 is a good alternative.

Nonetheless, this game should be enough to get your regular dose of Serie A 2020 highlights. Tune in for more of the Italian top-flight action here at SBOBET.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:40 PM (197 days ago)            #32
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Serie A: Inter Eager to Regain Some Rhythm Against Torino

Inter Milan vs Torino

A quick trip to the San Siro Stadium may be what Inter Milan need as they try to get back on their feet and make a late run in the Serie A table.

The Nerazzurri’s recent Serie A 2020 results haven’t been that promising by their standards, as they drew level against Hellas Verona yesterday and lost to a heated affair against Bologna in just a few days prior.

Their inconsistency has haunted them as of late. As a result, Antonio Conte’s side have dropped down to the fourth spot despite hovering around in the top two for the majority of the 2019/20 term.

With their Serie A 2020 odds for a title now down the drain, what’s left for them is to secure a Champions League spot for next year along with their ongoing Europa League stint.

And you can bet that they’ll vent out their frustrations against a lowly Torino squad who is trying to ensure that they’ll be back in the Serie A roster next season.

These two proud clubs occupy contrasting places at the standings – with Inter having 66 points placing fourth, while Torino are at 15th with 34 points.

While there’s a huge consensus that Inter Milan will cruise for an easy victory, recent history suggests that this might be a tighter affair than expected.

As part of our continuous coverage of the Italian top-flight, here is the match preview by SBOBET.

Talking Points

Inter Milan turn their focus to Europa League

They were once a promising side that is capable of upending Juventus in the title race, but now it is ending painfully on a sour note.

For a time, the Nerazzurri were on top of the table as their dangerous attack have torched so many of their opponents.

They tried replicating their high-scoring form since the restart, but it hasn’t been going as planned so far.

Yes, the scoring was there for Antonio Conte’s men, but so does the opponent’s goals along with the unnecessary bookings.

They were given a red card in three of their last six matches and they’ve conceded nine goals during that period. So far, Inter Milan’s game against Brescia was the mere exception.

Since their title hopes are effectively over, they can now focus on the Europa League as they hunt for another trophy.

They are currently entangled with La Liga’s Getafe in a single knockout format in the second leg of the European showcase. If they advance, Inter might get to face either the Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen.

The Nerazzurri have the quality players that can produce when being called upon, so it’s expected for them to go on a deep run in the Europa League.

Serie A: Torino's Andrea Belotti scored the second goal against Brescia

Torino’s Andrea Belotti celebrates scoring against Brescia

Torino avoiding the relegation zone

In stark contrast, Torino are a middling team who is quite in a quagmire.

Although they are seven points clear from the relegation zone, Il Toro cannot afford to let their guard down especially with their horrid form as of late.

Since the restart, Moreno Longo’s men have only won and drew level once, while losing four straight times.

Their defence is the main culprit for their lacklustre play as they’ve conceded 13 goals during their losing streak.

While top striker Andrea Belotti has been doing everything he could for Il Toro, any additional help from guys like Alex Berenguer, Cristian Ansaldi, Simon Zaza, and Kevin Bonifazi will be very much welcome.

History

Inter Milan and Torino have met each other in 27 matches.

The Nerazzurri own the upper hand in the head-to-heads with 14 wins, while Il Toro only won four times along with nine draws.

In the reverse fixture last November, Inter Milan brushed aside Torino with a 3-0 clean sheet as Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku, and Stefan de Vrij punched in the goals.

These two have drawn level in three of their last six matches.

Betting Tip

??
Inter Milan vs Torino Inter Milan Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 1.73
July 14, 03:45 (GMT+8)

For this match, Inter Milan are pegged to win at 1.46, while Torino are priced at 7.20 and chances for a draw are at 4.10 in the 1×2 market.

This indicates a huge quality difference between these two teams. But as they say in football, anything can happen.

It was also expected to happen in our old preview against Hellas Verona, but the ninth-seeded team defied the odds when their skipper in Miguel Veloso scored the equaliser late.

But I’m certain that Antonio Conte will set his men straight in order to avoid another collapse at home, as they won’t like the idea of languishing for too long.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:42 PM (197 days ago)            #33
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Serie A: Ronaldo Denies Atalanta at the Death

Juventus 2-2 Atalanta

Atalanta were denied their much-awaited first win over Juventus in two decades in dramatic fashion as Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second penalty of the game in the 90th minute to salvage a point for the Serie A leaders.

Despite dropping points for the second game in a row, though, Juventus are still well on course for their ninth consecutive Serie A championship.

They extended their lead over Lazio, who suffered their third straight defeat and their fourth since losing to Atalanta post-restart as their Serie A 2020 odds to win the title are now basically nil.

Meanwhile, Atalanta are now just a point behind Lazio for second spot as they extended their unbeaten run post-restart.

Highlights of the game

After their stunning 4-2 defeat to Milan, Juventus were handed a boost with the return of centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and striker Paulo Dybala from suspension.

However, the defending champions very nearly went down after just six minutes. Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne sent in a great cross toward Duvan Zapata, but the Colombian striker’s header was well off-target despite being completely unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box.

Atalanta continued their early assault on 11 minutes, but top scorer Josip Ilicic — making just his second start since the restart– was also unable to make some Serie A 2020 highlights with his long-range effort.

Duvan Zapata scores an early goal to give Atalanta an edge over Juventus in recent Serie A match

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata celebrates with teammates after scoring a 16th-minute goal during their Serie A match against Juventus

The away side were finally awarded for their efforts as they went ahead on 16 minutes. Atalanta captain Papu Gomez played Zapata in with a brilliant through ball, and the Colombian hitman was clinical with his finish as he slotted past Szczesny.

Juventus should have equalised right before half-time through Cristiano Ronaldo. Paulo Dybala did well to deliver a pinpoint cross to Ronaldo, but the Portuguese superstar — usually so deadly with his head — produced a disappointing header which went well wide.

But the home side were back on level terms early in the second half, though. Juventus were awarded a penalty after Dybala’s ball struck Atalanta midfielder Martin de Roon’s arm. As expected, Ronaldo stepped up to hammer the spot-kick past Atalanta keeper Pierluigi Gollini.

Ronaldo then had a great chance to put the home side in front on 77 minutes. His shot took a wicked deflection off an Atalanta defender, but Gollini did well to parry the shot away.

Ronaldo would rue that missed opportunity as Atalanta would go back ahead just three minutes later. Rodrigo Bentancur carelessly gave the ball away deep in his own half, and Atalanta made him pay as substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy’s thumping shot sailed past Szczesny.

Atalanta were just minutes away from a famous win, but they couldn’t hold on as they conceded yet another penalty due to handball. This time, Luis Muriel was the guilty party, with his flailing hand hitting Gonzalo Higuain’s lofted pass.

Once again, Ronaldo stepped up and kept his cool as he squeezed his penalty past the outstretched Gollini to hand the champions a share of the spoils.

Key statistics

Despite being the away side, Atalanta took the game right to Juventus. They just edged out the possession battle and had 13 shots to Juve’s nine. The home side had more shots on target (5-2), although two of them were from the penalty spot.

Ronaldo, who contributed five of Juventus’ nine shots, has continued his streak of scoring in all six Serie A matches since the restart.

Meanwhile, he is now on 28 goals on the season, just one goal behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for the Capocannoniere.

As for Atalanta, they still have to wait a while longer to claim their first league win over Juventus since 2001.

What’s next?

Juventus’ next chance to get back to winning ways will come on the weekend as they take on Sassuolo. But while the SBOBET odds will favour the Bianconeri, Sassuolo could put up a stiff fight at home.

Sassuolo have been one of the in-form teams in Serie A since the restart. They’ve lost just one of their seven games and have picked up four wins in a row against Fiorentina, Lecce, Bologna, and second-placed Lazio.

As for Atalanta, they will also be eager to get back on track as they play second-from-bottom Brescia, who are seven points from safety and look set to go down.

Brescia have continued to struggle since the restart and suffered an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Atalanta’s prolific attack has already scored seven goals three times in the league this season and will have their eye on making it four against the relegation strugglers.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:44 PM (197 days ago)            #34
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Serie A: Gattuso’s Milan Reunion Ends in Draw

Napoli 2-2 AC Milan

Napoli were unable to gift manager Gennaro Gattuso a win in his first match against his former club AC Milan as the two sides played out a 2-2 draw at the San Paolo.

Aside from the Milan legend facing his old club, this match also had major implications for Serie A’s Europa League qualifying place. A win for the Rossoneri would’ve seen them leapfrog Napoli into sixth in the table.

Milan, who were riding high after their amazing comeback win against Juventus and their victory over Lazio before that, took the early lead. Napoli hit back with goals from Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Dries Mertens, but despite their dominance, the visitors were still able to salvage a point through a Franck Kessie penalty.

The result leaves Milan two points behind Napoli with six matches remaining in the season.

Highlights of the game

Napoli were on the front foot early on, and they produced the first notable chance on goal through Dries Mertens on 14 minutes. The Belgian did brilliantly to cut inside from the left wing and fired a shot that looked destined for the bottom corner. But Milan keeper Gigi Donnarumma was able to get down quickly and parry it away.

A few minutes later, it was Lorenzo Insigne’s turn to come close. The Napoli skipper actually beat Donnarumma with his strike from the edge of the penalty area, but unfortunately not the post.

Napoli would have one more good chance to take the lead as Mertens set up Jose Callejon, but the Spaniard’s shot was smothered by Donnarumma.

The home side would be left to rue those missed opportunities as Milan went the other way and took the lead just a few moments later.

Ante Rebic, who has been a revelation for Milan this season, somehow found Theo Hernandez arriving on the far post with a pinpoint cross on the turn, and the French full-back volleyed the ball in from point-blank range.

Napoli almost got back on level terms immediately. Piotr Zielinski’s long-range effort whistled just wide of goal.

The home side eventually did find their equaliser on 34 minutes. Donnarumma initially did well to keep out a dangerous Insigne free-kick, but he was helpless to stop full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo from tapping the ball into the open goal on the rebound.

Napoli kept up the pressure into the second half, and they were rewarded for their efforts as they went ahead on the hour mark.

Dries Mertens hits Napoli's second goal during their Serie A clash against AC Milan

Napoli’s Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring the second goal in their Serie A battle against AC Milan at Stadio San Pablo

Callejon cut the ball back to Mertens, whose shot took a deflection off a Milan defender. That deflection was enough to put Donnarumma off as he was unable to keep the ball out.

However, Milan would be handed a lifeline on 71 minutes as Giacomo Bonaventura won a penalty. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic already subbed off, Franck Kessie stepped up to take responsibility, and he made no mistake as he sent David Ospina the wrong way.

Milan would have to play the final few minutes of the match with only 10 men after substitute Alexis Saelemaekers was sent off for two yellow cards. But they were still able to hold on for a share of the spoils.

Key statistics

While possession — like the Serie A 2020 betting odds for this match — was close, Napoli were clearly the superior side in this match. They had 17 shots to Milan’s five, with seven of those shots on target.

Dries Mertens was brilliant once again as he had four shots, three on target. The Belgian has scored three goals in the six games since the restart and now has nine goals in 27 Serie A appearances this season.

Meanwhile, Ante Rebic continues to produce Serie A 2020 highlights for the Rossoneri. The Croatian, who recorded an assist, has now had a hand in six of Milan’s goals in six league games since the restart (four goals, two assists).

What’s next? 

After a tough four-game stretch which saw them face Atalanta, Roma, and Milan, Napoli’s schedule for the next few games will be relatively easy. First up is a trip to Bologna, and then they face 15th-placed Udinese at home. The SBOBET odds should see them as heavy favourites in that latter match.

Milan will also have some winnable matches on their plate as they look to overtake Napoli. They will be at home for their next two games as they host midtable Parma — who are winless in their last five — and Bologna.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:46 PM (197 days ago)            #35
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Serie A: Verona Can Expect a Warm Reception in Rome

AS Roma vs Hellas Verona

Rome is a great city to visit at any time, but when the Gentlemen of Verona arrive in Italy’s capital they won’t have much time for sight-seeing!

And it’s going to be pretty hot for Ivan Juric’s underdogs, with temperatures close to 30 degrees and their big-hitting hosts having just achieved back-to-back wins.

Serie A: Roma vs Verona, at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night, is a clash between two sides which have been chasing European places this season; you’d expect that of Roma, but Hellas have exceeded expectations in their first campaign back in the top flight.

The visitors will be happy with a top-half finish and I suspect they’d take a draw in this game. But this looks like it has a home win written all over it according to the latest Roma vs Verona betting odds. Though only four places separate the two sides with Paulo Fonseca’s side in fifth and Hellas in ninth, the hosts are ten points ahead and that lead is stretching.

Talking Points

Roma hitting form

Paulo Fonseca’s side have been on a sticky run but they have followed three defeats with back to back wins. I Giallorossi have a wealth of attacking talent to call on, and former Manchester United midfielder has been at his creative best, his pace and trickery carving out openings for Roma and he scored in I Giallorossi’s recent 2-1 victory over Parma.

Edin Dzeko is still a top ten striker in the Serie A listings, and Roma’s main man up front with 14 league goals to his name this season, while 21-year-old striker Nicolo Zaniolo was on target in a 0-3 win away to Brescia last week. 

Roma are 11 points behind fourth-placed Inter Milan, and Fonseca’s side is in a three-way battle for two guaranteed Europa League places (and a favourably draw), along with two in-form sides. Napoli are two points behind in fifth and AC Milan a further two points back, but both of Roma’s rivals have won four from the last six and so I Giallorossi needs a win against Hellas to stay in control.

Verona labouring for points

Promoted last season through the playoffs, having finished fifth in Serie B, Ivan Juric has guided his team to an impressive first campaign back in the top flight.

But following the suspension of play due to the COVID 19 outbreak, Hellas have returned to action with a mixed bag of results, and I Mastini have prospered more on home soil than on their travels.

One win in six has all but ended Verona’s hopes of a Europa League place but they have proved difficult to beat. Captain Miguel Veloso showed a cool head to fire home a late equaliser in an impressive 2-2 draw with Inter Milan, and only a 96th-minute equaliser from Cutrone denied Verona a win away to Fiorentina last week.

Serie A: Hellas Verona will take on AS Roma at Stadio Olimpico

Miguel Veloso celebrates after scoring an equaliser for Hellas Verona against Inter Milan

History

I Mastini have been around for over a century, founded in 1903 by a group of students from Greece, and they have spent plenty of time in the top flight of Italian football.

Verona’s golden period was between 1970 and 1990 when they stayed in Serie A almost without interruption, and they stunned the hierarchy by winning the Scudetto in 1985.

I Giallorossi are three-time winners of Serie A; the last in 2001 and previously in 1983, two years before Verona’s triumph but, in terms of resource, there is a huge gulf between the two teams.

The head to head Roma vs Verona results have been pretty much one-sided in recent years with Roma winning the last three meetings, including a 1-3 victory in Verona in December thanks to goals from Diego Perotti, Mkhitaryan and Justin Kluivert.

Betting Tip

??
AS Roma vs Hellas Verona Half Time Full Time – Home Home @ 2.18
July 16, 03:35 (GMT+8)

Paulo Fonseca’s team are hot favourites for this game with Roma at 1.60 here at SBOBET to win and the draw at 3.60, while Hellas is out there at odds of 5.25.

Juric’s side is well organised and they have done well to stay in the top half of the table, and the draw with Antonio Conte’s Inter shows they should not be taken lightly.

But I Mastini’s season is beginning to fizzle out while Roma still have plenty of serious business to conclude and with Napoli and AC Milan in hot pursuit, a disappointing seventh-placed finish is not out of the question.

Back-to-back wins suggest Roma are hitting form at the right time and should win this contest.

For an alternative bet, the score-line of 2-1 at odds of 8.00 could be a decent long shot.

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SBOBET 14-Jul 2020 Tuesday 8:48 PM (197 days ago)            #36
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Serie A: Inter Rise to Second Place With Win Over Torino

Inter Milan 3-1 Torino

Inter Milan earned a huge confidence boost for their ongoing campaign as they turned in one of their most dominant displays as of late.

The Nerazzurri notched a 3-1 victory against Torino in their quick stopover at the San Siro Stadium, which effectively put them back in the second spot of the Serie A standings.

Inter got off to a bad start when Samir Handanovic practically gifted Torino’s Andrea Belotti the first goal of the evening.

However, Ashley Young and Diego Godin scored shortly after the halftime break and one more goal from Lautaro Martinez sealed the deal.

Antonio Conte’s men are now back in the mix with 68 points and level with Lazio. And although their Serie A 2020 odds for the championship are slim, getting back to where they once were is a good consolation in itself.

“Victories are important to raise morale and create a sense of certainty, especially for the players,” said Antonio Conte during the post-game interview.

“When we don’t get the win, it’s really frustrating, especially because recently we’ve faced punishments that’s out of proportion with the mistakes that we make. But we’re on the right path,” he added.

As for Il Toro, they are now placed 16th in the table and remained five points above the dreaded relegation zone. Moreno Longo’s men are in a precarious position and they have to dig deeper in order to survive.

As always, here is last night’s package of Serie A 2020 highlights brought to you by SBOBET.

Highlights of the game

After the match’s first few minutes, it looked like Inter Milan were about to go back to their inconsistent ways because of such a costly mistake from one of their more reliable players.

Simone Verdi curled in a cross via a corner kick in the 17th minute and Samir Handanovic grabbed the ball successfully in the air. However, he dropped the ball and Andrea Belotti kicked it in for the first goal of the night.

Torino failed to make an impact as they fall to Inter in a Serie A clash

Andrea Belotti celebrates scoring the game’s first goal

So when it was Cristian Ansaldi’s turn to cross the ball a few minutes later, Samir Handanovic made sure to parry the ball away in order to avoid repeating the same mistake.

Ansaldi would threaten Inter once more when Andrea Belotti spearheaded a counter-attack midway in the first half. The forward would strike a low shot, but Handanovic didn’t drop the ball this time after a save.

Inter would draw level three minutes after the halftime break, as Ashley Young recovered a Lautaro Martinez header and belted one in to equalise for the home team.

In the 51st minute, this time, Ashley Young carved out an opportunity for his teammates with a beautiful volley – followed by a brilliant one-two header play to which Alexis Sanchez provided an assist to Diego Godin’s goal.

Lautaro Martinez would score his 18th goal of the season 10 minutes later when his long range strike bounced off the foot of Gleison Bremer and the ball found its way past Salvatore Sirigu for their third goal of the evening.

Andrea Belotti would have one more crack at a goal when he was on the receiving end of a cross, but his header just deflected off the cross bar, unfortunately.

Alexis Sanchez, Robert Gagliardini, and Antonio Candreva also had their scoring opportunities, but Salvatore Sirigu prevented them from adding Inter’s growing tally.

Key statistics

Inter Milan simply had it going all night in terms of their attack as they’ve mustered 21 total shots along with 11 on target, compared to only eight and two respectively for Torino. They’ve also controlled 62-per cent of the possession.

However, bookings were plenty in this match as eight yellow cards were given away for these two teams. The home team got five while the visitors had three.

As manager for the Nerazzurri, Antonio Conte’s pristine record remains intact. He has won all six matches against Torino as their boss and there are only three bosses in the three-point era who have a better record than him against any opposing club.

What’s next?

Inter Milan will have a two-game road trip facing S.P.A.L. and AS Roma before hosting Fiorentina on July 23rd.

Torino, on the other hand, will have a crucial match against Genoa on Friday before facing Fiorentina and Hellas Verona in their next two fixtures.

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SBOBET 15-Jul 2020 Wednesday 1:14 PM (196 days ago)            #37
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Serie A: Inter Rise to Second Place With Win Over Torino

SPAL vs Inter Milan

Suddenly, Inter Milan are back up to second in the Serie A table. Despite some shaky form since the restart, the Nerazzurri have still managed to overtake Lazio, who have completely collapsed over the last few weeks.

Inter will now have a great chance to improve their Serie A 2020 odds for claiming that second spot as they face bottom-club SPAL. The Biancazzurri are all set to go down to Serie B, and their form since the restart has been quite disastrous.

Talking Points

SPAL set for the drop

SPAL are almost surely getting relegated this season. They are still stuck in last place, 11 points from safety with just 18 points left to play for.

SPAL were already in big trouble before the lockdown, and their Serie A 2020 results have not improved since the restart.

They’ve yet to win a game in their six matches back and have picked up a single point. That came at home against Milan, where they were unlucky not to get the win.

They had gone up two goals within half an hour but went a man down just before half-time. They still looked set to hang on for the win, but an own-goal deep in stoppage time cruelly denied them victory.

Since then, SPAL have continued on their skid, losing big to Sampdoria, Udinese, and Genoa, who are all inside the bottom seven.

SPAL have had a hard time scoring all season — they are the lowest-scoring side in Serie A by a wide margin with just 23 goals — and it’s only continued after the restart. They’ve scored just three goals over their last six games.

Top scorer Andrea Petagna (12 goals) has scored just once during that time. That goal came in their 3-1 loss to Napoli, which is where he’s headed next season.

SPAL’s home form has been disastrous all season long, and it’s unlikely it improves against Inter. They’ve gone winless in each of their last 11 home matches, with three draws and eight losses.

Alexis’ Inter resurgence continues

Inter Milan were already quite inconsistent before the lockdown, and they’ve carried over that patchy form to the restart. The Nerazzurri have won four out of their seven matches, with two draws and one defeat.

After thrashing Brescia 6-0 in one of their best performances of the season, they lost 2-1 to Bologna and drew 2-2 in their tricky away match at Verona in their next two games.

However, they finally got back on track with a 3-1 win over Torino, which sent them back to second ahead of Lazio on goal difference.

After going down early to an Andrea Belotti goal, they scored three times in the first 16 minutes of the second half to turn the game on its head.

Serie A: Alexis Sanchez has contributed a goal and five assists since the restart

Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez dribbling past Torino defender Nicolas Nkoulou

With Romelu Lukaku out due to injury, Alexis Sanchez once again made the most out of his opportunity to play as he set up two of Inter’s goals. The Chilean has rediscovered his best form at Inter and now has a goal with five assists since the restart.

Lautaro Martinez was also impressive, scoring a goal and setting up another as Inter continued their free-scoring ways post-restart. They’ve scored 19 goals in their seven games back, which is the highest total in the league at that time.

Their defence has taken a significant step back, allowing 10 goals in those seven games, but they should fancy their chances of keeping a clean sheet against the lowest-scoring side in the league.

History

With SPAL spending so little time in Serie A, they have quite a limited history of facing Inter. The two sides have met just five times overall, with Inter unsurprisingly winning four of them.

The Nerazzurri have won all three meetings at San Siro. That includes their first meeting this season, where Lautaro Martinez scored a brace to send Inter on their way.

The only time when SPAL were able to avoid defeat to Inter was in a 1-1 draw at home back in 2018. Alberto Paloschi scored a last-minute equaliser to give SPAL a share of the spoils.

Betting Tip

??
SPAL sv Inter Milan Inter Milan Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 1.96
July 17, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Unsurprisingly, the SBOBET odds heavily favour Inter Milan, who are priced at 1.35 to get the away win. SPAL are pegged at 8.00 despite being at home, with a draw at 4.80.

But the Asian Handicap market seems to be the better way to go in this match. Inter may be a bit up-and-down of late, but it’s hard not to see them winning their second game in a row against this SPAL side that’s already resigned to its fate.

Inter have been banging in the goals since the restart, and this matchup should be another great opportunity for the likes of Alexis and Lautaro to score some more goals en route to a comfortable win.

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SBOBET 21-Jul 2020 Tuesday 2:12 PM (190 days ago)            #38
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Serie A: Inter Milan Making a Late Run for the Title

AS Roma vs Inter Milan

Another exciting football clash is upon us this weekend, as Inter Milan visit AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico for the 34th matchday of Serie A.

Inter Milan are on a resurgence as of late – having been unbeaten in three straight matches already. Because of this, Antonio Conte’s side have re-emerged at the second spot at the table with 71 points.

As for the hosts in AS Roma, they continue their fight to hold on to an Europa League qualification spot. And so far, they are in good shape as they are in fifth place with 57 points – which is four points clear over Napoli and AC Milan.

Like Inter Milan, Paulo Fonseca’s men have been in good form in their last few outings. They have won three consecutive matches, albeit against some of the league’s cellar dwellers.

Regardless, getting the job done is essential for both of these clubs with contrasting agendas, so we can expect a cracker for this upcoming match.

As we are slowly reaching the conclusion of the 2019/20 Serie A season, you can count on SBOBET to give you your dose of Serie A 2020 updates.

opacity 0


PREMIER LEAGUE

Talking Points

Is it a little too late for the Nerazzurri?

The Nerazzurri have been firing on all cylinders. But is this a classic case of a little too late in terms of dethroning Juventus?

Well, don’t tell that to Antonio Conte and his men as they have been vying for a puncher’s chance to try and steal away the Serie A trophy away from Juve’s grasp.

While their form has been shaky during the first few games in the restart, Inter dug deep and they have kicked things to a higher gear.

After thumping Brescia with a 6-0 tally, Inter lost in a bad way against Bologna and their inconsistencies haunted them against Hellas Verona.

They were struggling at that time with their attack especially with Romelu Lukaku out due to an unspecified injury.

But with Alexis Sanchez’ resurgence, Inter have now scored 23 times since the lockdown – marking it the league’s best at this time.

It also helps that Lazio are on a losing streak and Juventus have failed to win in their last three matches. So perhaps there is still a glimmer of daylight if you are Inter.

AS Roma facing a stern test

Like Inter, Roma have been on a win streak themselves and much of their success can be owed to their wealth of attack and midfield options.

Edin Dzeko, Nicolo Zaniolo, and Jordan Veretout have provided the goals for Giallorossi, whose performances have drawn praises from their coach in Paulo Fonseca.

AS Roma recently found their form and won all their last 3 Serie A matches

Jordan Veretout scores the penalty kick against Hellas Verona

Dzeko just became the club’s all-time leader in scoring as a foreigner with 105 goals while Veretout and Zaniolo’s work rates have been superb as well.

While their ongoing winning streak is quite impressive, a battle against Inter Milan should help them gauge how far they have come this season.

In the reverse fixture last December, they were able to hold Inter to a goalless draw.

A win here for the Giallorossi should further solidify their hold to the Europa League spot for next year. Can they do it this time around?

History

AS Roma and Inter Milan have faced off in 59 matches.

This matchup is as close as it gets recently as their last four fixtures ended up in a draw.

In terms of their head-to-head records, Inter have the slight edge with 21 wins while Roma won 17 times along with 21 draws.

Betting Tip

??
AS Roma vs Inter Milan 1X2 Inter Milan @ 2.28
July 20, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Inter Milan are considered as the slightly favoured team to win in this match, according to our latest Serie A 2020 odds.

In the 1×2 market, they are priced at 2.28 while AS Roma are priced at 2.97, and the price for a draw is pegged at 3.35.

Goals aren’t that many whenever these two meet up as recent history suggests, so you can safely place your wagers on either Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.78 or Under 2.50 @ 1.98.

While both of these teams have been in superb form lately, I would have to give the edge to the visitors because of their overall quality.

An in-form trio of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, and Lautaro Martinez is dangerous for AS Roma to contain, let alone for any Serie A side. So their defence will work harder than usual this Sunday.

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SBOBET 21-Jul 2020 Tuesday 2:15 PM (190 days ago)            #39
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Serie A: Can Lazio Keep the Title Race Alive?

Juventus vs Lazio

Four weeks is a long time in football.

Before the return to action in Serie Awe pitched Juventus vs Lazio as a potential title decider. Simone Inzaghi’s team was breathing down Juve’s neck and was on a superb run, while I Bianconeri was grinding out results with steely determination.

But over the last few games, Lazio have been a shadow of the side which matched Juve stride for stride.

Meanwhile, the Old Lady seemed to be strolling towards the Scudetto. But two points from three games have given a glimmer of hope to the chasing pack.

I Biancoceleste needs a result to turn the tide and is trying to make it three wins in a row against their hosts, but the Juventus vs Lazio betting odds don’t hold out much hope for them!

Talking Points

Old Lady stuttering

Juventus should have had the title pretty much done and dusted by now, but no wins from three games have left the door lightly open for Inter Milan or the in-form Atalanta to earn a shock title. The lead is six points and with five games to play there is still work to do.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo’s 90th minute penalty saved I Bianconeri from defeat against the impressive Atalanta recently, but his run of scoring ended when his side was held to a 3-3 draw at Sassuolo last Wednesday.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are in scintillating form, destroying Brescia 6-2 on Tuesday, and if Juve are to struggle against Lazio then La Dea could be the one to profit.

Juventus are sitting at the top of Serie A table and 8 points ahead of Lazio

Gonzalo Higuain scores their second goal against Sassuolo

Maurizio Sarri can’t afford to rest players but there may be a start for Gonzalo Higuain, who was on target against Sassuolo, while Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado could return from suspension.

Lazio’s implosion

Simone Inzaghi must be wondering what has happened to his team since the return after the COVID 19 break.

Losing to Atalanta in the first game back was a blow to his players after they led by two goals, but they responded well with back-to-back victories over Fiorentina and Torino. Since that triumph in Turin at the end of June, the wheels have fallen off.

The low point came during a defeat to relegation threatened Lecce, when defender Patric was red carded for biting Lecce’s Guilo Donati. That moment of madness is likely to earn the Spaniard a lengthy ban and that compounds Inzaghi’s problems, which have mounted since the return to action.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, I Biancoceleste was just a point behind Juventus and was on a record unbeaten run of 21 games, but four defeats since the return has stretched the gap to eight points.

Lazio ended a run of three defeats with a rather underwhelming 0-0 draw at Udinese, but it’s a start. Inzaghi had keeper Thomas Strakosha to thank for a fine display and the post, which denied Rodrigo De Paul an injury time winner.

The Romans’ boss must be so frustrated. A year ago, his team was eighth with 52 points but they are now fourth with 69, but it could have been so much better.

Serie A hot shots come facetoface

Ronaldo has made up ground on Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for the 2019/20 Capocannoniere. He has reached 28 goals, eight more than Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and just one behind Lazio’s Immobile.

I Biancoceleste’s hit man has had a phenomenal season also making eight assists. But since the return to action, Ronaldo has scored seven goals to the Italian’s four.

History

Juve have won twice as many of the head-to-head Juventus vs Lazio results as their opponents at 34 to 17.

Lazio have come out on top in the last two meetings, winning 3-1 in December thanks to goals from Luiz Felipe, Serge Milinkovic-Savic and Felipe Caicedo, and by the same score line in the Supercoppa recently.

But to make it three from three against a side which has won 20 of the last 24 at the Allianz Arena and lost just once at home in the last 12 months is a big ask.

Betting Tip

??
Juventus vs Lazio Juventus Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.88
July 21, 03:45 (GMT+8)

The latest SBOBET odds offer Juventus at 1.65 to win, the draw at 3.95 and Lazio the long shot at 4.70.

And while, if this game had been played in April I would have fancied the visitors, I can’t see anything other than a Juventus victory.

The Old Lady has stumbled a little recently, but Lazio seem to have lost all sense of hope and thrown away the biggest chance to win the Scudetto they have had in years.

For an outside bet, a score of 2-0 to Juve at odds of 8.50 would close the door on Inzaghi’s team.

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SBOBET 21-Jul 2020 Tuesday 2:21 PM (190 days ago)            #40
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Serie A: Late Lukaku Penalty Rescues Inter at Roma

AS Roma 2-2 Inter Milan

Inter Milan are back up to second in the Serie A table after Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty saw them salvage a 2-2 draw away to Roma.

However, their already slim Serie A 2020 odds to win the title now seem all but over after failing to close the gap further on Juventus, who are still five points clear with a game in hand despite their recent hiccups.

Since the restart, there have been few teams quite as entertaining as Inter. Not only have they been scoring goals for fun, but they’ve also been letting them in, which has led to some exciting matches.

Antonio Conte aggressively instructs Inter Milan from the sideline in their Serie A match with AS Roma

Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte gives instructions to his players during their Serie A game against AS Roma

It’s not the style manager Antonio Conte wants, but it’s certainly one that neutral fans certainly enjoy with all the Serie A 2020 highlights they create.

Highlights of the game

Roma were one of the form teams in the league with three straight wins heading into the match against Inter. And they really should have taken the lead after just nine minutes.

Inter keeper Samir Handanovic came nowhere close to claiming a Roma corner, leaving Mancini with a wide-open goal to aim at. Shockingly, though, the Roma centre-back completely missed the mark with his header.

Roma would be left to rue that miss just a few minutes later as Inter took the lead through their own corner. Centre-back Stefan de Vrij showed Mancini how it’s done as he rose high and sent a thumping header past keeper Pau Lopez.

The away side then came close to taking the lead on 27 minutes. Ashley Young cut the ball back to Marcelo Brozovic in the six-yard box, but the Croatian midfielder couldn’t get much power to his shot.

With time ticking down in the first half, the home side would get themselves back on level terms. Edin Dzeko set up left-back Leonardo Spinazzola, who beat Handanovic with his right-foot strike.

De Vrij tried to clear the goal-bound shot off the line, but he only managed to whack the ball into his own net.

Roma kept the pressure up at the start of the second half. Handanovic was forced to make a crucial save on Roma midfielder Jordan Veretout.

That Roma pressure would finally pay off on 57 minutes as they took the lead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Armenian made a powerful run into the penalty area and passed off to Dzeko, who was unable to control the ball. Luckily for Roma, though, the ball broke to the path of Mkhitaryan, who just got ahead of Dzeko and smashed past Handanovic.

Roma looked like they would hang on for the big win, but disaster struck four minutes from time. Spinazzola was dispossessed inside his own penalty area by Inter substitute Victor Moses, who then went down after the Roma defender kicked him. Penalty to Inter.

Romelu Lukaku, who came on for Lautaro Martinez, stepped up to take the spot-kick, which he drilled into the left corner to hand Inter a share of the spoils.

Key statistics

Despite being away from home, Inter still dominated possession against Roma, 56 per cent to 44. However, they only just edged out the shots battle, 8-7, in a match where chances were few and far between.

Lukaku, who only came on after 66 minutes, still ended up with twice as many shots as Lautaro and Alexis Sanchez had combined (one).

Although, Sanchez still contributed an assist as he continues to impress at Inter. The Chilean has now set up seven Inter goals since the restart while scoring two of his own.

Inter have now scored 25 goals in nine games since the restart, tied with neighbours AC Milan, who have played one game fewer.

What’s next?

Up next for Inter is a home match against a resurgent Fiorentina side that’s turned things around after a rough start to their restart. La Viola have now gone unbeaten in their last five matches, with back-to-back wins over Lecce and Torino.

However, the SBOBET odds should still favour Inter, who have won 17 of their last 19 home matches in all competitions against Fiorentina.

Meanwhile, Roma will fancy their chances of getting back on the win column as they visit bottom club SPAL, who have now lost five matches in a row after losing to fellow relegation fodder Brescia.

With both AC Milan and Napoli just two points behind them, Roma cannot afford more slip-ups in their last four games of the season if they want to hold on to fifth spot.

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SBOBET 22-Jul 2020 Wednesday 4:51 PM (189 days ago)            #41
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Serie A: Ronaldo’s Milestone Night Pushes Juve to Brink of Glory

Juventus 2-1 Lazio

This was supposed to be one of the biggest matches in the 2019/20 Serie A season, only if the gap between these two clubs isn’t bigger than it is now.

As the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo reaches another career milestone, he has propelled his team on the cusp of winning their ninth successive Scudetto, according to our latest Serie A 2020 odds.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner bagged home a brace in just a span of four minutes to secure another win for Juventus – which puts them at least eight points clear from the Serie A table runner-ups.

And with four more matchdays left in the season, Maurizio Sarri’s side can definitely taste it now.

“Records are always important, but the important thing is that the team wins,” said Ronaldo during the post-game interview.

“There are four games to go, we cannot get this wrong and we know Serie A is tough. The team is doing well though,” he added.

As for their visitors in Lazio, the loss effectively sank them to the fourth spot at the table with 69 points. Their form has been shaky ever since the start of July and that led them to their downward spiral.

Today, SBOBET brings you last night’s package of Serie A 2020 highlights.

Highlights of the game

After failing to win in their last three matches, the Bianconeri made sure that their feet was on the gas pedal all night against Lazio as they were coming off a loss against AC Milan, and two straight draws against Atalanta and a lowly side in Sassuolo.

Alex Sandro, who was the one who rescued Juventus to avert a collapse against Sassuolo, tested the Biancocelesti’s defence by trying a header off of a cross from Matthijs de Ligt in the 11th minute, but it hit the post.

Fast forward to 24 minutes later, the Bianconeri pursued a counterattack when Adrien Rabiot received a clever through ball from Cristiano Ronaldo. However, his solo effort was quashed by Thomas Strakosha to deny their first goal.

Lazio missed a viable chance to draw first blood as well a few minutes later after Juventus’ defence failed to clear the ball. Ciro Immobile was quick to intercept a pass but his rocket of an attempt hit the side of the post.

Shortly after, Cristiano Ronaldo tried to find the back of the net when he rebounded a Paulo Dybala miss after a Thomas Strakosha save, but a Lazio defender did a goalmouth clearance to maintain the level score to end the first half.

In the second half, Juventus kept on attacking at will and it finally paid off in the 51st minute.

After a fantastic defensive effort by Francesco Acerbi following a volley attempt by Adrien Rabiot, the ball ricocheted right through Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo let off a rasping strike but it was blocked by Bastos unfortunately with his hand in the way.

The VAR confirmed that it was a handball, and Cristiano Ronaldo proceeded to score his 50th goal in Serie A via penalty.

Three minutes later, Luiz Felipe slipped and lost the ball in the midfield and that gave Juventus another crack at a counterattack.

Paulo Dybala smartly teed up Cristiano Ronaldo for his second goal of the evening as Thomas Strakosha helplessly tried to thwart their run.

The young Argentinian would link up with Ronaldo once more when he launched a cross for a header, but Ronaldo’s banger clanged off the crossbar as he missed out on a hat-trick.

With a win already in the bag for Juventus, their complacency on the defence cost them a goal late in this match.

Leonardo Bonucci’s nonchalant defending drew a penalty in favour of Lazio when he failed to clear the ball and knocked Ciro Immobile down in the process.

Lazio fail to get the Serie A victory against table-topper Juventus

Ciro Immobile scores Lazio’s first goal of the match via penalty kick

Ciro Immobile would score the penalty for Lazio’s first goal of the evening to cut the deficit into half.

In what was a last gasp attempt for Biancocelesti, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fired a goal attempt via a set piece, but Juve have Wojciech Szczesny to thank for with a fine save.

Key statistics

History is made anew at least for Cristiano Ronaldo, as he became the fastest player ever to score 50 goals in Serie A in just 61 games.

The Portuguese star also became the first-ever player to score 50 goals in Serie A, La Liga, and in the Premier League.

Ciro Immobile, like Cristiano Ronaldo, became the second player this season to reach 30 goals in Serie A.

The two of them equalised the Serie A record for most penalty conversions in a single season: 12 by Lazio’s Giuseppe Signori back in 1996.

What’s next?

While the Capocannoniere may feel like a formality now, Juve would still need to take care of business as they will fly over to the Dacia Arena to visit Udinese on Friday.

Meanwhile, Lazio will face Cagliari and Hellas Verona in their next two contests.

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SBOBET 23-Jul 2020 Thursday 6:06 PM (188 days ago)            #42
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Serie A: Form Teams Meet at The San Siro

AC Milan vs Atalanta

Milan is the place to be on Friday night for a mouth-watering clash between the two best sides in the league, on current form.

Serie A: Milan vs Atalanta pitches fifth against second, at the time of writing, I Rossoneri is on a three match winning streak and in good shape to qualify for Europe, while La Dea is still in with a slight chance of winning the Scudetto.

It’s a short trip for Gian Piero Gasperini’s troops to make to Milan, and they will give their hosts a stern test, but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic hitting form I Rossoneri won’t fear the battle. The Milan vs Atalanta betting odds give them the edge but they will have to be at their best to come out on top.

Talking Points

Pioli has Milan rocking

Stefano Pioli is expecting AC Milan to celebrate victory against Atalanta at San Siro

Stefano Pioli during AC Milan’s Serie A match against Parma Calcio

Former Inter boss Stefano Pioli has transformed Milan since his arrival, back in October, after Marco Giampaolo’s disastrous stint at the San Siro. And they have been in superb form over the past month. A 2-2 draw away to Napoli were the only points Milan has dropped in the last six games and they have beaten Roma, Lazio and Juventus in some style, scoring 25 goals since the restart.

Ibrahimovic bagged a brace in Milan’s 2-1 win away to Sassuolo on Tuesday, while Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu provide more firepower, supported by the raiding runs of attacking wingback Theo Hernandez, who arrived from Real Madrid last summer.

I Rossoneri are in a three-way fight with Roma and Napoli for places, with just three points separating them from Napoli in 7th while their two rivals have a game in hand. That race is going to go down to the wire so Pioli’s team will aim to keep their momentum going against a side in top form.

Atalanta hot shots

With 95 goals in the league this season La Dea are top scorers in Serie A. Gasperini’s men have 21 more goals than Inter and 23 more than Juventus.

Just as their opponents have, Atalanta outplayed both Juventus and Lazio recently, drawing with I Bianconeri and beating former title hopefuls Lazio. Luis Muriel scored his 18th goal of the season to earn his team a 1-0 win over Bologna on Monday night and, alongside Duvan Zapata who has 17 goals, he is in a lethal partnership.

Slovenian forward Josip Ilicic has 15 goals, but he may be sidelined with injury, and if that’s the case he will be a miss. La Dea are in the Champions League quarter finals after they hammered Valencia 8-4 on aggregate in the Round of 16, Ilicic scoring four in the second leg, proving he can rip apart any side.

Zapata has reportedly been the subject of a 30M Euro enquiry from Juventus this week so he will be keen to impress.

While the Scudetto will likely prove to be a step too far, second place is very much on the cards for Atalanta and these hot shots will be determined to reach 100 goals for the season. They need five from three games, and with Parma and Inter Milan still to play who would bet against them?

History

The head to head Milan vs Atalanta results have seen periods of success for both teams, with Milan winning 14 in total to Atalanta’s ten; while there have been 11 draws.

Last time out Atalanta thrashed I Rossoneri 5-0, thanks to goals from Papu Gomez, Mario Pasalic, Muriel and a brace from Ilicic.

The previous four games were better contests as each side won one and there were two draws.

And recent form is impressive in both cases. Milan have won five and drawn one of the last six while Atalanta have won four and drawn two.

Betting Tip

??
AC Milan vs Atalanta First Half Over 1.50 @ 2.08
July 25, 3:45 (GMT+8)

This is going to be a hard fought game according to the latest SBOBET odds which place the spread at around a quarter of a goal, with Atalanta available at odds of 2.02 with a -0.25 handicap while I Rossoneri are at 1.91 with that +0.25 advantage.

I think there will be goals in this game. There have been 44 in total in the combined last six games for the two teams; an average of 3.67, so for an alternative bet you can get 1.84 on over 3.25 goals.

Milan will be keen to exact revenge for the 5-0 drubbing they suffered in Atalanta, but Muriel, Zapata and co will be looking for more of the same.

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SBOBET 05-Aug 2020 Wednesday 3:25 PM (175 days ago)            #43
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Serie A: Napoli Aim for Final European Spot

Napoli vs Sassuolo

As Serie A seasons go, this has been a disappointing campaign for Napoli.

In recent years, they have pushed the dominant force, Juventus, all the way to the title, and have also caused some Champions League shockwaves – a competition they have competed in the past four successive seasons.

Now, however, life is not as good in Naples.

Talking Points

The club’s foolish decision to part company with Carlo Ancelotti in December – for failing to follow the owner’s instructions – has backfired and while they will almost certainly be competing in Europe next term, it will be the much less vaunted Europa League

Furthermore, they are nowhere near the top four of Serie A – indeed are some 24 points behind leaders Juventus with three matches remaining.

Sassuolo, by contrast, have been a breath of fresh air and, after three consecutive mid-table finishes, continue to dream of a return to European football next season.

To stand any chance, mind, they will have to win this encounter.

We already know they can create Serie A highlights and have already shown a liking for upsetting more illustrious opponents.

But it really would upset the SBOBET Serie A betting odds if they win this one, let alone leapfrog their opponents between now and the end of the campaign.

While Napoli were going down to a late defeat at Parma in midweek, Sassuolo were losing at home to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired AC Milan to all but end their hopes of a top-seven finish.

Despite almost certainly missing out, the little club from the Emilia-Romagna region have been punching above their weight for some time now and have an ex-Napoli man masterminding their success.

For Roberto De Zerbi is the architect behind the rise of the Neroverdi this term, receiving plaudits from all corners for the attacking and entertaining style his side tries to play.

The 41-year-old ex-Napoli midfielder first came to prominence in the top flight when his Benevento side excited fans with a refreshingly open brand of football, despite being relegated in their maiden Serie A season.

Now some Italian media are asking what the future holds, given Sassuolo launched the careers of coaches like Eusebio Di Francesco and, most notably, former Juventus boss Max Allegri, so naturally wonder if De Zerbi can follow in their footsteps and take over at one of the established Italian giants.

His opposite number in the dugout this weekend is also being eagerly monitored.

Serie A: Can Sassuolo win against Napoli way from home?

Sassuolo players celebrate after scoring their opening goal against Lazio

Although it has been far from a vintage season, Gennaro Gattuso appears to have halted the reverse in fortunes of the crisis-stricken club since succeeding Ancelotti and eve guided them to a Coppa Italia success.

There is no question his immediate future seems to be with Napoli, however fans of Milan – who he graced for so long as a player – may now wonder what might have been had he stayed in charge of the Rossoneri.

They had a timely reminder in a recent encounter.

Putting the managers aside, Napoli’s biggest job this summer could be trying to keep hold of their star defender Kalidou Koulibaly with a reported €80 million price-tag supposedly putting his biggest suitors off.

He will almost certainly want to be playing Champions League football next term so will need to move for that to happen.

First, though, there is work to be done and a Europa League place to mathematically secure.

A draw in this game will do just that,

History

Earlier this season, it took a stoppage-time own goal to give Napoli the victory after Hamed Junior Traorè and Allan had traded goals.

Of their meetings, Sassuolo have only won once. That was in August 2015 since when they have been defeated five times with a further four draws in league and cup.

Last season, Napoli won this fixture 2-0, thanks to goals from Adam Ounas and Lorenzo Insigne.

Overall, Napoli have eight successes with five draws and that sole Sassuolo success. All of their games have taken place since the latter were promoted to the top flight in 2013.

Betting Tip

??
Napoli vs Sassuolo Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.56
July 26, 03:45 (GMT+8)

A home win is clearly expected with Napoli available to back 1X2 @ 1.58, the draw 1X2 @ 4.20 and Sassuolo 1X2 @ 5.00.

Similarly, with Asian Handicap betting the odds are stacked in favour of the home side who can be tipped -1.25 @ 2.29 with the visitors +0.75 @ 2.25.

A repeat of the meeting from earlier this season – correct score 2-1 – is available @ 7.00.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:00 PM (174 days ago)            #44
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Serie A: Atalanta Rue Missed Opportunity Against AC Milan

AC Milan 1-1 Atalanta

Atalanta were left with regrets after their visit last night at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium as the home team shared the spoils with them during their latest Serie A match.

The high-flying AC Milan squad has maintained their superb form as they dealt their opponents’ Serie A 2020 odds for a title with a heavy blow.

Although Atalanta moved up to the second place with 75 points along with two matches to play, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are five points adrift of Juventus, who are on the brink of glory as they need one more win to secure their ninth consecutive Scudetto.
 

The league leaders recently lost to Udinese, and that gave Atalanta some glimmer of hope coming into this game.

However, the home team had the edge from the get-go, which includes an early goal from Hakan Calhanoglu that put them on top.

The visitors drew level with a Duvan Zapata score midway in the first half. But the succeeding half saw a defencive slug-fest to which neither club found the back of the net.

It was unusual to see these two struggle on the attack especially since these are two of the best teams since the league restart.

Nonetheless, there were still some notable Serie A 2020 highlights that we have witnessed and SBOBET is here to give you a recap of last night’s action.

Highlights of the game

Right after the whistle sounded, AC Milan and Atalanta turned the intensity up early on as they tried to draw first blood.

In just within the first four minutes, Marten de Roon was brave enough to try a rasping long-range strike. However, his shot came a bit higher than the crossbar.

And then a few minutes later, Atalanta’s Papu Gomez would test AC Milan’s defence in two occasions, which includes teeing up Duvan Zapata for a header that missed wide along with a low strike as he raced past four red shirts.

Ante Rebic later on was fouled by an Atalanta defender on the left flank which gave the Rossoneri a free kick. And then Hakan Calhanoglu would capitalise as he delivered the first goal of the night.

The Turkish winger sent a beautiful curling free kick that sailed over the hands of Pierluigi Gollini during the 14th minute.

Atalanta would have their chance of equalising when the VAR ruled that Ante Rebic stomped on Ruslan Malinovskiy inside the box, earning himself a penalty. However, the Ukranian’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Serie A title hopes for Atalanta are now slim after a 1-1 draw with AC Milan

Manager Gian Piero Gasperini reacts in dismay as Atalanta draws 1-1 with AC Milan at San Siro stadium

Duvan Zapata slid the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma to bring his team to equal terms before the end of the first half as multiple AC Milan defenders failed to clear the ball out during the 34th minute.

The game went back and forth in the second half as both teams were desperate in trying to break the deadlock and they both had some viable chances in the game’s closing moments.

Papu Gomez launched a similar strike that he had early in the first half, while Duvan Zapata’s attempt inside the box was deflected off of an AC Milan defender.

As for AC Milan, Giacoma Bonaventura would try his luck late when Rafael Leao pushed for a counterattack but Pierluigi Gollini deflected it away.

Key statistics

As a clear evidence that these two struggled to score, AC Milan and Atalanta have combined for only three shots on target despite having 23 attempts between them.

The home team had the slight edge in possession with 51-per cent while their visitors had their share too at 49-per cent.

AC Milan and Atalanta are two of the best teams since the restart. And while they’ve canceled each other out in this game, one can’t simply ignore their hot scoring streaks.

The Rossoneri scored 28 goals while La Dea have recorded 26 goals after the coronavirus-mandated hiatus.

Duvan Zapata continues to deliver for Atalanta, as he became the league’s fifth-leading scorer with 18 goals along with six assists.

Meanwhile, Hakan Calhanoglu is still reliable as ever for AC Milan, having scored eight goals along with assists this term.

What’s next?

AC Milan and Atalanta have two more games left this season and they should take care of business in order to succeed with their objectives.

The Rossoneri have a chance to move up to the fifth spot and formally secure their Europa League spot as they will take on Sampdoria and Cagliari next.

On the other hand, Atalanta still have a puncher’s chance for the title and they would need to win against Parma and Inter Milan to boost their slim odds.

After that, they will turn their focus to the Champions League as they will face Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:03 PM (174 days ago)            #45
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Serie A: Europa League Hunters Roma Take On Surprising Fiorentina

AS Roma vs Fiorentina

There are a few matchdays left in Serie A as we are reaching the conclusion of the 2019/20 season, and another fascinating match beckons us at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend.

It will be AS Roma who will host Fiorentina – two teams who have been on remarkable runs as of late.

I Giallorossi are unbeaten in five straight matches, while La Viola have been surprising every SBOBET football fan by going six consecutive games without a loss.

With these two matching up, something has to give, although one of them needs this win more than the other.

AS Roma are teetering on the edge as they try to hold on to the fifth spot at the table, especially with the sixth-seeded AC Milan club breathing down on their necks fresh off of a draw against Atalanta.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina have quashed any fears of being relegated this season, and a win here could elevate them to as high as the ninth spot.

The last time these two met in December, AS Roma thrashed Fiorentina with a 4-1 victory. However, a lot has changed since then.

Can La Viola get their revenge this time around? Or will the Giallorossi repeat the same result this time on their home pitch?

Talking Points

AS Roma plan to fend off AC Milan

The Giallorossi may have to thank Atalanta for preventing AC Milan to come away with the three points in the last time out.

Although it was a missed opportunity as far as Atalanta’s title hopes are concerned, the draw put Roma in the driver seat in the Europa League chase.

Roma have 61 points as of this writing, which is only one point ahead AC Milan, so they would need to take care of business come Sunday in order to consolidate their spot.

A look at their recent Serie A 2020 results indicate that a win is in order since they have won four of their last five matches.

They’ve beaten up some lower tier teams in Parma, Brescia, Hellas Verona, and S.P.A.L. by scoring at least two goals in those contests.

Paulo Fonseca’s side almost came away with a win against Inter Milan, but a late Romelu Lukaku penalty prevented that from happening.

Still, it was an encouraging performance for a team that has been banged up recently.

The absences of Roger Ibanez, Cengiz Under, Juan Jesus, Federico Fazio, and Davide Stanton have hurt I Giallorossi’s depth at the back and they remain doubtful in this upcoming match.

However, their prolific attack is still in good shape with Edin Dzeko, Diego Perotti, and Nicolo Zaniolo rested, while Nikola Kalinic gave Paulo Fonseca something to think about after his fine performance against S.P.A.L.

Fiorentina looking to end on a good note

Giuseppe Iachini has done a great job in steering La Viola to a better direction after replacing Vincenzo Montella last December.

A victory for Fiorentina could see them move in the other half of the Serie A table

Fiorentina boss Giuseppe Iachini preparing before their match against Inter

The 56-year-old manager has already exceeded expectations for Fiorentina, who were desperately looking to finish higher than 16th place last term.

With the fear of being in the drop zone already non-existent, La Viola would be keen on trying to punch above their weight to jumpstart their ongoing rebuild.

And so far, they have done just that by going six consecutive matches unbeaten as of today.

After losing against Lazio and Sassuolo to end the month of June, Fiorentina turned things around by defeating Parma, Lecce, and Torino, while drawing level against Cagliari, Hellas Verona, and even Inter Milan.

Their defence has done a great job in stifling their opponents – having only conceded three goals during their unbeaten run. But it will be tested big time when they take on an in-form Roma club.

History

I Giallorossi and La Viola have had a rich history facing each other in Italy.

If we count their matches way before in the current era, all in all, they’ve faced each other in 183 meetings.

In those meetings, AS Roma have the slight edge in the head-to-heads with 63 wins, while Fiorentina have won in 57 games along with 66 draws.

Fiorentina have won just twice in the Stadio Olimpico since 1991.

Betting Tip

??

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:06 PM (174 days ago)            #46
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Serie A: Inter’s Chance to Get Revenge over Napoli

Inter Milan vs Napoli

The penultimate round of the Serie A season has one clear standout fixture: Inter Milan vs Napoli. As things stand, Inter still have a mathematical chance of catching leaders Juventus. Although, the Serie A 2020 odds have the champions as massive favourites to clinch their ninth straight Scudetto.

Inter will have the chance to avenge their Coppa Italia semi-final defeat to Napoli, who went on to win the cup after beating Juve in the final.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side has already clinched Europa League football thanks to their cup triumph, but they will nevertheless look to end the season strong by bringing down the Nerazzurri once again.

Talking Points

Inter’s Ex-Red Devils leading the way

After back-to-back draws against Roma and Fiorentina, Inter Milan finally got back to winning ways as they smashed Genoa 3-0. The win sent Inter back up to the second place, one point above Atalanta.

Romelu Lukaku starred against Genoa as he bagged a brace, while the in-form Alexis Sanchez also had another fine performance and scored the other goal.

The two former Manchester United forwards have been among Inter’s standout players post-restart. Lukaku has scored six goals in his last nine league appearances, while Sanchez has three goals and seven assists in 11 appearances.

Romelu Lukaku has been a standout for Inter Milan in their previous Serie A game

Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring Inter Milan’s second goal against Genoa

Thanks in large part to Lukaku and Alexis, Inter have been one of the most prolific teams in Serie A post-lockdown. They’ve scored 28 goals, which is tied with neighbours AC Milan for the most since the restart, although Inter have played one game more (11-10).

Sanchez’s emergence has made up for Lautaro Martinez’s sudden lack of Serie A 2020 highlights since returning to action. The highly touted Argentine has just one goal in his last 11 games as rumours about a potential move to Barcelona in the summer rumble on.

Inter have not been quite as impressive in defence, though. They’ve kept three clean sheets in their last four games, but their opponents in those games were among the worst attacking sides in the league.

The restart also hasn’t helped improve Inter’s home form, which has been subpar all season. They’ve won just three of their six matches at the San Siro, with two draws and a loss to Bologna, where they threw away an early lead.

Napoli have star striker back

After suffering a shock 2-1 defeat away to Parma, Napoli bounced back right away to score an impressive 2-0 home win against Sassuolo last time out. Napoli absolutely dominated the match as they had 21 shots to Sassuolo’s seven, with eight of their shots on target.

With their clean sheet, Napoli became the first side to keep a free-scoring Sassuolo side — one that played out exciting 3-3 draws against both Inter and Juventus — without a goal since the restart.

Napoli star Dries Mertens picked up a muscle injury in a recent match against Udinese and had to be subbed off after just half an hour. But after missing the Parma match, he returned as a substitute against Sassuolo and set up Allan’s goal deep in stoppage time.

It remains to be seen whether manager Gennaro Gattuso will decide to start Mertens following his recent injury scare, but he should at least have the Belgian available as a super-sub against Inter.

Mertens scored the decisive goal in the second leg to knock out Inter in their Coppa Italia semi-final tie. It was also the goal that made him Napoli’s all-time leading scorer.

Napoli have been one of the form teams in the league since the restart. They’ve picked up the fourth-most points (20) thanks to six wins and two draws in 10 games, although both Atalanta and Inter have played one more game than them.

However, their form away from the San Paolo post-restart has been a bit patchy. They’ve won just two of their five away matches, with two defeats and a draw.

History

Recent league encounters between Inter and Napoli have been highly competitive. Napoli hold the slight edge in wins (10-8), while there have been seven draws.

Although, Inter have won two out of the last three meetings, including a 3-1 win at the San Paolo in their first matchup of the season. Lukaku bagged a brace in that match, while Lautaro sealed the win with a goal in the second half.

Betting Tip

??
Inter Milan vs Napoli Napoli Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 2.06
July 29, 03:45 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds have Inter priced as -0.25 favourites on the Asian Handicap market owing to home advantage. But in this battle between two evenly matched sides, I’m leaning toward Napoli to pick up a positive result.

While they are slight underdogs, they are also fully capable of beating Inter at San Siro, who have not been great at home all year. Even a draw would see the bet win, so Napoli are the way to go.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:25 PM (174 days ago)            #47
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Serie A: Roma’s Best Chance to Beat Juventus

Juventus vs AS Roma

Nine-time Scudetto winners Juventus host Roma in the final round of Serie A this weekend. And despite Juve’s impressive home record, a win is by no means certain.

There isn’t a huge amount at stake in Turin on Saturday evening when Juventus vs Roma is the match on offer, with both teams assured of their finishing places and pressing European commitments still to fulfill.

I Bianconeri has rather stuttered to the title, which they won with help from Lazio’s post lockdown implosion, while Roma have fifth place guaranteed after a more impressive finish to the season.

On form and with little pressure, this is Roma’s best chance of beating Juventus this season. But even so that would be an impressive achievement.

Talking Points

Both clubs have European priorities

The most successful sides always have to fight battles on multiple fronts and so it is with Juve and Roma, but right now their European commitments take precedence.

I Bianconeri has a Champions League tie against Lyon to complete and they have a goal deficit to make up. A Lucas Tousart strike gave the French side a narrow advantage at a packed Stade des Lumieres and they’ll fight hard to protect that lead in Turin.

Cameroon striker Karl Toko Ekambi leads the Lyon line and he’ll be a handful for the Bianconeri defence, who are unlikely to be tested by Roma’s top scorer Edin Dzeko on Saturday, who looks likely to be rested.

Roma has a tough task in the Europa League looming on next Thursday when they have a single-leg Round of 16 fixture against Sevilla to negotiate.

Here at SBOBET, we’ll be reporting on the action as it happens.

Los Palanganas have qualified for next season’s Champions League with a fourth-place finish in La Liga and have a squad dripping with quality, led by club legend Jesus Navas.

Edin Dzeko has failed to find the net in four previous Serie A outings at Allianz Stadium

Edin Dzeko is a strike away from registering 20 goals in all competitions

Ronaldo’s Capocannoniere chase is almost over

I expect Cristiano Ronaldo to appear for Juventus this weekend, particularly while he still has a slim chance of winning an elusive fifth Golden Boot.

He’s scored an impressive 31 goals this season, but trails Lazio’s hotshot Ciro Immobile by four goals. It’s a lot to make up, but if anyone can do it CR7 can!

With one eye on the Champions League, Maurizio Sarri is likely to field a fairly strong team but he won’t stretch his best players.

Midfield man Rodrigo Bentancur has made seven assists but he could make way for Adrien Rabot who returns from suspension. Matthijs de Ligt and Paulo Dybala are also likely to be rested.

Paulo Fonseca’s Roma have been in a battle to hold off Milan in Serie A and did so successfully, eventually stretching their lead over the Rossoneri to four points thanks to three wins on the bounce.

Former Manchester United star Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored nine goals and made five assists from 22 starts and he is likely to feature on Saturday, while young striker Nicolo Zaniolo should get some game time.

History

The head-to-head Juventus vs Roma results have been in favour of I Bianconeri throughout the 59 games played since 1993.

29 have been won by Juventus with Roma coming out on top 14 times while there have been 16 draws.

The two teams met twice in January, with Juve winning 3-1 in the quarter final of the Coppa Italia and by 2-1 in Serie A.

The Old Lady comes into the game on the back of a limp performance against 13th placed Cagliari, losing 2-0, while Roma beat Juve’s neighbours Torino by a 3-2 score line with Dzeko opening the scoring.

Roma have won five of the last six, drawing the other game while Juve have won two, drawn two, and lost two.

But Roma will have to break some huge sequences to win in Turin.

I Bianconeri have won 16 and drawn twice at home this season, and they are unbeaten here in 27 and have won the last ten. It’s been nine years since Roma won at this venue.

Betting Tip

??
Juventus vs AS Roma Under 3.25 @ 1.89
August 02, 02:45 (GMT+8)

At any other point of the season the Juventus vs Roma betting odds would give the Old Lady a clear backing at a price of around 1.60.

But this is a one-off and odds of Juventus at 2.81 Roma at 2.20 and the draw at 3.60 show what a good chance this is for the visitors.

But I just can’t bring myself to back a Juventus defeat in Turin.

Their record at the Allianz Arena is outstanding. While form favours Roma, I Bianconeri will not want to surrender an unbeaten record – even in a game where the points don’t really matter.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:28 PM (174 days ago)            #48
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Serie A: The ‘What If’ Clubs Go Head-to-Head

Napoli vs Lazio

As the 2019-20 Serie A draws to a conclusion, this clash in Naples provides the perfect opportunity for reflection and a case of ‘what might have been’.

Two sides who have produced Serie A highlights aplenty and who have both secured their places in European competition next season ahead of what is, in many ways, a ‘dead-rubber’.

However, the question persists, what if things had transpired slightly differently.

Talking Points

The obvious first port of call is Lazio who are guaranteed to finish in the top four, regardless of the result on Saturday night, and could even finish in the runners-up spot for the first time since 1999 if results go their way (the year before they last won the title).

Yet you can’t help but think this could be so much more.

The side which won the Coppa Italia last season was, granted,a staggering 31 points behind Juventus last term, so to expect a challenge for the Scudetto was ambitious.

However, when the season was halted in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it was Lazio who sat just one point behind the leaders and reigning champions.

Since the restart, of course, their form plummeted as they won just two of their first eight games back – they have since won three successive contests to give themselves a chance of second place.

That the club has scaled the heights without a single euro of President Claudio Lotito’s own money–never signing a player for more than €20million since Lotito’s arrival – makes its triumphs even more impressive, and in Ciro Immobile possess the Serie A Golden Boot winner-elect.

As well as Immobile, Luis Alberto has chipped in with more assists than anyone else in the division and the club is back in the Champions League for the first time in 13 years.

Immobile, who has scored 35 times in Serie A this term, could be joined by veteran Spanish midfielder David Silva next season too so these certainly are exciting times for Lazio, despite recent setbacks.

Napoli, also, have had their moments this season.

The club’s foolish decision to part company with Carlo Ancelotti in December – for failing to follow the owner’s instructions – has backfired and they will be competing in the much less vaunted Europa League next year after four successive seasons in the Champions League.

Although it has been far from a vintage season, Gennaro Gattuso appears to have halted the reverse in fortunes of the crisis-stricken club since succeeding Ancelotti and even guided them to a Coppa Italia success.

While Napoli will finish in seventh spot regardless of the outcome on Saturday night, at least one San Paolo player seems to be keen to stop Lazio grabbing the win they crave.

Dries Mertens has pledged to stop Immobile from beating Gonzalo Higuain’s record of 36 goals in a Serie A season.

The Argentine forward, currently at Juventus, scored 36 times for Napoli in the 2015-16 Serie A season, and Mertens doesn’t want the Aquile ace to knock him off his throne.

Despite winning Coppa Italia, it has been a disappointing Serie A season for Napoli

Napoli lift their sixth Italian Cup following a 0-0 draw with Juventus

Napoli have this week backed their manager by confirming the signing of young Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen from French club Lille.

According to reports, he will become the most expensive African player of all time.

But have they got enough with their current squad to stop Lazio and Immobile?

With the sides in second and third place – Inter Milan and Atalanta – meeting at the same time as Lazio’s game, visiting coach Simone Inzaghi will be hoping that contest ends level so they can win to leapfrog both.

That incentive enough may just give them the edge.

History

This has been a close encounter in recent seasons with only one goal separating the sides in their last four meetings.

Napoli have actually won three of those.

Last season they completed a league double with home and away 2-1 triumphs in which Immobile netted both Lazio goals (Arkadiusz Milik scored in both games for Napoli too), while earlier this season a Lorenzo Insigne goal knocked the then holders out of the Coppa Italia as Napoli went onto take the crown.

Lazio won the league game earlier this season though thanks to a solitary goal from – yes, you’ve guessed it – Immobile.

That remains Lazio’s only victory over Napoli in their past 10 encounters.

Betting Tip

??
Napoli vs Lazio Lazio Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.35
August 02, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Yet all things must come to an end and I’m going to lean towards Lazio with the SBOBET Serie A betting odds.

Another 1-0 league win is available with correct score @ 12.00.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:33 PM (174 days ago)            #49
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Serie A: The Mouthwatering Battle For Second Best

Atalanta vs Inter Milan

With the Serie A 2019/20 season winding down and Juventus having secured their ninth straight Scudetto, football fans may have tuned out already.

However, there’s still more to be excited for as this weekend’s clash at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia offers quite a fascinating matchup.

Atalanta will host Inter Milan in a battle for Serie A’s second seed. But more importantly, these two clubs will use this gain some momentum ahead of their respective European competitions.

Next week, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men will face Thomas Tuchel’s Paris-Saint Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals while Antonio Conte’s side will host Jose Bordalas’ Getafe in the second leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tiff.

Along with this, Atalanta and Inter would also monitor the Serie A 2020 updates about the match between Napoli and Lazio to give themselves a clearer picture on where they might end up.

So expect these teams to go at each other’s heads this weekend, as their competitive juices will spill over in what will be a battle of pride and bragging rights.

Talking Points

Atalanta reaching for rare milestones

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are on the cusp of making history, and they can hit two birds in one stone come tomorrow.

They are the highest scoring side in Serie A this season with 98 goals so far, and they can reach the century mark should their players be on target.

Since blasting Brescia with a 6-2 tally in mid-July, Atalanta’s attack has been so-so in their last four matches.

They’ve only scored one goal in winnable games versus Hellas Verona and Bologna, and they missed a rare opportunity to go on top of the Serie A standings when they drew level against AC Milan.

La Dea bounced back shortly against Parma with a 2-1 scoreline, so there’s a huge possibility that they can do it.

Atalanta have never finished to as high as second place in the Italian top-flight, so a win here will take them to their biggest achievement since returning to top flight in 2012.

Overall, this was a great season for Gian Piero Gasperini’s club considering that they’re not really considered as an elite team historically.

Inter looking to give their manager a great birthday gift

Antonio Conte recently celebrated his 51st birthday and the Nerazzurri boss is hopeful that they would secure second place after this fixture.

Although they weren’t able to carry out their main objective in dethroning Juventus, Inter have witnessed major improvements under the former Chelsea boss.

Inter could finish their Serie A campaign with 82 points

Inter boss Antonio Conte giving instructions from the touchline

They have already scored more points than expected with 79 so far and they could equal their 2010 championship season to where they finished with 82 points.

However, getting the job done will be much easier said than done as Inter are expected to miss several players ahead of this match.

Josip Ilicic remains out while Jose Palomino is deemed doubtful due to a muscular problem that forced him off the pitch versus Parma.

Furthermore, Conte will also face a hard decision on whether who will be their main striker. Lautaro Martinez is primed to take over and that might relegate Alexis Sanchez to the bench despite his brilliant form as of late.

History

The head-to-head matchup between Atalanta and Inter Milan has been one-sided, with the visitors carrying a significant advantage.

In their 35 fixtures against each other, the Nerazzurri have won 18 times compared to only seven by La Dea along with 10 draws.

Their last two fixtures ended in low-scoring draws, but it’s expected that this one will be a cracker given that they’ve averaged 2.91 goals per game.

Now let’s head on over to our latest Serie A 2020 odds to learn more about our betting tips.

Betting Tip

??
Atalanta vs Inter Milan Over 2.75 @ 1.59
August 2, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Honestly, it’s hard to pick a winner between these two given the intensity they both put out there on the pitch.

These are two of the most prolific scoring teams in the league as they aren’t shy of firing away. Hence, my recommendation is to place your bets on Over 2.50 @ 1.50.

You can also bet on Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.88. But if you are swinging for the fences, you may fancy a bet on Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.11.

Do take note that Atalanta are only favoured to win slightly in the 1×2 market as they are priced at 2.49. Inter Milan are pegged at 2.57 while chances for a draw are at 3.60.

As we are approaching the conclusion of the 2019/20 Serie A season, tune in for more of our coverage here at SBOBET.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (HIGHLY CONFIDENT) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:36 PM (174 days ago)            #50
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Serie A: Roma Have Fun While the Old Lady Sleeps!

Juventus 1-3 AS Roma

Champions Juventus lost their unbeaten home record tonight as an in-form Roma side took the Old Lady apart on the final day of the Serie A season.

Man of the match Diego Perotti scored twice and made an assist as Paulo Fonseca’s side finished the season with a win, but a much changed Juventus side lacked spark throughout the game. In normal circumstances Serie A: Juventus vs Roma under the floodlights, is a big, big match but with neither team under pressure for points, this was the best chance Roma had to beat Juventus in years.

And they took it in style!

Highlights of the game

Diego Perotti leads AS Roma to a win against Juventus in their recent Serie A game

Diego Perotti scores AS Roma’s second goal against Juventus from the penalty spot

Roma came into this game on a fine run of form but they made a shocking start when Gonzalo Higuain put the hosts ahead with just five minutes on the clock. It was a well worked set-piece as Adrien Rabot, back in the side after suspension, fired in a corner and Higuain poked home from close range.

Juve’s unbeaten home record looked safe, but Roma had other plans and they were back in the game on 23 minutes. Perotti swung over a corner and Nikola Kalinic rose highest to plant a firm header down and into the bottom right corner. And I Bianconeri went behind on the cusp of half time when former Manchester City defender Danilo fouled Riccardo Calafiori in the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Perotti stepped up and slammed the ball into the bottom right corner to give the Romans a half time lead.

Nicolo Zaniolo had a lively first half and the 21 year old attacking midfielder was in the thick of the action early in the second period, making an assist in the 53rd minute. He found Perotti in space in the penalty area and the Argentine winger bagged his second with a low strike into the bottom right corner.

Juve came close to finding a way back into the game, on the hour, but midfielder Aaron Ramsay’s snap shot crashed back off the crossbar. But that was as near as the Old Lady came as Perotti searched for his hat-trick at the other end.

Key statistics

The pre-match Juventus vs Roma betting odds, here at SBOBET, had Roma as favourites at odds of 2.20 and once Perotti had slotted home his penalty to put the visitors in the lead, the result was never in doubt.

Roma won the shot count by 12 to 11 and six to three on target and thoroughly deserved their win.

A run of six wins and a draw from the last six games cemented Roma in fifth place in the La Liga table and they broke some sequences tonight.

This was I Bianconeri’s first home defeat in 28 games and the first time Roma has won here in nine years.

What’s next?

Fonseca’s men are in action again on Thursday in a Europa League clash against La Liga giants Sevilla. It’s a single leg tie to be held in the Schauinsland-Reisen Arena in Germany and Roma come up against a side in good form. Los Palanganas won five and drew one of their last six La Liga games to qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League.

I Bianconeri’s recent Serie A 2020 results haven’t been so impressive since they won their ninth consecutive Scudetto at a canter, but Maurizio Sarri needs his side to be on top form next week. They have a tricky task in the Champions League, with a Round of 16 second leg against Lyon to play. The French arrived with a one goal lead after Lucas Tousart struck at the Stade des Lumieres way back in February.

In the latter stages of a disappointing campaign Lyon were in seventh place, and ten points behind a Champions League place, when the COVID pandemic struck. And with Ligue 1 cancelled there is a danger that Rudi Garcia’s players may be a little undercooked when they arrive in Turin next Friday. Maurizio Sarri’s side is at odds of 1.79 to overturn the deficit and proceed to the quarter finals.

It’s been a disappointing evening for Juve but a good week off the pitch. One legend is returning to the Allianz Arena as part of next season’s management team. Former midfield ace Andrea Pirlo is back with Juventus as head of the club’s U23 team. It’s his first job in coaching and he’ll be a popular addition to the Old Lady’s top team, having had a successful stint as a player in Turin, winning four league titles and a Coppa Italia.

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SBOBET 06-Aug 2020 Thursday 8:38 PM (174 days ago)            #51
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Immobile Marks Serie A Milestone

Napoli 3-1 Lazio

In the end, it wasn’t enough to earn Lazio the Serie A runners-up spot.

Even if they had triumphed in Naples, Inter Milan’s victory at Atalanta would have made that impossible anyway.

But it was still a night on which to cherish a joint record holder and someone who has proved to be the leading marksman, arguably in Europe, this term.

Step forward Ciro Immobile who netted his 36th league goal of the campaign to clinch the Capocannoniere (Golden Boot) and equal Gonzalo Higuain’s Serie A goals record from four years ago; ironically when he was a Napoli.

Highlights of the game

Despite effectively being a dead-rubber – both sides had secured their places in Europe for next season – it was clear this mattered to both sides.

The second half was, at times, ill-tempered and if there was any doubt both wanted to win, the sight of managers Simone Inzaghi and Gennaro Gattuso being booked in the second half before a late skirmish involving players on both sides made it clear.

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has doubled his effort to lead his side to victory in their final Serie A clash this season

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso instructs his players during their Serie A game against Inter Milan last July 28, 2020 at San Siro Stadium

Lazio boss Inzaghi had already urged his side to end the season on a high, a season in which they created plenty of Serie A highlights to clinch a return back to the Champions League for the first time in 13 years.

Napoli, meanwhile, could have been forgiven for having their sights on the Champions League trip to Barcelona but once again gave it their all against league rivals.

They had announced their club record signing on the eve of this fixture – even though this SBOBET observer wonders if the outlay will lead to the departure of star defender Kalidou Koulibaly – and had a spring in their step from early on.

Only nine minutes had elapsed when Fabian Ruiz, with the aid of a deflection, curled the ball into the top corner.

It was a lead which wasn’t to last too long as Immobile entered his name into the record books.

In poking the ball home from close range, it was particularly fitting for the frontman to equal the record of 36 goals in a single season by netting at the Stadio San Paolo.

Firstly, because that is where Higuain set it in May 2016, but also as the Lazio striker is from the Naples area.

What’s more, in equalising Immobile also set a new Serie A record of away goals scored in a single season, one ahead of his own 2017/18 exploits and that set by Zlatan Ibrahimovic during his Inter Milan days.

Into the second half and Napoli regained the lead nine minutes after the break, Lorenzo Insigne converting from the penalty spot after Dries Mertens was caught by Marco Parolo.

Had Tucu Correa not been denied by the woodwork moments later, following a lovely solo run, or seen an effort saved by David Opsina soon afterwards, Lazio may quickly have restored parity.

Adam Marusic also nodded narrowly wide before Napoli produced a fine team move in the final minute and Matteo Politano had the final say to earn the hosts a win, although that was marred somewhat by the sight of Insigne leaving the fray with what appeared to be a muscular problem.

Ultimately, once tempers died down, the match will be remembered for two reasons:

The sight of Jose Callejon, named skipper for the night, receiving hugs in his final match at the Stadio San Paolo will be remembered by those with a Napoli connection.

The sight of Italian marksman Immobile, equalling Higuain’s record and that set by Gino Rossetti in 1928/29, the season prior to Serie A’s establishment, will be remembered by many more and was a special moment and a significant achievement.

If Serie A betting odds are offered on a repeat, I bet it won’t happen for some time to come.

Key statistics

Immobile has moved level alongside Lionel Messi as the player to be directly involved in the most league goals in the top five European leagues in 2019-20: Messi (25 goals, 20 assists) Immobile (36 goals, nine assists).

Insigne’s penalty was the 186th awarded in Serie A this season. There were only 92 in England’s Premier League.

Inzaghi has a poor managerial record on the final day of the season since taking charge of the club. He has lost all five of his matches and conceded at least three goals per game.

Napoli have now won 50 games against Lazio (more than they have against any other club), also winning 32 of the 64 meetings at the San Paolo and losing just 10.

What’s next?

Serie A is now concluded for both these sides.

Napoli still have at least one game remaining in 2019-20, however They ravel to the Camp Nou a week tonight (August 8) to take on Barcelona in the Champions League.

Their last-16 tie second leg s currently tied at 1-1.

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SBOBET 11-Aug 2020 Tuesday 1:38 PM (169 days ago)            #52
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Serie A: So Near for Goal-Crazy Atalanta

They love their strikers in Bergamo and after another exciting season, Atalanta almost won a stunning double.

After going on a 19-match unbeaten run, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side became unlikely challengers to Juventus in the race for the Scudetto, coming up on the rails after Lazio and Inter Milan had stumbled. And they scored the most goals in Serie A, a whopping 98, 17 more than closest rivals Inter, and 22 more than champions Juventus.

La Dea is the star of the Serie A 2020 highlights package and they’re not bad at defending either, conceding 48 goals and ranking fifth in that measure.

They had the magical 100 goals tally in their sights, just two short with one game to play but when Atalanta had a face-off with Inter for second place, they drew a blank as Danilo D’Ambrosio and Ashley Young gave Inter a 2-0 win in what their head coach, Antonio Conte, described as the ‘best of the losers.’

A bit harsh!

Conte was probably a little grumpy because Inter flew out of the blocks at the start of the campaign and, at one stage, the Serie A 2020 betting odds had I Nerazzurri neck-and-neck with the Old Lady. And they made a late run for the title but, like Atalanta, fell short.

Lazio went on a spectacular run but lost their way after the return of football in June and finished fourth, level on points with La Dea.

So it was Atalanta who had all the neutrals cheering for them as the 2019/20 campaign finally came to a climax. And it really looked like Gasperini’s dream was on when they outplayed Juventus in a 2-2 draw before hitting local rivals Brescia for six three days later. Other victories over rivals Lazio and Napoli really showed how good Atalanta can be on their day.

They don’t rely on one single striker. While Lazio’s Ciro Immobile held off Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo for the Capocannoniere, trailed by Inter’s Romelu Lukaku, La Dea shares out the goals.

Duvan Zapata has shown superb form to help Atalanta seal a record-breaking 98 goals this Serie A season

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata in action against AC Milan’s Simon Kjaer during their Serie A clash last July 24, 2020 at San Siro Stadium

Colombian striker Duvan Zapata led the way with 18 goals and six assists, while Luis Muriel matched his 18 goals and made one assist, but he scored his 18 at a rate of one per 69 minutes on the pitch, the best ratio in the league. Add in the 15 goals and five assists of Josip Ilicic and you have the best front three in Italy.

Euro clash keeps La Dea’s season alive

Gasperini’s team is still in the 2020 Champions League and has a huge test against Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

This is Atalanta’s first campaign in Europe’s flagship competition and they reached the quarter-finals in spectacular fashion. Slovenian Ilicic scored four goals in a behind-closed-doors second-leg tie against La Liga’s Valencia, winning 8-4 on aggregate.

It’s sad that the fans who normally pack the 21,000-capacity stadium aren’t there to enjoy the ride in Atalanta’s best ever period, their only major triumph being the 1963 Coppa Italia to go alongside six Serie B titles. If they can find their best form against the Parisiens they should be fine, but this is a step up.

The Champions League will be concluded in a mini-tournament with all ties consisting of one leg instead of two, and that could work in Atalanta’s favour. We’ll be covering the clash here at SBOBET and it promises to be a cracker, both teams knowing it’s do-or-die in the heat of the Estadio do Sport Lisboa in Portugal.

PSG were awarded the Ligue 1 title on a points-per-game basis after COVID-19 stopped football in France, and they are unbeaten in this Champions League campaign, topping their group ahead of Real Madrid.

La Dea are likely to be without Ilicic for personal reasons, while PSG are sweating on the fitness of star striker Kylian Mbappe, who was injured in the Coupe de France final victory over Saint-Etienne.

Happy Hellas

Winners of the 2018/19 Serie B play-off, Hellas Verona would have measured survival as success this term, but they earned a ninth-placed finish after an impressive campaign, which included a 1-1 home draw against Atalanta, late in July, when Matteo Pessina equalised after Zapata had given the visitors a lead early in the second half.

I Mastini missed out on a clash with local rivals Chievo in the Verona derby, but they look set to stay in Serie A for a while on the evidence of this season so it’s down to their neighbours to step up. Chievo finished the Serie B season in 6th place so they are not far away.

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SBOTOP 16-Sep 2020 Wednesday 2:19 PM (133 days ago)            #53
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Serie A: Front Runners Jockey for Position

The new Serie A season will soon be upon us and there will be familiar names to consider when you assess the SBOTOP betting odds.

Naturally though, there’s only one place you can start – the serial Italian champions – even though it’s all change in Turin.

Juventus, of course, have parted company with Maurizio Sarri and welcomed back Andrea Pirlo, who won four Serie A titles as a player with the club.

He was named as their under-23 boss at the end of last month but within a week the ‘old lady’ were out of the Champions League and Pirlo was the senior manager after the club sacked Sarri, despite winning the Serie A title in his first season in charge.

How that relationship unfolds between serial winner yet inexperienced manager will be fascinating, the champions are said to be in negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain for midfielder Leandro Paredes. The 26-year-old Argentina international is no stranger to Serie A, having already played very briefly for Chievo, then Empoli and Roma.

And they have also been strongly linked with another midfielder in the form of Schalke man Weston McKennie.

The American has been the subject of frenzied speculation for months now, with Hertha Berlin and Southampton among the potential suitors.

But it now seems Juve are close to sealing a one-year loan deal with an option to purchase McKennie for €18 million.

In truth, Inter Milan should have won Serie A last season.

They may have only been one point adrift in the final standings but Juve eased up after the title was won.

Furthermore, Inter failed badly in the final third of the campaign after being neck and neck with them for much of the campaign following a summer in which they spent big and followed it up with not insignificant January recruits.

Inter Milan finished the 2019-2020 Serie A season at 2nd place and only one point behind Juventus

Antonio Conte and his players looking dejected after their defeat to Sevilla in Europa League

Their failure to lift the Europa League last week was further proof of Antonio Conte’s limitations without money, even though it seems his request for even more financial backing has been heeded and he will still be in charge next term.

The club though has been linked with Max Allegri, the man who succeeded Conte at Juventus and improved them by some considerable way.

Napoli missed out on a Champions League spot but did manage to reach the Europa League and win the Coppa Italia en route and their initial aim will be to return to the domestic top four.

Boss Gennaro Gattuso has signalled his intentions by capturing club-record signing Victor Osimhen, although key to any progress could be whether they retain the services of Kalidou Koulibaly – a much in-demand centre back according to many sources.

Across the city, Milan will be in the Europa League next term and, despite suggestions to the contrary from his agent, Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be on board for another season.

The veteran striker, in his second spell with the club, joined the Rossoneri in December after leaving LA Galaxy and made a telling contribution as he found the target 10 times in 18 Serie A games.

His presence and influence, just as much as his goals, lifted the club to a sixth-place finish and some memorable Serie A highlights.

I’ve not mentioned Roma, Atalanta or Lazio yet – the former two clubs who have achieved against the odds, the latter a side which appears to be treading water and am not expecting to progress quickly.

With Milan seemingly sniffing around, Atalanta will be keen to get a deal done for Lokomotiv Moscow creative midfielder Aleksei Miranchuk.

Roma have been linked with a host of players including striker Krzysztof Piatek, Arsenal full-back Sead Kolasinac and, possibly, Sami Khedira as part of a swap deal for hitman Edin Dzeko.

Meanwhile, Lazio will primarily hope to recapture the form they had before Covid-19 halted football.

They endured a dire run of form when football resumed in late June – winning just two of their last seven – and dropped to fourth, eight points adrift of the summit.

After reportedly missing out on a number of top targets in recent weeks, most notably David Silva from Manchester City, a few new faces of genuine quality would give everyone at the club a lift.

Given coach Simone Inzaghi has helped the club compete with much bigger-spending rivals is laudable but now they need to up their game.

Being in the Champions League will be enormously beneficial with new avenues to further increase revenue, not just from UEFA, but also shirt sponsorships.

It certainly promises to be an interesting final few weeks of the Serie A transfer window.

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SBOTOP 16-Sep 2020 Wednesday 2:23 PM (133 days ago)            #54
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Serie A: CR7 is Simply the Best

To me, he isn’t just the best player in the world, he is a contender for the best footballer the world has ever seen.

For Cristiano Ronaldo has just won yet another league title, this time with Juventus in Serie A.

And if it hadn’t been for his individual brilliance, the side wouldn’t have necessarily even reached the knockout stages of the Champions League where his efforts left him free from blame after they exited the competition.

He may not be the reigning world player of the year but it’s not the first time that award has baffled those within the game.

The decision to award that gong to another genius, Lionel Messi, after a year in which Ronaldo had won his first Serie A title and captained his country Portugal to Nations League glory surpassed the achievements of any other contender.

Fast forward to now, and the fact remains that had it not been for Ronaldo, Juventus would probably not have retained the Italian title last month.

For when it really mattered, he came to the fore and proved his worth by continuously providing us with some Serie A 2020 highlights.

To retain that level of influence in his mid-30s shows what a fine athletic specimen he is, as well as world-class talented footballer.

The question now is this: does he stay in Turin for another year or two and guide them to the Champions League they so crave – a title that has eluded them since 1996 – or does he seek a final chapter in another country after two more trophy-laden years in Italy?

There is no doubt that’s why he was bought to Italy in 2018 and the combination between him and the club’s next manager, Andrea Pirlo, may be pivotal.

Of course unlike his most recent Champions League success with Real Madrid two years ago, when he virtually single-handedly took the side to the final, he will need a helping hand as the Juventus supporting cast has largely underachieved in this tournament in recent times despite being backed by the Serie A 2020 odds.

Going back to my initial points, I recently saw a video of a young Ronaldo for the first time.

Yes, I knew about the match in question, a preseason friendly between Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United in 2003.

 However, what I didn’t realise was how much impact he would have on the players at United, who were then English champions, in that encounter as senior pros begged Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him up in the dressing room after the match.

That Ferguson did and Ronaldo made his debut in the Premier League about 10 days later spoke volumes and the rest is very much history.

This is a player who mastered his technique in Madeira, learned his trade in Portugal, was ‘roughed up’ yet learned to adapt and overcome challenges at the highest level in England and promptly went on to become the best player in the world in the three different countries where he has played.

Add that to an exceptional work ethic which also helped him guide a small country on paper to a major international title, really completes the set for someone who may well be remembered as the greatest player who has ever lived.

Whether you agree with that last statement or not – and there are only a few who qualify to be considered in that bracket.

When you think about the other players like Messi, Maradona, Pele, Best, Cruyff, Zidane – there is no escaping the fact that Ronaldo has just completed another excellent season with so many goals and assists being the impetus for further glory.

A clear turning point in his career arrived in 2006 when England die-hards joined anti-United fans in trying to hound a 21-year-old Ronaldo and blame him for his role in Portugal knocking the Three Lions out of the European Championship.

Not everyone particularly at that age, could have recovered from the abuse but CR7 showed a strength of character which has stood him in good stead ever since.

Questions are looming regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s time in the Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo holds up the inaugural UEFA Nations League title

I referred to his athleticism earlier and that is another area where this son of Madeira deserves huge credit for his physical transformation. He has taken his fitness levels to new heights and even now in his mid-30s, he shows no sign of stopping.

So the answer to the purpose of this editorial: “Evaluate Ronaldo’s season at Juventus” is a simple one.

Here is a footballer in contention to be remembered as the greatest ever. The complete player. And his 2019/20 campaign? World class yet again!

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SBOTOP 16-Sep 2020 Wednesday 2:27 PM (133 days ago)            #55
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Serie A: Lukaku Finds A Home In Milan

Romelu Lukaku has taken Serie A by storm in his first season with Inter Milan, but is anyone in football really surprised?

I have an ardent Manchester United fan as a friend and colleague here at SBOTOP and he certainly isn’t! Since his £74m switch from the Premier League club last summer the strong, fast and lethal striker has terrorized Italy’s normally rock-solid defences, scoring at will as Inter challenged seriously for the title for the first time in a decade.

In his opening campaign at the San Siro Lukaku finished third in the race for the Capocannoniere, behind Lazio’s prolific Ciro Immobile and Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo. 23 goals from 36 games was a fine return, a rate of 0.7 goals per game with a shot accuracy of 63 per cent.

The 6ft 3in striker is pretty much the complete package, scoring with his head and either foot, and when he starts an explosive run towards goal there is usually one outcome.

Lukaku looks settled at last

Inter fans are delighted they have got their man, but it’s been a long journey for the Antwerp born player. In common with another former Red Devil, Wayne Rooney, the Belgian hitman was a powerful unit as a boy; and he made his Belgium Premier League debut at the age of just 16 and 11 days. His 33 goals in 73 games for Anderlecht prompted Chelsea to shell out £12m for the youngster, but he only played 10 games for the Blues, instead heading out on loan, first to West Bromwich Albion and then to Everton.

He plundered 17 goals from 35 games with the Baggies in 2012/13 and then 15 from 31 the following season at Goodison Park. The Toffees were impressed enough to splash out a club record £26m to take Lukaku to Merseyside and he kept up his 1:2 goal ration with 53 goals from 110 games in the next three seasons.

The £75m fee which took Lukaku to Manchester United in 2017 made him the joint fifth most expensive player in the history of the game. And it was all going well in his first season at Old Trafford. While the team struggled to find its identity under Jose Mourinho, Lukaku knew exactly hat he was about and repaid his fee with a tally of 27 goals.

But the following season he became unsettled when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho, he was in and out of the team and finished with a heavily reduced return of 15 goals. Inter boss Antonio Conte swooped and Lukaku prospered. Following his £74m move to the San Siro he scored with his very first shot for I Nerazzurri in an opening day 4-0 victory over Lecce, and he hasn’t looked back.

Romelu Lukaku has been powerful for Inter Milan in the Serie A this season

Romelu Lukaku in action during his first match with Inter Milan against Lecce

His goal in the Europa League final took his season tally to 34 goals from 51 games, equalling a club record set by the great Ronaldo, back in 1998.

Inter are genuine challengers once more

Lukaku’s goals have fired Inter to a new level; their Serie A season came down to a shoot-out for second place with free-scoring Atalanta, but for much of the season I Nerazzurri ran Juve close at the top of the table.

Conte went back to the Premier League in the January transfer window; and a big feature of the Serie A 2020 news, at the start of the calendar year, was the arrival of attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen from Spurs and experienced wing-back Ashley Young from Manchester United. The break in football due to COVID 19 seemed to benefit the Old Lady as she took the Scudetto back to Turin. But Inter came close to silverware.

In the Europa League final Lukaku scored Inter’s opener and then was unlucky to divert a Sevilla effort into his own net to give the Spaniards a 3-2 victory. So upset was the Belgian that he refused to accept his runners-up medal. But his side wouldn’t have been there in the first place without his goals, after he scored in 11 consecutive Europa League games.

So what next for Lukaku?

Well, the pre-season Serie A 2020 betting odds have Inter as the clear challengers to Juventus in the Old Lady’s quest it make it ten successive Scudettos. I Bianconeri will start at odd of around 1.90 with Inter at 3.00 and Atalanta and Napoli in pursuit.

The frightening thing for defences in Serie A, and around the world, is that, at 27 years of age, Lukaku is just coming into his prime and has six or seven seasons to come at the very top of the game.

Belgium is FIFA’s top-ranked team in the world and Lukaku’s 52 goals in 84 international appearances are a big reason why, but Serie A defences will be more concerned by the four years he has left to run on his contract at Inter Milan!

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SBOTOP 16-Sep 2020 Wednesday 2:30 PM (133 days ago)            #56
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Serie A: The Big Guns Reload Their Armory

In less than two weeks, the 2020/21 Serie A season will finally commence. All 20 Italian top-flight teams will vie for the illustrious Scudetto while trying to complete their respective objectives.

In the 2019/20 season that recently ended, I Bianconeri won their ninth consecutive crown despite abnormal circumstances.

They had to deal with play stoppage due to COVID-19, and then the title race came down to the wire with clubs such as Lazio, Inter Milan, and Atalanta putting up a valiant stand.

Juventus will be coming in as the hot favourites to win it all once more, as per our Serie A 2020 odds. So a big target will be on their backs as other teams will look to stop their dynastic run.

Which is why weeks after they lifted the trophy, other teams have been plotting to dethrone them by getting themselves busy in the ongoing transfer market.

The wheeling in dealing continues here in Italy. As always, SBOTOP is here to provide you the latest Serie A 2020 updates, transfer rumours, and more.

AC Milan look to strengthen their midfield

The Rossoneri were four points short of an assured spot in the Europa League last term, and they are more than eager to bounce back in this upcoming season.

Team manager Stefano Pioli has been one of the busiest executives this offseason as he tries to improve his squad.

He was able to bring back Zlatan Ibrahimovic to their lineup after weeks of negotiations. Initially, Ibrahimovic couldn’t get to terms with AC Milan, but eventually they agreed to a one-year deal worth 7-M Euros.

The evergreen striker has been a huge factor for the Rossoneri’s late resurgence last season. His leadership has inspired AC Milan to churn out some key performances, which includes a stunning comeback victory over Juventus last July.

Now with him back, Stefano Pioli will have someone to rely on in terms of experience and leadership in the dressing room.

In addition to Ibrahimovic, AC Milan have added some young cogs to further fortify the middle.

The Rossoneri added Sandro Tonali and Tiemoue Bakayoko to support the likes of Halkan Calhanoglu and Franck Kessie.

AC Milan would also need to renegotiate a lucrative deal with Gianluigi Donnarumma, as the budding goalkeeper had been asking for a wage increase to stay with the team long-term.

Serie A: Inter Milan are eager to sign Chelsea star N'Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante in action for Chelsea during Premier League match against Leicester City at King Power Stadium

Inter might witness a reunion

AC Milan’s rivals in Inter have been busy too in the offseason – although under in different circumstances.

For one, Antonio Conte and the rest of the management have been dealing with talks about Lautaro Martinez especially with Barcelona persistent on knocking their door.

But so far the Nerazzurri has yet to budge and instead they are finding ways to supplement their overall attack.

Romelu Lukaku has been a boon for the team since his arrival last term and he looked to have finally found his home.

But in order to contend for the Scudetto, Inter would need to address their depth at the midfield.

With Christian Eriksen placed in the transfer list, Inter Milan have turned their focus to try and pry away N’Golo Kante from Chelsea.

Conte and Kante go way back as they were integral parts of the Blues’ title run in the 2016/17 Premier League season. However, they would need at least £60-M for a reunion to happen.

Andrea Pirlo gets down to business for Juventus

Andrea Pirlo wasted no time in reintroducing himself to the fans. With him now in the managerial helm, the former Juve playmaker has done some wheeling in dealing to prepare for a grueling season ahead.

I Bianconeri have let go of Blaise Matuidi as he left for the MLS. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuain is expected to leave the team too sooner or later.

However, Pirlo is about to replace them with younger players. Juventus just brought in Weston McKennie from Schalke while they have been keeping an eye of Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele.

Ndombele fell from the pecking order under Jose Mourinho and he has already been linked to several teams. Juve are reportedly offering winger Federico Bernadeschi as part of a player swap deal to bring the free-roaming midfielder over to Turin.

Meanwhile, they were able to reach an agreement with Luis Suarez after his fallout with Barcelona. However, the Uruguayan striker would need to pass several requirements in order to officially be part of the squad.

Juventus are also interested in bringing over Alvaro Morata from Atletico Madrid. Reports indicate that he will be the alternative for Luis Suarez if ever the latter can’t hurdle his business obstacles.

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SBOTOP 16-Sep 2020 Wednesday 2:33 PM (133 days ago)            #57
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Serie A: Verona Can Give Roma Some Hellas!

Football is back folks, and over the next week, all four of Europe’s big leagues are set to start their new domestic seasons.

The Premier League and La Liga kick off this weekend and then the Bundesliga and Serie A follows on next week, and it feels like they have never been away!

We’ve already taken a look at the opening fixtures in England and Spain, so now we turn our attention to the Italian League.

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether anyone can stop Juventus from winning a historic 10 consecutive Scudettos.

Well, the teams with the best chances of wrestling the title from the Old Lady’s grasp are Inter Milan and Napoli.

Inter will have to wait until the 26th September to open their campaign, but Napoli are in action next weekend so we’ll take a look at their opening fixture.

But first let’s head to Verona where a potential upset might just be on the cards.

Hellas Verona vs AS Roma

Roma has been among the Italian football aristocracy for decades and last season they proved they can mix it with the very best, earning an impressive victory over Juventus in August.

But they failed to make the top four, finishing in fifth place and so they are settling for Europa League football this season.

Head coach Paulo Fonseca has strengthened his squad with the signings of Atalanta defender Gianluca Mancini for £13-M and French midfielder Jordan Veretout in a £16-M switch from Fiorentina.

Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Pedro has also signed, but the Serie A 2020 betting odds don’t have a lot of confidence in Roma to make a top four place, while somewhere around the sixth and seventh looks more likely.

Ivan Juric’s Verona performed well in their return to the top flight last season, exceeding expectations with a ninth-placed finish, and they were in the hunt for European football throughout the campaign.

Verona have recruited 19-year-old Manchester City midfielder Ivan Ilic and the Serb U21 international will hope to make a speedy impact.

Hellas are at 3.35 to win this game here at SBOTOP with Roma at 2.06. And if the hosts show their form of last season, they will give the Romans a good run for their money.

Parma vs Napoli

Last season was a case of what might have been for Napoli as they made a late run up the table, but they fell short by finishing in seventh place.

It’s been a period of consolidation under head coach Gennaro Gattuso and now they could be ready to challenge again this season.

Gli Azzurri are third favourites at 11.00 to win the Scudetto and a fast start to the season will give their fans something to dream about.

They haven’t won the Scudetto since 1990. However, with the quality of Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens in the squad, Gli Azzurri can be a match for anyone.

And Gattuso secured a marquee signing when Lille’s highly-rated 21-year-old striker Victor Osimhen turned down Manchester United in favour of a move to Napoli for a fee rising to 84-M Euros. He is sure to be in the Serie A 2020 news in the coming weeks.

Youngster Victor Osimhen is determined to showcase his best form as Napoli aim to claim the 2020/21 Serie A title

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen celebrates with teammate Lorenzo Insigne during Pre-Season Friendly match against L’Aquila 1927

Fabio Liverani’s Parma had a decent season last term.

Since the beginning of September, he has spent around 30-M Euros in transfer fees to bring in midfielders Hernani and Alberto Grassi, Napoli reserve goalkeeper Luigi Sepe, and Roma striker Gregoire Defrel.

Napoli are at 1.66 to win this game with the draw at 3.50, but can Parma catch them cold and pull off a shock? Odds of 4.75 say it’s possible but I favour the draw.

Genoa vs Crotone

Serie B 2020 champions Benevento and the third team to make it to the top-flight in Spezia will have to wait until the following week before they begin their campaigns, but Crotone kick off their second stint in the top-flight with a winnable away trip to Genoa.

Head coach Giovanni Stroppa guided Gli Squali back to the top-flight, which they achieved with a 5-1 hammering of Livorno. And that means they have another chance to impress at the top table having reached Serie A for the first time in 2017.

While we have one of the promoted teams away to an established Serie A side, there isn’t much to choose between the two teams. The hosts narrowly escaped relegation last season, finishing in 17th position.

Crotone have moved to strengthen since their promotion, bringing in Eduardo Henrique from Sporting Lisbon and defender Andrea Rispoli from Lecce, while Red Star midfielder Milos Vulic has also joined the newly-promoted club.

But Crotone have only beaten Genoa once in 13 attempts, losing the last three by a 1-0 scoreline.

The hosts are at 1.89 to win again. But at 3.88, Crotone certainly has a chance. Again, the draw at 3.20 might be the answer.

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SBOTOP 16-Sep 2020 Wednesday 2:36 PM (133 days ago)            #58
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Serie A: Juve Still Have Work to Do to Land Suarez

We’ve spent quite a lot of time watching the Camp Nou over the past few weeks, particularly at the seemingly never-ending saga of Lionel Messi’s proposed move to Manchester City, which didn’t happen.

We expected a different player to be on his way from Catalonia and the move of Luis Suarez to Juventus looked all but done and dusted last week, but the Barca player is just keeping us guessing, a game they like to play in Barcelona!

With the new Serie A season days away, teams the length and breadth of Italy are still seeking out new blood while trying to hold on to the players they believe will deliver a successful season.

And when new Barca head coach Ronald Koeman made it crystal clear to Suarez that he wasn’t wanted at the Camp Nou, Juventus were quick to swoop for the 33-year-old striker.

Northern Spain has been a happy hunting ground for Juve already this summer after midfield ace Arthur moved to I Bianconeri from Barcelona for a fee of 72m Euros rising to 82m.

Miralem Pjanic went the other way in a deal worth 65m Euros, the Bosnian signing a four-year deal, while Arthur has committed to Juventus on a five-year contract. The 23-year-old Brazilian’s deal went through smoothly and it looked like Suarez was ready to follow.

The Uruguayan hitman has agreed to personal terms with the Old Lady, but according to reports in the Spanish media, he wants to take a little more time to consider his options before he makes his last big move of his career.

There have even been whispers in Madrid that the 33-year-old Uruguayan quite fancies a move to Atletico and that would be some coup for head coach Diego Simeone.

But Juventus remain the favourites to land Suarez so we’ll have to watch this space.

Lots of shopping in Milan

It’s Europe’s fashion capital, oozing with style, and there’s been plenty of money flying around in Milan over the last few weeks, though more on football players than suits!

Serie A: Romelu Lukaku’s 80M Euro move to Inter Milan has played up well to Antonio Conte’s advantages

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring Inter Milan’s first goal against Sevilla during Europa League match at RheinEnergieStadion

Having pushed Juventus so close for much of last season, Inter Milan have been active in the market. Last summer’s marquee signing, Romelu Lukaku, who joined Antonio Conte’s Inter revolution in an 80m Euro switch from Manchester United, has enjoyed himself immensely, scoring 34 goals in all competitions, equalling Brazilian legend Ronaldo’s achievement in 1998.

This summer Alexis Sanchez has confirmed his move from Manchester United to Inter and will hope to link up successfully with his former Red Devil team-mate.

The Nerazzurri have been busy elsewhere. They’ve completed deals for 23-year-old Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella for 25m Euro and Stefano Sensi for 20m Euro after the two both spent last season on loan. Meanwhile, full-back Achraf Hakimi has joined Inter from Real Madrid for a cool 40m.

For a smaller outlay, the switch of Aleksandar Kolarov from Roma to Inter could be a smart signing. Antonio Conte knows the defender’s strengths, at either end of the pitch, from his time at Manchester City. He has a bullet of a dead-ball kick and this could turn out to be a shrewd move by the Inter head coach.

Across the road, Ante Rebic has made his move from Eintracht Frankfurt to Milan permanent, having spent last season with the Rossoneri. Rebic scored 12 goals in 30 games last term and that persuaded Stefano Pioli to offer the Croatian winger a five-year deal. He will be wearing the red and black number 12 shirt.

Meanwhile, Milan favourite Giacomo Bonaventura has left the San Siro after six successful seasons and is heading to Fiorentina. Highly rated young midfielder Sandro Tonali is set to fill the void in the middle of the park, though, as he arrives from Brescia on loan.

Denmark skipper Simon Kjaer has joined Milan from Sevilla and the Denmark centre-back will add poise and experience to the Rossoneri defence.

Elsewhere, Napoli’s signing of striker Victor Osimhen has elevated Gli Azzurri to third favourites in the current Serie A 2020 betting markets.

And Roma have been busy, splashing out a combined 40m Euros to bring in an attacker, a midfielder and a defender. They’ve brought in Carles Perez from Barcelona, Frenchman Jordan Veretout from Fiorentina in a 16m switch, and highly rated wing-back Gianluca Mancini has arrived from Atalanta.

So that’s it for now. The Suarez move will surely happen, one way or the other, in the next few days. But hey, this is a great time to be an SBOTOP football fan. The Premier League and La Liga are underway, and Serie A starts on Saturday.

But in the meantime, there’s still plenty of wheeling and dealing to do, and you can keep up with all the latest Serie A 2020 news and updates right here.

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SBOTOP 17-Sep 2020 Thursday 2:27 PM (132 days ago)            #59
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Serie A: The New Kids On the Block Are Ready to Roll

Football is finally back in Italy, and all 20 Serie A clubs will look to kick off their campaign in style as the new season is just around the corner.

Defending champions Juventus will be gunning for their 10th straight Scudetto while teams such as Inter Milan, Atalanta, Lazio, AC Milan, and AS Roma will do everything they can to unseat them from the throne.

The wheeling and dealing continues to go on in the transfer market, and that’s one way to strengthen their teams for a grueling season ahead.

Meanwhile, football fans will get to welcome the new kids on the block in Benevento, Crotone, and Spezia after their solid performances in the Italian second division last term. However, their work will be cut out for them as they try to survive with the big boys this time around.

Will their roster quality be enough to hang with Italy’s elite? Or will they crash out of the top division by season’s end?

The Serie A 2020 odds do not back them to make it very far, but anything is possible in football.

Today, we talk about these newly-promoted sides here at SBOTOP.

Benevento

The Stregoni will look to avoid history repeating itself as they enter into the new season with renewed confidence.

The Pippo Inzaghi-coached squad blew the competition away in the second division en route to winning the championship. Benevento have clinched their promotion in as early as June 30 when they defeated Juve Stabia, 1-0.

With seven games to spare, Benevento never took their foot off the gas and they finished with an 18-point lead over fellow newcomers Crotone. They finished with 26 wins, eight draws, while losing only four times.

2020/21 will mark the club’s second-ever appearance in Serie A and they have come a long way after suffering from bankruptcy back in 2005.

It was unfortunate that the club had to endure numerous trials and hardships in more than a decade, but the arrival of the Vigorito siblings was the ultimate game-changer.

Benevento had to grind their way playing in the Serie C, and eventually, they’ve made their long-awaited promotion to the second division in 2016.

From there, the team continued their meteoric rise by moving up to Serie A a year later. However, after an uninspiring 2017/18 campaign to which they only had 21 points, Benevento were sent to drop.

Now that they’re back, Benevento are coming back with a vengeance.

So far in the transfer market, Pippo Inzaghi is packing the squad with the likes of Kamil Glik, Gianluca Lapadula, and Lorenzo Insigne’s younger brother in Roberto.

Crotone

Like Benevento, Crotone are coming into the 2020/21 season with a lot of ambition as this is their third trip back in the top-flight.

They made the step up back in 2016 and they made a miraculous comeback to fend off relegation in the final round. However, they were sent crashing back in 2018.

The Pitagorici finished second behind Serie B champions Benevento, but despite the point differential, they aren’t too shabby themselves.

Crotone also finished second in goals scored last season with 63, and they are being led by their Nigerian hitman in Simy Nwankwo, who topped the division with 20 goals.

Simy Nwankwo turned in one of his finest performances last season in their promotion-clinching victory over Livorno as he scored a brace in the 5-1 victory.

The ace striker will be the main man to look out for as he is more than capable of adding to this season’s Serie A 2020 highlights.

This term, he will be supported by new transferees in former Ajax defender Lisandro Magallan and Sporting CP midfielder Eduardo Henrique.

Spezia

Joining Benevento and Crotone will be Spezia as they will make their debut in Serie A after 100 years.

Normally, the teams who have moved up to the top division will almost always be relegated by the season’s end. This is quite the common trend and this highlights how big of a jump that a team like Spezia will make.

The Ligurian side experienced a turbulent start of the season, winning only once in their first seven games. However, they were able to bounce back big time as they were unbeaten in 13 straight matches right before the COVID-19 lockdown.

Spezia leaned heavily on their loaned players in Simone Scuffett, Antonio Ragusa, Luigi Vitale, Antonio Di Gaudio, Federico Ricci, and M’bala Nzola. But they have returned already to their respective mother clubs and this will pose a daunting challenge for the team.

Perhaps they could go down that route once more. But regardless, they will need to fill up their roster spots fast.

Spezia are hopeful that their new players in Jacopo Sala, Ardian Ismajli, Lorenzo Colombini, Kevin Agudelo, Jeroen Zoet, Cristian Dell’Orco, and Riccardo Marchizza can fill in the void.

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SBOTOP 22-Sep 2020 Tuesday 3:01 PM (127 days ago)            #60
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Serie A: Upset-Hungry Verona Host Retooled Roma

Hellas Verona vs AS Roma

After much anticipation, Serie A is finally here. The mainstays are excited to get this thing started while the new kids on the block are ready to roll.

As a build-up before we kick off the 2020/21 season, we’ve already covered the latest Serie A 2020 updates in the ongoing transfer market. At the same time, we also featured the newly-promoted sides who are more than eager to prove that they belong.

Meanwhile, my SBOTOP colleague did a short primer about the games to watch out for in the first matchday. Which is why for today, we will dive deeper into one of the matches that he mentioned.

The fixture between Hellas Verona and AS Roma is expected to be a cracker, and it is said that it might produce the first upset of the season.

Hellas Verona did their homework in the offseason by bringing in some fresh faces, and the same can be said for AS Roma.

Both teams will look to have an auspicious start of the 2020/21 season with a victory, but it will be much easier said than done.

Who will win this weekend’s contest? Let’s examine both of these teams to learn more.

Talking Points

Can Hellas Verona continue to exceed expectations?

I Mastini exceeded expectations last season in their first campaign back in the top-flight, and they are hopeful to punch above their weight once more.

The Ivan Juric-coached squad finished at the ninth spot at the table. And for the most part, they were in the hunt for a Europa League qualification.

Hellas Verona were led by their top scorers in Samuel Di Carmine and Matteo Pessina, who have combined for 15 of their 47 goals last season.

Team boss Ivan Juric have been looking to add more quality to their midfield, and so far he has relied on youth to try and fill in the gaps.

Hellas Verona added former Manchester City midfielder Ivan Ilic, and the 19-year-old will aim to make an impact right away with the squad.

They’ve also added defender Mert Cetin and forward Matteo Cancellieri to fill in the gap left by Marash Kumbulla, who left for AS Roma coincidentally.

Ivan Juric’s side may spring some upsets this term and opposing teams would be foolish to take this team lightly.

Will AS Roma live up to their potential?

The Giallorossi, on the other hand, failed to meet expectations as they missed out on a top-four spot last term.

Which is why during the offseason, team manager Paulo Fonseca has been busy in packing his squad with quality and depth.

They were able to secure the services of former Atalanta defender Gianluca Mancini and former Fiorentina midfielder Jordan Veretout in relatively cheap deals.

Meanwhile, they’ve added former Chelsea winger Pedro in a three-year contract, and he will provide attacking support for the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Edin Dzeko.

Serie A: AS Roma will face Hellas Verona away from home

Edin Dzeko looking dejected after their match against Sevilla in the Europa League Round of 16

However, they will miss the attacking exploits of the precocious Nicolo Zaniolo as he suffered a torn ACL during Italy’s 1-0 win over Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League last Tuesday.

Zaniolo sustained the injury once more when he was challenged by Manchester United-bound Donny van de Beek, and he is feared to be sidelined for most of the year.

History

Since Hellas Verona aren’t necessarily tenured in Serie A, matches between them and AS Roma have been few.

Looking at the sample size of 16 fixtures, this looks to be another win for AS Roma. The Giallorossi have won in 11 matches along with five draws.

Three of those draws came into a stretch between February 2015 to January 2016. All of them ended in a 1-1 tally.

Hellas Verona are still in search for their first victory over their visitors.

Betting Tip

??
Hellas Verona vs AS Roma AS Roma Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 1.81
September 20, 02:45 (GMT+8)

The updated Serie A 2020 odds point for a narrow win by the visitors.

AS Roma are priced at 2.11, while Hellas Verona are priced at 3.30 and chances of a draw are at 3.45 in the 1X2 market.

These two teams have shown the capability of punching in goals. They were able to find the back of the net at least three times in their past two encounters.

Putting your money on Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.90 or Over 2.50 @ 2.12 is also a good place to start as well.

While Verona are more than capable of making life hell for Roma, the quality of the latter might overwhelm the former especially if their backline won’t hold up.

Overall, AS Roma look to have a much-deeper roster on paper and that might prove to be the difference come Sunday.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (HIGHLY CONFIDENT) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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SBOTOP 22-Sep 2020 Tuesday 3:03 PM (127 days ago)            #61
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Serie A: New Favourite Meets Experienced Tactician

Juventus vs Sampdoria

Serie A is back and with it a clash which used to be of some reckoning but now highlights a gulf.

For there was a time when Sampdoria were one of the top dogs of Italian football, yet those days have long disappeared and they face a long way back.

Few of their own fans expect them to return from Turin with anything this weekend against a side launching a bid to win a 10th straight Scudetto.

A word of warning though: opening day football matches have a habit of springing surprises somewhere. Could that be in the Allianz Stadium?

 Talking Points

It’s in the dugout where the first interest lies as Andrea Pirlo makes his coaching debut against the most experienced tactician in Serie A.

Pirlo had no sooner been introduced as Juventus’ under-23 coach in Serie C then he was promoted to the top job within a week – Maurizio Sarri sacked within 24 hours of Juve being knocked out of the Champions League.

He did win the title, however, and even though they only finished one point clear of runners-up Inter Milan last term, Juventus had actually clinched the prize in good time (losing three of their final four league matches after it had been secured) so he inherits a good squad.

Yet even with a squad of Juve’s pedigree, Pirlo is a beginner in coaching terms. Presumably the club hopes he can achieve similar to Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid in communicating with players not too much younger than himself.

The main pressure on Juventus will be in Europe. They may be two-time European Cup/Champions League winners but have not lifted the trophy since 1996.

Pirlo has wasted little time on introducing his own measures, letting go of more experienced players such as Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira, exchanging Miralem Pjanic for Arthur Melo, and revamping the front line.

Will it ever be enough to win the Champions League, or is the Bianconeri era coming to an end as they finally over-reach?

Pirlo begins his foray into management against Claudio Ranieri, a man with 423 Serie A matches under his belt, 952 in various leagues and, of course, the ultimate fairytale.

Last season he replaced Eusebio Di Francesco after Sampdoria lost six games out of seven games.

Ranieri oversaw an improvement and guided the struggling Blucerchiati to a 15th-place finish.

Claudio Ranieri will be looking to create a giant-killing act against Serie A champions Juventus

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri observing his team from the touchline

After avoiding what would have been a demoralising demotion, the veteran Italian will now be aiming higher in his first full season in charge.

If they are going to create many Serie A highlights, they could do with strengthening.

It would appear they are closing in on a double deal for Monaco winger Keita Balde Diao and Inter midfielder Antonio Candreva – two players who will certainly improve them, although neither will be ready for this weekend.

For the hosts, with Paulo Dybala injured, it will again fall on the brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo to become the centre-forward alongside new buy Dejan Kulusevski. Arthur should also be given his Serie A debut.

The visitors will be without forward Manolo Gabbiadini so Federico Bonazzoli is expected to partner fans’ favourite and golden-oldie Fabio Quagliarella.

History

These clubs have met on 127 occasions with Juventus enjoying victory 64 times, Sampdoria tasting success 26 times and 37 meetings ending all square.

All bar three of those clashes have come in Serie A and last season Juventus recorded a league double.

Just before last Christmas, they won 2-1 at Sampdoria, thanks to a Dybala striker and a Ronaldo header – Gianluca Caprari had briefly equalised for the home side.

With the title won, Juve also won 2-0 at home towards the end of last season (as recently as late July) with Ronaldo again on target before Federico Berardeschi added a second.

The last time Sampdoria won in Turin was in 2013 when a double from Mauro Icardi – now of Paris St Germain – sealed a 2-1 success after Sebastian Giovinco had opened the scoring with a penalty.

Pirlo actually played for Juventus in that encounter.

Betting Tip

??

Juventus vs Sampdoria First Half Over 1.50 @ 2.42
September 21, 02:45 (GMT+8)

The SBOTOP Serie A betting odds are firmly lodged in the home camp and, based on the record outlined, you would expect nothing but.

You can back Juventus 1X2 @ 1.30 or Sampdoria @ 8.75 – the draw is available @ 5.20.

You can also back the hosts with Asian Handicap betting odds -1.75 @ 2.11, contrasting with the visitors +1.25 @ 2.36.

A repeat of last year’s result – correct score 2-0 – is on offer @ 6.20.

Outright, Juventus are Serie A favourites @ 1.68.

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SBOTOP 22-Sep 2020 Tuesday 3:07 PM (127 days ago)            #62
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Serie A Takeaways: Pirlo’s Juventus Project Off to Promising Start

The new Serie A season finally kicked off this weekend, and all eyes were on reigning champions Juventus and their new manager, Andrea Pirlo.

There was much mystery surrounding Pirlo — who has no prior managerial experience — but he made quite a first impression as his Juve side had an impressive start to the season.

Meanwhile, Pirlo’s former Milan team-mate Gennaro Gattuso continues his fine work as Napoli also started their new campaign on the right foot.

Those are just two of SBOTOP’s main takeaways from this opening round of Serie A fixtures.

Pirlo’s Juventus put on a show in season opener

The Andrea Pirlo era in Juventus has begun, and what a beginning it was as the champions kicked off their title defence with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria.

Pirlo instantly made Serie A 2020 news with his team selection — a 3-4-1-2 with Aaron Ramsey playing in behind a front two of Cristiano Ronaldo and new signing Dejan Kulusevski. Meanwhile, American midfielder Weston McKennie started alongside Adrien Rabiot.

It was quite a departure from Maurizio Sarri’s formation, and it worked. Kulusevski opened the scoring after just 13 minutes, and Leonardo Bonucci and Ronaldo added two more in the final minutes.

Ramsey and McKennie were particularly impressive as the midfield as a whole made more sense than it did at times under Sarri last season. Ramsey and Rabiot were used sparingly after arriving last season, but it seems they could play more important roles in the squad this time around.

Obviously, there are more challenges to come, but this was a promising start for Pirlo. Despite his lack of managerial experience, he showed that he has a distinct plan for how he wants his side to play.

With the return of the back three, Pirlo seemingly wants to bring back the defensive solidity that Juve enjoyed when he was playing for the club. Meanwhile, they were crisp and incisive in attack. And with Ronaldo still looking as sharp as ever at age 35, the Old Lady will once again be the team to beat.

Gattuso resumes Napoli resurgence

Gennaro Gattuso spearheads Napoli in beating Parma, 0-2, during their Serie A season opening game

Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso reacts during their season opening game against Parma

The Serie A 2020 odds don’t quite fancy Napoli as a top title contender, but they could still mount a challenge as Gennaro Gattuso continues to point his side in the right direction.

The Neapolitans kicked off their new campaign with a 2-0 win away to Parma. Veterans Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne scored the goals, showing they are still able to produce despite their advancing age.

Napoli have now won 17 of their 31 matches under Gattuso, who took over last December. He’s already led them to Coppa Italia glory after beating Juventus in last year’s final and will now be targeting a return to the top four in the league.

Napoli have shaken up their attack this summer with veteran Jose Callejon leaving the club and Arkadiusz Milik also expected to be sold. But Hirving Lozano is set to take on a bigger role, while record signing Victor Osimhen should also provide his share of goals.

Meanwhile, the future of star centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly remains in doubt as Manchester City continue their pursuit. But if the 29-year-old does stay at the San Paolo, Napoli have the quality in their squad to become potential Serie A dark horses.

Roma need to settle transfer business

Roma kicked off the Serie A season with their visit to Verona, and they came away with a goalless draw.

While it was a good result considering Verona were one of the best home sides in Italy last season, the match illustrated how much work Roma still needed to do in the transfer window.

 Star striker Edin Dzeko opted not to play as his potential move to Juventus remains in the balance. Roma have reportedly lined up Milik as Dzeko’s potential replacement, but Dzeko can’t leave until Roma have the Milik deal in place.

With Dzeko out, Roma played a front three of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pedro, and Lorenzo Pellegrini. To their credit, they produced a lot of chances — 21 in total — but they dearly missed Dzeko’s quality in front of goal.

Aside from the Milik deal, Roma have also yet to bring back centre-back Chris Smalling. They could also use another attacking midfielder after sending Cengiz Ünder to Leicester City despite the injury to Nicolo Zaniolo.

With so much uncertainty surrounding his squad, Roma manager Paulo Fonseca faces an uphill battle to repeat their fifth-place finish last season.

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SBOTOP 14-Oct 2020 Wednesday 2:37 PM (105 days ago)            #63
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Serie A: Juventus Ready to March on Rome

AS Roma vs Juventus

Round two of Serie A is upon us and we have a belter of a fixture to enjoy when the Old Lady heads to the capital city to take on Roma.

Serie A; Roma vs Juventus is the match of the weekend in Italy, a clash of the titans each with a score to settle. Roma won this fixture last time out with a victory in Turin, and now Juventus will be desperate to return the compliment and repeat their own triumph during their previous visit to the Stadio Olimpico last season.

Now managed by former playing legend Andrea Pirlo, I Bianconeri started with a win and look as determined as ever to tighten their grip on the Scudetto, meanwhile, Roma made a mess of their first fixture, though off the field rather than on it.

The Roma vs Juventus betting odds here at SBOTOP back the Old Lady, but not odds on with a price of 2.02, so we have an exciting clash in store.

Talking Points

Roma’s opening day catastrophe

I Giallorossi head coach Paulo Fonseca’s season began in a bizarre and disastrous way when he watched his side earn a 0-0 draw away to Verona, only to see it overturned by the Italian league which awarded the hosts a 3-0 win because Roma had fielded an ineligible player. Lega Serie A announced that the visitors had used a player over the age of 22, who had not been registered in their 25 man squad. Midfielder Amadou Diawara turned 23 in July and the club put it down to an administrative error.

Nevertheless, it was an embarrassing and expensive episode for Fonseca whose side ended the opening weekend in 19th place.

So effectively this game is Roma’s opener, and the head coach will remind his players how easily they beat I Bianconeri at the end of last season, but he will be without at least one key man. Diego Perotti was in fine form when Roma ended Juventus’ unbeaten home run, with a 1-3 victory at the beginning of August; but the Argentine looks doubtful, as does Nicolo Zaniolo.

Serie A: Diego Perotti scored twice and set up another as Roma end Juventus’ unbeaten home run

Roma’s Diego Perotti celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal against Juventus at the Allianz stadium

Roma do have plenty of guile in their team with two former Premier League attacking midfielders in their ranks. Both Henrikh Mkhitaryan, formerly of Manchester United, and ex-Chelsea forward Pedro are capable of turning a defence inside out and have an eye for the spectacular.

Good start for Pirlo

Having returned to the Allianz Arena earlier this year as U23 coach, Andrea Pirlo has landed the big job following the sacking of Maurizio Sarri, and the Bianconeri’s new head coach got off to a winning start as he watched his side dispatch Sampdoria 3-0 in the opening round of fixtures.

Swedish midfielder Dejan Kulusevski is back in the fold after a season on loan at Parma and he scored the opener, while defensive lynchpin Leo Bonucci and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo were also on the score-sheet.

In the latest injury news in Turin, Bonucci’s centre back partner Matthijs de Ligt is sidelined, as is wide man Federico Bernardeschi. But Pirlo’s squad runs deep and Juventus are favourites, at odds of 1.68 to win a tenth successive Scudetto, with Inter at 3.00 and Napoli and Atalanta in pursuit.

No Suarez for the Old Lady

The Uruguayan seemed destined to join Cristiano Ronaldo and co at the Allianz Stadium, but a last minute switch to Atletico Madrid for Luis Suarez came as a surprise to everyone. Juventus had no remaining spots for non-EU players in their squad, and it seems Suarez’ Italian citizenship exam was investigated amidst claims that he may have known the contents of the exam before he sat it!

History

I Bianconeri have had the best of the head to head Roma vs Juventus results, winning 29 of the 60 meetings between these two teams, since 1993, while Roma have won 15 and there have been 16 draws.

Roma gave her a nasty surprise back in August, but the Old Lady beat I Giallorossi twice in two weeks back in January, once in the league in Rome and then in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Betting Tip

??
AS Roma vs Juventus Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.96
September 28, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Roma are unbeaten in five games at home and they are at odds of 3.30 to win this clash with the draw at 3.35.

While an empty stadium dilutes home advantage significantly, this will be no easy ride for the champions and a score-line of 1-1 at odds of 6.18 could be a good long shot bet.

I think there will be goals in this game but not a hatful; as neither team will give any ground easily.

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SBOTOP 14-Oct 2020 Wednesday 2:41 PM (105 days ago)            #64
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All Eyes On Inter In Serie A

Inter Milan vs Fiorentina

The Serie A pressure is on Antonio Conte and Inter Milan more than ever before.

As they kick-off their 2020-21 campaign following a second successive summer of big spending, hot on the heels of not insignificant January recruits, it’s firmly time they brought silverware back to the San Siro to justify such significant investment.

Inter failed badly in the final third of last season after being neck and neck with champions Juventus for much of the campaign.

The Nerazzurri ended the season empty-handed on all fronts, culminating in defeat to underdogs Sevilla in the Europa League Final. It was further proof of Conte’s limitations without money, and his request for more financial backing has been heeded.

Now club chiefs must have their support backed up on the pitch.

Talking Points

 Conte has brought in Aleksandar Kolarov from Roma, Achraf Hakimi (a potential transfer coup to bring electric pace down the right), and Arturo Vidal who could offer real bite after the Chilean terrier was signed from Barcelona.

Furthermore, as well as their signings, Radja Nainggolan and Ivan Perisic have returned from loan spells at Cagliari and Bayern Munich so Conte’s men are well stocked in all departments.

Inter will also reportedly look to bring in Chris Smalling from Manchester United if they sell Milan Skriniar to Tottenham Hotspur.

The Englishman is back at Manchester United after spending last season on loan at Roma.

However, he appears to have no future at United, while Roma have yet to agree to a permanent deal.

All that combined means this season is where everyone at the club will be judged, and they must deliver. To put it bluntly, Inter now should be winning the Scudetto for the first time in a decade.

They begin on home soil and face Fiorentina, the Nerazzurri granted an extra week of preparation time after their European excursions.

After months of speculation, it also appears Lautaro Martinez will no longer be moving and they will be spearheaded once more by Romelu Lukaku whose first season in the Italian top flight was as prolific as he was in England.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, beat Torino 1-0 in their opening match last weekend with talented midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli scoring the winner. They have some star attractions of their own, not least the talented Federico Chiesa – who they rely on a lot – and Franck Ribery, while Jack Bonaventura could be an astute acquisition from Milan.

Fiorentina aim to get their second win of this Serie A season

Federico Chiesa in action against Andrea Belotti of Torino

Fiorentina coach Beppe Iachini knows his side need a ‘great performance’ and, with them not regarded as good travellers, Inter will be firm favourites to start their campaign in style at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

History

This has been a game which has produced some classics and Serie A highlights in recent years.

In February last year, the sides played out a 3-3 draw in Serie A when a first-minute own goal gave the hosts the lead before Inter fought back to lead 3-1 through Matias Vecino, Matteo Politano, and Ivan Perisic before Luis Muriel and a last-minute Jordan Veretout penalty left the Florence fans happy.

Two years earlier, Fiorentina edged a nine-goal thriller in front of their own fans – doubles from Vecino, Khoumar Babacar and a header from the late skipper Davide Astori sealed a 5-4 win.

They were well in the ascendancy until two goals in the final three minutes from Mauro Icardi completed his hat-trick and brought Inter back to within a goal.

That remains Viola’s only success over Inter in their last eight meetings.

Overall, Inter have 66 league victories against Fiorentina who have won on 44 occasions with a further 53 draws.

Two of those were last term. A 1-1 draw in Florence saw Dusan Vlahovic net a last-gasp equaliser after Borja Valero put Inter ahead.

The return fixture in the San Siro in July ended with no goals.

Betting Tip

??
Inter Milan vs Fiorentina First Half Asian Handicap Inter -0.50 @ 2.09
September 27, 02:45 (GMT+8)

With the SBOTOP Serie A betting odds, Inter Milan are odds-on to win and can be backed 1X2 @ 1.54, Asian Handicap -1.25 @ 2.25, while Fiorentina are well adrift 1X2 @ 5.60, Asian Handicap +0.75 @ 2.33.

The draw – a regular result in recent times – is on offer @ 4.10.

A repeat of last season’s encounter – correct score 1-1 – will pay out @ 7.80.

Inter drew a quarter of their league games last season and they will need to improve on this statistic if they go one place better in the league.

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SBOTOP 14-Oct 2020 Wednesday 2:46 PM (105 days ago)            #65
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Serie A: Inter Steal Victory from Viola in Seven-Game Thriller

Inter Milan 4-3 Fiorentina

Inter Milan have started their Serie A title challenge with a stirring 4-3 win in their season opener against Fiorentina at the San Siro.

The Nerazzurri, who have favourable Serie A 2020 odds to finally dethrone Juventus this season, were in legitimate danger of losing their season opener as Fiorentina led 3-2 heading into the final minutes.

But Inter staged a late comeback with two goals in the final three minutes of normal time to steal victory from the Viola.

Highlights of the game

Fiorentina made the perfect start to the match as they took a shock lead after just three minutes. Former Inter full-back Cristiano Biraghi sent in a dangerous ball into the box, and Giacomo Bonaventura unselfishly laid the ball off to Christian Kouame, who tapped the ball into an empty net.

Kouame came close to doubling the Viola’s lead, but Inter keeper Samir Handanovic came out of his line quickly to deny the young striker.

Shortly thereafter, Inter had a penalty shout after Lautaro Martinez went down in the box as he was attempting a shot. But after consulting with VAR, the referee did not give Inter the penalty.

However, Inter finally got their equaliser at the stroke of half-time. After a fine run from Nicolo Barella, Lautaro finished off a fine counterattack with a sensational strike from the edge of the box.

Inter would then take the lead seven minutes after the break, and Lautaro was once again prominently involved. The Argentinian striker showed great determination to get a shot off, and his effort was rewarded as Fiorentina centre-back Federico Ceccherini inadvertently directed the ball into his own net.

Inter’s lead would be short-lived, though, as Fiorentina struck back. Franck Ribery orchestrated a brilliant counterattack and set up Gaetano Castrovilli, who poked the ball past Handanovic.

And the Viola would vault ahead with yet another Ribery-led counter. The Frenchman supplied a sublime through ball to Federico Chiesa, who blew past the Inter defence and produced a cool finish.

Fiorenitna's Federico Chiesa breaks the equaliser by scoring a 57th-minute goal during their Serie A match with Inter

Fiorentina players celebrate after Federico Chiesa scores their third goal against Inter Milan in Serie A

Inter predictably piled on the pressure in search of another equaliser. Romelu Lukaku had two great chances that he failed to convert. Conte then brought on new signings Achraf Hakimi and Arturo Vidal, as well as Alexis Sanchez, for added firepower.

As Inter committed men forward, Ribery and Fiorentina very nearly caught them on the break for a third time, but substitute Dusan Vlahovic missed a golden opportunity to put the Viola up by two.

That would prove to be a costly miss as Inter would finally get their equaliser on 87 minutes. Alexis played a great ball to the onrushing Hakimi, who squared the ball perfectly for Lukaku to tap in from point-blank range.

And Inter would complete their comeback just a few moments later. Alexis was once again involved as he supplied the assist for Danilo D’Ambrosio, who outmuscled Vlahovic to head home the winner for the home side.

On the one hand, Inter deserve credit for coming back twice to get the win. But clearly, Conte has work to do in defence as his side were consistently caught out by Fiorentina on the counterattack.

With the likes of Lukaku, Lautaro, Alexis, and Hakimi, the Nerazzurri have the attacking weapons to cause any side problems. However, they must shore up the back if they are to seriously challenge Juventus, who looked impressive in their first match under new manager Andrea Pirlo.

Key statistics

By virtue of having to come from behind twice, Inter dominated the final statistics quite comfortably. They had 67 per cent of possession and produced 21 shots (eight on target) to Fiorentina’s 10 (four on target).

The front two of Lautaro and Lukaku continued their impressive production from last season, when they combined for 37 league goals. They combined for 10 total shots, four of which were on target.

Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez continues his late-career renaissance with Inter. The 31-year-old had four goals and eight assists in 22 Serie A appearances for the Nerazzurri last season and made a major impact in his first game of this campaign.

What’s next?

Inter will be back in action in midweek as they take on newly promoted Benevento, who produced one the most surprising Serie A 2020 results to date with their 3-2 away win over Sampdoria.

And next weekend, they have a big test away to Lazio. Don’t forget to head over to SBOTOP when odds for that big match are released.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina will be at home as they face the aforementioned Sampdoria, who find themselves at the bottom of the table with two losses and six goals conceded in their first two games of the new season.

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SBOTOP 14-Oct 2020 Wednesday 2:49 PM (105 days ago)            #66
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Serie A: Inter Steal Victory from Viola in Seven-Game Thriller

Luis Suarez is not heading to Serie A after all. Despite being heavily linked with a move to Juventus, Suarez is staying in Spain after joining Atletico Madrid.

Instead of Suarez, the Italian champions have brought back Atleti’s Alvaro Morata to address their need at striker.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan continue to make moves — both incoming and outgoing — and speculation surrounds a couple more major deals as the transfer window heads into its last few days.

As always, SBOTOP is here to keep you updated on all the latest transfer deals and rumours surrounding Serie A.

Juventus sign Alvaro Morata as Suarez alternative

Juventus have finally landed their striker, and it’s not Luis Suarez as previously speculated. After all the drama regarding the potential Suarez deal — including his now-infamous Italian passport test — Juventus have settled on signing Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata on a season-long loan with an option to buy next summer.

Suarez, meanwhile, will replace Morata at Atletico as he moves to Madrid from Barcelona.

Juventus had also been linked with Roma’s Edin Dzeko and Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik to fill their need at striker, but they instead decided to go with Morata, a player that will likely fit Andrea Pirlo’s style of play better.

Morata, 27, spent two seasons at Juventus in 2014-16 and played with Pirlo in his last season at Juve. He scored 15 goals in 63 total Serie A appearances for the Old Lady. He spent the last two seasons at Atleti, where he scored 18 goals in 49 appearances.

The Serie A 2020 odds still have Juventus as favourites to claim a ninth consecutive Scudetto this season, and the Morata deal will help them achieve that goal.

Morata has never been a prolific goalscorer — he has not scored over 15 league goals in a single season — but he is a versatile forward who is capable of linking up play. That will likely be his primary role at Juventus playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

Arturo Vidal completes Inter Milan move

Arturo Vidal eyes to help Inter Milan seal the Serie A title this season

Newly-signed player Arturo Vidal celebrates with Danilo D’Ambrosio during Inter’s Serie A season opener against Fiorentina

Another player making the move from Spain back to Italy is Arturo Vidal. The 33-year-old midfielder is heading to Inter Milan after spending the last two seasons at Barcelona.

Vidal will be reunited with Antonio Conte, who was his coach at Juventus from 2011-2014. Conte has a strong relationship with Vidal and had requested Inter to sign the midfielder upon his arrival at Milan last season.

Vidal joins Achraf Hakimi and Aleksandar Kolarov as Inter’s notable additions in this summer’s transfer window. Inter have also been linked with a move for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, but a deal seems unlikely.

Inter have also began to cut down the size of their squad after those new additions. They have allowed veteran centre-back Diego Godin to leave for Cagliari on a free transfer and have loaned out veteran winger Antonio Candreva to Sampdoria.

Milik, Skriniar linked with move to Tottenham

With the Morata and Vidal deals done, the big Serie A 2020 news now centres on the potential exits of two of the league’s young stars — Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik and Inter’s Milan Skriniar — to Tottenham Hotspur.

Milik looks to be on his way out of Napoli after the club spent a record fee to sign Victor Osimhen. And after his potential moves to either Juventus or Roma fell through, he remains one of the best forwards available on the market.

The 26-year-old has spent the last four seasons with Napoli, scoring 38 goals in 93 games. He has a concerning injury history — he has torn his ACL in both knees — but he is a capable centre-forward when fit. Although, he would remain a backup if he is to leave Napoli for Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Skriniar has also been heavily linked with a move to Spurs. The 25-year-old centre-back has played 105 out of a possible 114 Serie A games in his three years at Inter, but he seemingly fell out of favour under Conte toward the end of last season.

Inter have spent big on their squad over the last two seasons to give Conte the squad he needs to contend, and they can help balance the books by selling Skriniar for a large fee.

However, it remains to be seen whether Inter would sell Skriniar and further reduce their centre-back depth after already letting Godin go.

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