Serie A Matchday 20: Juventus vs. Fiorentina & Napoli vs. Roma to Whet the Appetite…

The first round of the 2008-09 Serie A campaign just ended last week, and with Matchday 20 at our doorstep it is time to try something different. In my last previews I’ve focused solely on one match; this week I think it is to expand our horizons and look at several of the bigger fixtures in Italy’s top flight league. If you’ve been following my football betting advice so far, you might be doing okay. I haven’t got a score correct yet but I thought AC Milan would draw at Roma and then beat Fiorentina, which they did but only by one goal (I went with 3-1).

This week’s biggest fixture is probably Juventus vs Fiorentina on Saturday evening at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino. I’ve been very impressed by the Old Lady this season and if there’s any team with a shot of being a title challenger for Inter this season, it’s the Bianconeri. They drew last week at Lazio, which is never an easy place to go, but they battered AC Milan before Christmas and their home form has been outstanding so far. La Viola in contrast have seen their Champions League hopes suffer of late, and have only scored two goals in their last four games – not the kind of thing you’d expect from players like Adrian Mutu (still unavailable due to injury) and Alberto Gilardino. To make matters worse, a goal-struggling situation is not the most ideal moment to be facing the best defense in Serie A (just 14 goals conceded), and Chiellini & friends will be nothing but smiles before the match Saturday, because the world’s best (Gigi Buffon) is also scheduled to resume his place between the posts. I expect Del Piero & Co. to do the business in this encounter.

Surprise Champions League contenders Napoli face a resurgent Roma at Stadio San Paolo on Sunday, in what could be a very intriguing contest. Roma are still without Francesco Totti but they’ve been on an impressive run of late. Drawing with AC Milan and then sealing off victories against Sampdoria and Torino, they’re finally starting to look like they might push up the table. Their recent midweek elimination from the Coppa Italia should do very little to upset the team’s morale. On the other end, I’ve been impressed by Napoli this season: they’ve got a decent defence and have kept clean sheets in three of their last six games. But Despite Napoli’s defensive capabilities, I still expect Roma to win this one and get their own Champions League qualification bid back on track.

I’m going to finish off with a look at AC Milan ‘s trip to Bologna on Sunday afternoon. With Inter suffering that surprise defeat to lowly Atalanta last week the title is back in Milan’s sights, and I expect them to comfortably beat Bologna. The Rossoneri may not have been at their most deadly over the past few games but I think the win over Fiorentina marked a turning point last week, and they should now push on and mount a real title challenge. Another major boost for Milan this week was the news Kaka decided to stay in Italy (thereby sending a very polite “no thanks” to Manchester City’s mega-money advances). I don’t think I need to tell anyone how important this is for Milan, Kaka being one of the greatest talents in world football; his commitment to AC Milan should spur them on. Bologna are currently just four points away from the relegation zone, and I expect Milan to be just a bit too strong for the Rossoblu. Keep an eye out for that Marco Di Vaio guy though: the Serie A capocannoniere (14 goals) may have a few things to say to Abbiati and the Rossoneri backline.

That’s all from me this week, I hope my football betting tips come off if you decide to follow them! Things are starting to open up at both ends of the Serie A table now and there will surely be twists and turns in proceedings right up until the end of the season.


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Posted in Bologna, Fiorentina, Juventus, Milan, Napoli, Roma, Serie A |

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  • 2 Responses to “Serie A Matchday 20: Juventus vs. Fiorentina & Napoli vs. Roma to Whet the Appetite…”

    1. Good preview Gareth. I definitely expect Juve vs. Fiorentina to be a hot-blooded affair: two very rival teams, and a lot of past history. Del Piero’s been feeling pretty excited about this one, and with good reason… His best career-goal so far was scored precisely against La Viola, back in 1994.

    2. Aaron says:

      Let’s see Giovinco do the same. :)