With a new round of Serie A coming up, the juiciest piece of footy action this week-end is probably the tie between Fiorentina and Lazio. The home side have come through a rough period but are back to winning ways after two convincing victories vs. Napoli and Bologna. Lazio on the other hand go into this game on the back of three straight defeats, and desperately need the win if they are to hold any aspirations of qualifying for Europe this season.
La Viola have been boosted lately by the return of Adrian Mutu to first team action. Mutu scored a neat brace against Bologna earlier this week, confirming that when he’s healthy the Romanian forward will always prove a threat to his opposing defences. Unworried by unavailability problems, I expect Cesare Prandelli to stick to his trusted 4-3-3 formation: Argentine midfielder Santana playing just behind Mutu and Gilardino, an effective combination and one that more often than not has produced plenty of goals this season.
As for Lazio, it’ll be a tough away game for the Biancocelesti. Delio Rossi’s side has shipped in ten goals in their last three games, and to qualify their season as “inconsistent” would be the understatement of the century. With the club’s Champions League aspirations down the drain, the manager has already had a ‘vote of confidence’ passed earlier last week, but if their form doesn’t pick up soon I don’t expect him to be at the helm much longer.
Luck certainly isn’t helping the ex-Atalanta & Lecce manager either, because prior to this week’s difficult game at Artemio Franchi, AC Milan made Lazio look a very poor side when they beat them 3-0 at the Stadio Olympico last week. Beckham & the Rossoneri may be in fine form at the moment and that perhaps added to the performances on the pitch, but aside from a reasonably bright opening the home side looked out-of-sorts. As is often the case with a side low on confidence, once Lazio conceded the first goal their heads went down and it looked as if they had accepted defeat. I can see Fiorentina causing similar problems and I’m not convinced the Biancocelesti’s frontline of Mauro Zarate and Goran Pandev are good enough to break through La Viola’s back four.
My football betting advice for this tie is a home win, without a doubt. I would also be tempted to back Adrian Mutu as an anytime scorer (or even first scorer), after scoring his 100th goal in Serie A last week I expect him to keep it up.
My other football betting picks for the up coming weekend are Cagliari to beat Atalanta at home, Juventus to take all three points at Catania and the relegation battle between Torino and Chievo to end in a draw. That’s all from me now, next week I’ll be previewing the much anticipated Derby della Madonnina, one of the games everyone looks forward to.
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