- Serie A’s Matchday 32 kicks off Saturday morning with Lazio hosting Sassuolo
- With Italian league matches averaging 3.41 goals-per-game since the league returned, will more goals be on the cards this weekend?
- Read on for the full Matchday 32 odds as well as our best bets for the weekend
Matchday 31 in Italy’s Serie A saw both Juventus and Lazio give up points in the title race with crushing defeats, while Atalanta kept rolling along as the only team to have won all of their matches since the restart.
Goals have been coming fast and furious in Serie A with Round 31 seeing 31 goals scored combined. While that is down from the 33, 35 and 40 of the weeks before, for the second round in a row 8/10 matches saw totals exceed 2.5 and 6/10 matches saw both teams score. In fact, every full round of fixtures in Serie A since the return has seen six, seven or eight matches feature both teams finding the scoresheet.
Will the goal-fest in Italy continue? I think it will, as can be seen in the following best bets for the weekend.
Serie A Matchday 32 Odds
|Lazio||-1 (EVEN)||-170||O 3, 3.5 (-120)|
|Sassuolo||+1 (-120)||+425||U 3, 3.5 (EVEN)|
|Brescia||+1, +1.5 (-120)||+550||O 3 (-125)|
|Roma||-1, -1.5 (EVEN)||-215||U 3 (+105)|
|Juventus||0, -0.5 (-125)||+105||O 3 (-110)|
|Atalanta||0, +0.5 (+105)||+245||U 3 (-110)|
|Genoa||-0.5, -1 (-115)||-150||O 2.5 (EVEN)|
|SPAL||+0.5, +1 (-105)||+425||U 2.5 (-120)|
|Cagliari||-0.5, -1 (-105)||-130||O 3 (-115)|
|Lecce||+0.5, +1 (-115)||+355||U 3 (-105)|
|Fiorentina||0, -0.5 (-128)||+111||O 2.5 (EVEN)|
|Verona||0, +0.5 (+108)||+235||U 2.5 (-120)|
|Parma||0 (-110)||+175||O 2.5 (-110)|
|Bologna||0 (-110)||+165||U 2.5 (-110)|
|Udinese||0, +0.5 (EVEN)||+140||O 2, 2.5 (-105)|
|Sampdoria||0, +0.5 (-120)||+230||U 2, 2.5 (-115)|
|Napoli||0, -0.5 (-120)||+110||O 2.5, 3 (EVEN)|
|AC Milan||0, +0.5 (EVEN)||+250||U 2.5, 3 (-120)|
|Inter Milan||-1, -1.5 (EVEN)||-220||O 3 (+105)|
|Torino||+1, +1.5 (-120)||+575||U 3 (-125)|
All odds taken July 10
Pick 1: Lazio vs Sassuolo
It seems neither Lazio nor Juventus wished to make strides in the Serie A title race on Matchday 31. First up was Lazio who put in an extremely poor performance in losing to relegation-threatened Lecce 2-1 on Tuesday. It was their second loss in a row after falling to AC Milan 3-0 the match prior. A win would’ve cut their deficit to first-place Juventus back to four points.
This is because Juventus felt the need to match Lazio with a poor result of their own later in the afternoon coughing up a two-goal lead to AC Milan themselves and losing 4-2.
That leaves this match at 11:15 am EST Saturday morning in a curious position. Lazio have looked poor of late and have now lost three of five since Serie A resumed. Previously they had lost just twice all season. Head coach Simone Inzaghi has already stated his club simply doesn’t have the resources to be competing in so many matches over a short time frame and it shows. They are not out of the title race, but at seven points adrift of the leaders and only seven rounds to go, the outlook is bleak.
For Sassuolo, unlike some mid-table teams who have returned from the break with little to play for, they have been one of the most exhilarating sides to watch. After a 4-1 loss to Atalanta in their first match back, they played to back-to-back 3-3 draws, followed by 3-1 and 4-2 wins. On Wednesday, they jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Bologna and held on late for a 2-1 win, with Bologna only scoring in the 91st minute.
#BolognaSassuolo 1⃣-2⃣ ✌️
— U.S. Sassuolo (@SassuoloUS) July 9, 2020
When these teams last met it resulted in a 2-1 Lazio road win back in November. Goals by Ciro Immobile and Francesco Caputo canceled each other out in the first half, with second-half substitute Felipe Caicedo coming on in the 79′ minute and making an immediate impact with the winning goal in the 91′ minute.
Last season the teams split the points on both occasions drawing 1-1 and 2-2. Taking into account these past three results, both teams have now scored in 6/7 recent meetings and OVER 2.5 has hit just as many times.
👀 The @SerieA table from the start of 2020 onwards…
— MilanData📊 (@acmilandata) July 9, 2020
If there’s a match that looks to offer plenty of goals this weekend it has to be this one. In Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo, Lazio has two potent strikers who should be able to add to their accounts against a Sassuolo side who concede an average of 1.71 GPG. However, Lazio have yet to keep a clean sheet since the return and that should continue against the free-wheeling Sassuolo who have scored 15 goals in their past five.
Sassuolo have scored 49/57 goals from open play and have been vastly outperforming their expected goals ratio this season. With an xG of 43.10, their +13.90 ratio is tops in the league. Since the restart, Sassuolo is fifth in xG scored and third in xGA.
While Lazio have scored 48 of their 69 goals from open play, with 12 coming from penalties. Lazio is not far behind in outperforming xG, at +11.68 above their expected goals.
Pick: Both teams to score & Over 2.5 goals (-105)
Pick 2: Juventus vs Atalanta
As mentioned earlier, Juventus failed to basically wrap up the title as they were defeated by AC Milan on Tuesday. Drawn 0-0 entering the half, Juve jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second half and looked to be on their way to victory. Wrong. AC Milan scored three goals in the span of six minutes and added a fourth in the 80′ minute to claim a huge 4-2 win which greatly improved their chances of playing Europa League football next season.
To concede four goals was shocking for Juve, who previously had allowed just two goals in four previous Serie A matches. They had conceded zero goals in two Coppa Italia matches as well since Italian football resumed.
After this second-half meltdown, Juve will surely be looking to tighten things up defensively on Saturday afternoon at 3:45 pm EST. The task will be a tough one, as they entertain a high-flying Atalanta side who have won each of their matches since the restart, going 6-0-0 and outscoring their opponents 15-5. The streak adds to an overall record that has seen them go undefeated in 11, winning nine-straight.
Their three recent wins have been especially impressive when you consider they’ve recorded clean sheets in all three, something not typical of the La Dea defense earlier this year. Atalanta’s matches have also been trending a little lower in the goal-scoring department overall though.
They were drawn 0-0 with Napoli at the half before winning 2-0, defeated Cagliari 1-0 only through a Luis Muriel PK and were drawn 0-0 with Sampdoria on Wednesday up until two late goals after the 75′ minute mark.
Only four teams in Europe’s top leagues have won every game since the restart:
— The Second Tier (@secondtierpod) July 9, 2020
Juventus were the most recent winners head-to-head between these sides, taking three points with a 3-1 win earlier this season. It was a wild second half that saw Atalanta score first in the 56′ minute, but Juve strike three times in 18 minutes with goals by Gonzalo Higuain (74′ and 82′) and Paulo Dybala at 92′.
Despite Juve’s overall dominance in Serie A, they haven’t had it all their way vs La Dea. Last year the teams drew 2-2 and 1-1 in the league, while Atalanta were 3-0 victors in the Coppa Italia.
I think right now, these sides are just as much each other’s equal. Sure Juve are still the giants but they haven’t exactly coasted to victory of late. Even in their 4-0 win over Lecce, they were drawn 0-0 until the 53′ minute and played a man up from the 31′ minute on. They were also drawn 0-0 at the half with lowly Genoa.
Both teams should find the back of the net, but at -188 odds, the better value could be to back a draw.
Pick: Draw (+260)
Pick 3: Parma vs Bologna
At 1:30 pm EST Sunday afternoon, two mid-table sides with nearly identical records will meet in the Ennio Tardini Stadium in Parma. Bologna are tenth with an 11-8-12 (WDL) record and 41 points, having scored 44 goals and conceded 49. While Parma sits 12th at 11-6-14 on 39 points, with 42 goals both scored and conceded. Each are much too far behind the European placings and also much too far ahead of the relegation zone to have any concern there.
The argument can be made that with little on the line this could be one to avoid, but with still seven rounds to go in Serie A play it’s still too early to completely shut off. Though for Parma, with now four losses on the bounce and just a single win in six since the league resumed play, their results have been indicative of a team playing out the stretch.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) July 9, 2020
On Wednesday, despite getting on the scoresheet early through a penalty just nine minutes in, Roma would respond with goals in the 43′ and 57′ minutes to claim the 2-1 win. It was the fourth-straight loss for Parma and fourth-straight which saw them concede two or more goals. They have kept things interesting though as they’ve also scored in each of those defeats. In their six matches since the restart, both teams have scored in every match and OVER 2.5 totals have gone 5-1.
When it comes to Bologna, their form has been slightly better at 2-1-2 (WDL) and had been on a run of three matches undefeated prior to Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Sassuolo. Bologna were down by two after 57 minutes and only scored a very late goal in stoppage time to make for an interesting final couple minutes. They did though put just as many shots on target (6) as did Sassuolo.
Similarly to Parma, Bologna matches have seen plenty of goals each way, with four of five since the restart seeing both teams score. On the season as a whole, Bologna road matches have been especially high-scoring, seeing 3.2 GPG with the team both scoring and conceding 24 goals away from Venue Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
On Matchday 13 the teams shared the spoils, each scoring twice in a 2-2 draw. The score was tied 1-1 entering halftime, with Parma taking the lead in the 71st and Bologna escaping with a point after scoring the tying goal in stoppage time in the 95′ minute.
Last season saw two very different results, a 0-0 draw in Parma and 4-1 win for Bologna at home. Prior to those results, the teams had not met since the 2013/14 season.
I expect another pretty open match with neither team needing to sit back and play an overly defensive style. OVER 2.5 goals at -110 looks like good value, but both teams scoring at -143 is also a solid play.
Pick: Both teams to score (-143)