Wednesday, 14 April, 2021

Italian Serie A: Preview of matchday 25


The 25th round of matches in the Italian Serie A is set to kick off today, as 10 exciting games will be played between Tuesday and Thursday.

Lazio vs Torino

Lazio will be looking to snap out of their recent run of bad results as they play hosts to relegation-threatened Torino at the Stadio Olimpico.

Simone Inzaghi’s men have lost 2 of their last 3 league games and have fallen out of the top 6 as a result, but they’re still only 3 points behind Atalanta in 4th place which means a win could put them back in the Champions league places.

Torino on the other hand are just 2 points clear of the relegation zone and although they’re unbeaten in their last 6 games, 5 of those have ended as draws.

Lazio are the clear favourites in this one, they’ve won the last 3 encounters between both sides and Torino will be without the services of 8 first team players, including their captain and top scorer, Andrea Belotti, due to a Covid-19 exposure that has put the match in danger of postponement.

Juventus vs Spezia

The only other Tuesday game will go down at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, the home of the champions as Juventus are heavily favoured to get the better of Spezia.

Juventus have hit a rocky patch lately, just 1 win from their last 5 games in all competitions and they currently sit in 3rd place, 10 points behind Inter Milan in 1st, it’s looking unlikely that they will be able to win that coveted 10th straight Serie A title.

However, it is more than likely that they will beat Spezia though, Andrea Pirlo’s team have been solid at home this season, having lost just twice in all home games this season across all competitions, the last of those defeats came 10 games ago.

The reverse fixture is enough indication of how this will end, Juve thrashed Spezia 4-1 away from home with Ronaldo coming off the bench to score twice. The Portuguese is currently Serie A’s top scorer and he will be looking to add to his tally of 19 goals.

Sassuolo vs Napoli

On Wednesday, two exciting but inconsistent sides clash at the Mapei Stadium in what has the potential to be one of the games of the season, it’s Sassuolo vs Napoli.

The hosts are on a goalscoring run, they’ve scored in each of their last 13 Serie A games but the defence has let them down. The Neroverdi have conceded the 3rd highest goals amongst the top 10 teams and they currently sit 8th on the log.

Napoli on the other hand have endured a terrible last few days, 4 defeats in 6 games made even worse by their early elimination from the Europa league at the hands of Granada, Gennaro Gattuso’s men need things to change real soon.

They were able to get back to winning ways in Serie A with their 2-0 win at home to Benevento on Sunday, and now they aim to build on that result and secure back to back league wins for the first time since January.

AC Milan vs Udinese

2nd place Milan welcome Udinese to the San Siro in a match they’re widely expected to win comfortably despite the long list of injury to key players and a recent run of bad results for the home side.

Stefano Pioli’s men ended a run of 4 winless games and back to back league defeats by beating Roma on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap on their city rivals, Inter, who they now trail by 5 points.

Udinese are in better form than their hosts, 1 defeat in the last 7 Serie A games has propelled them from relegation scrappers to 12th on the log, eyeing a place in the top half.

Milan will be without key players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ante Rebic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ismael Bennacer and new signing, Mario Mandzukic, all of whom have been ruled out by injury, making the game a potential banana peel for the Rossoneri.

Genoa vs Sampdoria

Genoa had been unbeaten in their last 8 games across all competitions until they lost 3-0 to Inter on Sunday, now they look to regain that form when Samdoria come visiting the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Wednesday night.

The Rossobl├╣ sit in 13th place on the log, 3 places and 4 points behind their opponents, Sampdoria who come into this game off the back of two consecutive Serie A defeats.

Historically, this fixture favors the away side, Genoa have failed to win any of their last 8 home games against Sampdoria, in fact the last time they won at home against these opponents was way back in 2011.

Cagliari vs Bologna

The Sardegna Arena is the venue as relegation strugglers Cagliari look to build on their win against Crotone last Sunday by securing all 3 points on Wednesday against Bologna.

If they can pull it off, it would be the first time they’ve won back to back league games since October 25th 2020, in that period they’ve only managed 2 wins in the 20 league matches played since then.

Cagliari have underperformed so bad this season, they sit 18th on the log, with just 18 points accrued after 24 games played, while their opponents, Bologna are comfortably a mid-table team, 11th on the log.

Fiorentina vs Roma

Roma’s quest for a top 4 finish takes them to the Stadio Artemio Franchi in the beautiful city of Florence, as the Giallorossi look to inflict a 4th defeat in 5 games on their hosts, Fiorentina.

Paulo Fonseca’s Roma are currently 5th on the log, just 2 points outside of the top 4 and a win against Fiorentina could see them move upward if results in other centres go their way.

Fiorentina on the other hand are 15th, 7 points clear of relegation but La Viola are still very far from safety and every point earned in the last 14 games of the season may very well prove valuable in keeping them up.

The stand out players to look put for on both sides are Dusan Vlahovic who is Fiorentina’s top scorer with 9 goals, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who has also scored 9 and assisted 8 goals for Roma this season.

Atalanta vs Crotone

Probably the most straightforward game of the matchday, Atalanta are clear favourites to despatch Crotona on Wednesday night in Bergamo and there are many reasons to back that up.

Atalanta are 4th and Crotone are the worst team in the division. They’ve conceded 57 goals in 24 games this season, 10 more than the 2nd worse tally, they’ve scored the 2nd fewest amount of goals in the league and have a points total of 12.

Crotone also have a dreadful away record, having lost all but 2 of their 12 games on the road, and those two were goalless draws against Torino and Udinese and they remain the only team yet to win an away game in the Serie A this season.

Its difficult to imagine any other result other than a win for Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta and even a draw for Crotone would be one of the biggest upsets of the season, an immediate return to Serie B looks sure for them.

Bnverento vs Hellas Verona

At the start of the season, Benevento looked liked they were the best of the newly promoted sides and were most likely to stay up, but since the turn of the year, their results have deteriorated.

Gli Stregoni have only managed 1 win in their 10 matches in 2021 and now sit 16th on the log, 7 points above the dreaded relegation zone.

Hellas Verona however, are very comfortably 9th, they most likely won’t have enough to secure an Europa League spot, but they are also too good to fall out of the top 10 right now.

Both teams lock horns at the Municipal stadium in Benevento as the last of the Wednesday matches, in what has more significance for the home side than it does for the visitors.

Parma vs Internazionale

In what is probably the perk of being league leaders, Inter travel to Parma for the only game on Thursday to wrap up matchday 25 in what could be a tricky encounter at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

If history is to go by, Parma will be difficult opponents for the Nerazurri, as Inter have only won 2 of the last 7 installments of this fixture, and both of those wins were secured with late goals.

However, based on current form, this looks like a rubber stamped Inter win, Inter have lost just one of their last 11 league games and currently sit top of the log and have won 5 consecutive Serie A games.

Parma on the other hand are winless in 16 games and currently sit 19th on the table after 24 games, they have the worst attack in the league having scored just 19 goals and the 2nd worst defence, with 47 goals conceded.

These woeful numbers indicate that they would struggle to hand the likes of Romelu Lukaku, who is Serie A’s 2nd top scorer with 18 goals and Lautaro Martinez who has 13.

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