Empoli vs Palermo
Serie A football returns after a two weeks Christmas break with two of the bottom sides facing off in what I predict will be a closely fought encounter which will end in a draw. Empoli sit four points clear of the Sicilians who have a very good away record.
Napoli vs Sampdoria
Napoli went into the Christmas break following a thrilling 3-3 draw in Florence while Sampdoria held Udinese to a 0-0 draw in what was a rather drab affair as La Samp maintained their mid-table status. I am backing the home side to win comfortably on Saturday night.
Udinese vs Inter
Udinese held out for a point in Sampdoria while Inter gave their fans an early Christmas present after beating Lazio 3-0 at the San Siro to edge slightly closer up the standings. The home side are no pushovers and I reckon Pioli’s men will have to settle for a draw in the early Sunday afternoon kick-off.
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Chievo vs Atalanta
Despite taking an early lead Chievo were unable to hold a superior Roma side at bay at eventually lost 3-1 on their travels to the Olimpico. Atalanta’s impressive run of form continued with a 2-1 win over lowly Empoli thanks to a late D’Alessandro goal. The home side should have enough to hold out for a point.
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Genoa vs Roma
Lady luck was not on Genoa’s side in Gameweek 18 since even though they had the lion’s share of chances they still somehow lost 1-0 in Turin to remain in 12th place. Roma came from behind to eventually win comfortably in front of their home crowd and end the year in second place. Considering late last year Genoa beat the likes of Juve and Milan at Luigi Ferraris I am backing them to frustrate Spallett’s side.
Lazio vs Crotone
Lazio ended 2016 on a sour note after losing 3-0 at the San Siro however remain 4th in the Serie A table after an excellent start to their campaign. With just two wins from their opening 17 games Crotone looks like favourites to return to Serie B come May and I predict the visitors will have little luck in Rome.
Pescara vs Fiorentina
Pescara scored very late on in Palermo to frustrate the home side and collect just their ninth point of the season as the Serie A newbies remained rooted to the foot of the standings. Fiorentina played out a thrilling 3-3 encounter with Napoli at the Artemio Franchi to end what has been quite a poor season for La Viola on a high note. I am backing an away win on Sunday afternoon.
Sassuolo vs Torino
Sassuolo’s poor season continued after somehow throwing away a two goal lead to lose 4-3 in Sardinia in what was a thrilling game of football. Torino ended the year on a positive note after making the most of their chances and beating Genoa 1-0 at home. The home side are lingering just a handful of points above the bottom three and should do enough to hold out for a point.
Milan vs Cagliari
Milan made sure their fans had a lot to cheer about over the festive season after they beat eternal rivals Juventus on penalties in the Italian Super Cup in what was the first piece of silverware under Montella’s tenure. Cagliari are now 13 points clear of the relegation zone thanks to a spirited comeback over Sassuolo winning by the odd goal in seven. Home win expected.
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Juventus vs Bologna
With a game in hand Juventus already lead the rest of the rest of the Serie A standings by four points as Allegri’s side look to win their sixth consecutive Scudetto. Bologna have so far done enough to keep their noses clear of the bottom three however despite their best efforts I predict an easy home win for the Old Lady.