Almost 12 months after the 2019/20 campaign kicked off, we have finally reached the final day of the Serie A season. SPAL and Brescia have already been relegated, but who will join them in Serie B next term? Either Lecce or Genoa will end up in the drop zone by the end of play on Sunday.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Serie A fixture list for August 2.
SPAL vs. Fiorentina
Genoa vs. Verona
Bologna vs. Torino
Lecce vs. Parma
Sassuolo vs. Udinese
Lecce currently sits just inside the bottom three, while Genoa is one point and one place ahead. Both relegation battlers face tough tests on the final day. But Verona and Parma have nothing left to play for this season, so Lecce and Genoa will both be confident of picking up three points this weekend.
Elsewhere, eighth-place Sassuolo will be aiming to secure their highest finish since 2015/16 by recording a positive result against Udinese. Fiorentina can cling onto a top-half finish with a win over bottom-club SPAL, while Bologna still stands an outside chance of finishing in the top ten.
In this post, I share my best bets, predictions, and picks for Serie A on August 2.
Fiorentina to Beat SPAL
On the whole, it has been another disappointing season for Fiorentina. The former powerhouse of Italian soccer should be challenging for a European place, but the club has spent the majority of the 2019/20 campaign battling to avoid relegation.
Still, the signs look promising for next term. The team’s recent performances suggest that La Viola is heading in the right direction. Fiorentina has struggled for consistency throughout the season, but a run of one loss in eight games means that Giuseppe Iachini’s side will finish in the top half with a victory on Sunday.
Fortunately for Fiorentina, SPAL is their final opponent of the campaign. If Fiorentina’s season has been below par, then SPAL’s has been nothing short of catastrophic. The Ferrara outfit has only managed to win five of their 37 league games this term and has been stuck in the drop zone for the entirety of 2019/20.
It goes without saying that anything other than a Fiorentina win would be a huge surprise here.
Genoa to Beat Verona
Genoa has been flirting with relegation for a number of years now. In fact, the Griffin has finished in the bottom five in four of the past eight seasons and only narrowly avoided the drop on goal difference last term. So, it is hardly surprising that Genoa is fighting to stay in the division on the final day once again.
However, their fate is in their hands. Davide Nicola’s men know that a win on Sunday would see them renew their top-flight status for another year. Genoa comes into this game on the back of heavy defeats to Inter (3-0) and Sassuolo (5-0). But three wins in four outings before that mean the club is in control of their destiny.
Verona has enjoyed an excellent first season back in the big time after gaining promotion from the second tier last year. A nine-game unbeaten run between December and February even put the club in a strong position to qualify for next season’s Europa League, but the Mastiffs have stuttered over the line. They remain ninth, although they have only claimed one win in their previous eight outings.
Due to their superior goal difference, Verona is pretty much guaranteed a top-half finish. On the other hand, Genoa has it all to play for. There is no denying that Verona has performed far better than Genoa throughout the season. But with so much at stake, I can see Genoa doing enough to get the win.
Bologna to Beat Torino
Before the campaign was put on hold, it looked as though Bologna was in contention for a European place. But the team has struggled to get going following the resumption. Recent victories over Sampdoria, Inter, and Lecce have kept the club afloat. But three wins in 11 games is not a good return.
Despite registering the majority of the possession and creating plenty of goalscoring opportunities, Bologna was thrashed 4-0 by Fiorentina last time out. A Federico Chiesa hat-trick, along with a goal from Nikola Milenkovic, saw the Greyhounds suffer their third loss in four games. Still, they can finish in the top half if results go their way on the final day.
I’m pretty sure that Torino would be relegated if the season went on any longer. Moreno Longo’s men are sitting four points clear of the bottom three, so they could end up avoiding relegation by just a single point. Six straight defeats across January and February kick-started the club’s demise, and three wins in 12 attempts since then have done little to enhance their league position.
Yes, Bologna suffered a humiliating defeat in their previous game. But the visit of Torino provides the host with the perfect opportunity to end the season on a high.
Lecce to Beat Parma
Lecce trails Genoa by one point heading into the final round of fixtures, but their superior goal difference means that a draw could be enough to avoid relegation. If Genoa loses to Verona and Lecce avoids defeat against Parma, Lecce will be playing Serie A soccer against next season.
Having said that, manager Fabio Liverani won’t let his players rely on results elsewhere. Lecce must take care of their own business on Sunday. After all, the club looked dead and buried following six straight defeats either side of the shutdown. But three wins since then — including a shock 2-1 victory over title-chaser Lazio — have given Lecce a glimmer of hope.
Parma supporters must be wondering where it all went wrong. At the turn of the year, the fallen giant was in a strong position to qualify for Europe following a 15-year absence. But things have gradually gone downhill in 2020. Indeed, seven defeats in their last ten games have seen the club drop out of the top half altogether.
The Crusaders claimed a comfortable 2-0 win against Lecce in the reverse fixture back in January, but I can’t see that happening this time around. Liverani’s men will be fighting for their lives on Sunday, so I’m backing the home side to clinch the points.
Sassuolo to Beat Udinese
To say that Sassuolo has endured a turbulent season would be a massive understatement. Only the top five teams have scored more goals than Roberto De Zerbi’s side, but just seven teams in the division have a poorer defensive record. Strangely enough, the team’s overzealous approach has generally worked.
The Neroverdi strung together an impressive eight-game unbeaten streak after the break, beating Lazio and drawing with Inter and Juventus along the way. Successive defeats to Milan and Napoli followed, but Sassuolo comes into the final day on the back of a thumping 5-0 victory over Genoa. Francesco Caputo scored twice last time out, meaning he now has 13 goals in his last 16 league appearances.
After battling in the bottom half of the table all season, Udinese finally secured their safety with back-to-back victories over Juventus and Cagliari earlier in the month. The Little Zebras have not been in good form since the resumption, winning just four of their 11 outings post-lockdown. But thanks to the iffy form of their relegation rivals, Udinese renewed their top-flight status with a couple of games to spare.
Neither side has anything left to play for this term, although Sassuolo won’t want to be overtaken by Verona on the final day. I’m expecting the home side to win this game with ease.
Serie A Picks for Sunday, August 2
That’s it for my predictions. It’s time to check out my best value Serie A betting picks for Sunday’s action.
SPAL vs. Fiorentina – Fiorentina to Win and Over 2.5 Goals (1.91)
Considering that SPAL (6.00) has suffered nine defeats in their previous 11 outings, I’m confident that Fiorentina (1.40) will win this game. But the odds for the home win don’t offer much value here. To enhance the price, I recommend adding the over 2.5 goals market into the mix.
La Viola thrashed Bologna 4-0 last time out and also netted over 2.5 goals in their recent victory over Lecce. Furthermore, each of SPAL’s last four defeats have produced at least three goals, with Inter scoring four and Roma scoring six. All the signs are pointing towards a high-scoring Fiorentina win.
Sassuolo vs. Udinese – Over 3.5 Goals (2.00)
I’ve already touched on Sassuolo’s crazy record at both ends of the pitch, so I think this bet explains itself. The home side (1.91) is the bookies’ favorite to win this matchup, while Udinese (3.30) is the outsider. But in my opinion, the over 3.5 goals market offers the best value.
Sassuolo brushed aside Genoa last time out by netting five against the relegation struggler, meaning seven of their 12 games since the lay-off have produced over 3.5 goals. In my eyes, this is an excellent opportunity to double your money on the final day of the 2019/20 Serie A season.