Serie A dishes up six games for us on Wednesday. The jam-packed schedule continues to provide us with endless betting opportunities, and there are still nine full rounds of fixtures remaining in the 2019/20 season!
Let’s check out the games taking place in Italy’s top tier on July 1.
Bologna vs. Cagliari
Inter Milan vs. Brescia
Lecce vs. Sampdoria
Fiorentina vs. Sassuolo
SPAL vs. AC Milan
Verona vs. Parma
Inter will be aiming to keep pace with the top two after returning from the break in unconvincing form. The bottom three — Brescia, SPAL, and Lecce — are all in action on Wednesday, while Verona and Parma clash for a hugely important battle in the race for a Europa League spot.
Read on to see my predictions for every Serie A game on July 1, and make sure you stick around for Wednesday’s top betting picks at the end of this post.
Cagliari to Beat Bologna
Just one point separates these two sides in the standings, so this is set to be a closely fought encounter. A mid-table finish is looking likely for both teams, although Cagliari and Bologna both stand an outside chance of breaking into the European places if they can string together a run of positive results.
Cagliari extended their winless run to 12 games by losing to Verona in their first game back, but consecutive victories have since put the Islanders back on track. Fiorentina loanee Giovanni Simeone has been instrumental in the team’s transformation, netting three goals in three appearances since the restart.
Bologna ended a winless streak of their own by getting the better of Sampdoria on Sunday. A defeat to Juventus in their first game after the resumption meant that Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side was without a win in four Serie A outings, but the victory last time out has kept the club’s hopes of a top-half finish alive.
This matchup brings together two evenly matched teams, but I think Cagliari will come out on top. Following back-to-back wins, the momentum is with the Islanders.
Inter Milan to Beat Brescia
Inter Milan may be unbeaten in their three games since the lay-off, but Antonio Conte’s men have been made to work for their results of late. After edging past Sampdoria and drawing 3-3 with Sassuolo, Inter needed two goals in the final six minutes against Parma to come from behind and seal the victory on Sunday.
It’s fair to say that Inter has struggled to get into the groove following the lengthy break. The Nerazzuri is still four points clear of fourth-place Atalanta, but catching the top will be hard in their current form. Thankfully for Inter, second-bottom Brescia is the next visitor to San Siro.
Brescia threw away a two-goal lead to draw with Genoa last time out. In the grand scheme of things, the Lombardy club will probably be happy with taking a point from a relegation rival. But Brescia must start claiming all three points in order to avoid relegation.
Having failed to win any of their previous 13 league games, I can’t help but fear the worst for Brescia on Wednesday. Sure, Inter is nowhere near their best right now. But forwards Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are likely to have a field day against one of the division’s weakest defenses.
Sampdoria to Beat Lecce
The importance of this relegation six-pointer cannot be overstated. Lecce currently sits just inside the bottom three, although the gap between them and Brescia is seven points. Meanwhile, Sampdoria is one point ahead of Lecce. Will either side be able to boost their survival chances this week?
To say that Sampdoria has been unlucky since the restart would be a massive understatement. Claudio Ranieri has clearly galvanized his players during the three-month lay-off, but they have suffered three consecutive 2-1 defeats. There is no denying that the team’s performances have improved, but the results have eluded Sampdoria.
By contrast, Lecce’s two defeats since the campaign got back underway have been fully deserved. The Giallorossi was thrashed 4-1 by AC Milan last week before suffering a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Juventus. After conceding 11 goals in two games before the break, Lecce has the worst defensive record in the division by some distance.
I’m expecting this to be a cagey affair, with both managers setting up their team to avoid defeat. However, Sampdoria has put in a number of valiant displays recently, so I can see the away side edging this one.
Fiorentina and Sassuolo to Draw
Fiorentina was in dreamland on Saturday when veteran winger Franck Ribery gave them the lead against high-flying Lazio. But the Viola was quickly brought back to reality. Hopes of a first Serie A win since February were dashed by second-half goals from Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto.
The Tuscany outfit was held to a discouraging draw by lowly Brescia in their first game back, and one point from a possible six since the resumption means that Fiorentina remains just six points clear of the bottom three. Avoiding relegation shouldn’t be an issue, but the team must start winning to make life a little easier for themselves.
Similarly, Sassuolo is also in need of a win. The Neroverdi returned to action with a 4-1 defeat to Atalanta and has since registered successive 3-3 draws. After twice coming from behind to snatch a point from Inter, Sassuolo staged another dramatic comeback to draw with Verona on Sunday.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Roberto De Zerbi’s side picks up another draw at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Sassuolo is only three points ahead of Fiorentina in the standings, so neither side will want to lose on Wednesday. A tense game is in the offing.
AC Milan to Beat SPAL
It feels like AC Milan has returned from the break with a point to prove. Stefano Piolo’s men brushed aside Leece in their first game back, but it was their performance against Roma on Sunday that really caught the eye. Milan racked up 18 shots in a completely dominant 2-0 display, with Ante Rebic netting his eighth goal in nine Serie A appearances.
Rebic’s form has given the Rossoneri a big lift, but the Croatian isn’t the only one doing his bit. The whole team is playing with confidence at the moment, and seventh-place Milan is now only three points behind Napoli.
On the other hand, SPAL has picked up where they left off before the campaign was put on hold. Back-to-back defeats against Cagliari and Napoli have left the Ferrara club bottom of the table and eight points from safety. Relegation is surely just around the corner.
As a former Inter player, SPAL manager Luigi Di Biagio would likely love nothing more than to get the better of AC Milan. However, he will also be well aware of how difficult that will be. Anything other than a Milan victory would be one for the books.
Verona and Parma to Draw
These two sides have been neck-and-neck all season, and there really is nothing to separate them right now. Verona and Parma have both been sitting just above mid-table for the majority of the 2019/20 campaign, and that’s exactly where they find themselves heading into this vitally important clash.
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Verona and Parma boast identical records this side of the break. Both teams have picked up four points since the resumption, with one win, one draw, and one defeat from their previous three games. Is there anything between these two!?
After throwing away a two-goal lead last time out, Verona will no doubt be extremely disappointed not to be two points better off. The Gialloblu had a comfortable advantage with less than 15 minutes remaining, but Sassuolo stole a draw with two late goals. Meanwhile, Parma also blew a lead to lose against Inter.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, all the signs are pointing towards a draw between these two well-matched teams.
Serie A Picks for Wednesday, July 1
Having scoured the odds, here are my best value Serie A bets for Wednesday’s games.
Fiorentina vs. Sassuolo – Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals (1.90)
It’s difficult to predict which way this game will go, as both sides have been pretty inconsistent since the season resumed. However, if Sassuolo’s recent games are anything to go by, we are set for a high-scoring matchup in Florence.
Fiorentina and Sassuolo have played a combined total of five games since the restart, and both teams have scored on every occasion. Furthermore, Sassuolo’s last three league games have produced over 3.5 goals. I’m expecting goals galore when these two sides clash.
Verona vs. Parma – Parma and Draw Double Chance (1.90)
Considering the similarities between Verona and Parma, I’m not sure why the price for the away win is so high here. The Parma win is at 4.00, while you can get odds of 1.91 for the Verona win. The price for the draw is 3.30.
I predicted this game will end level, but betting on the draw is always a risky option. Alternatively, I’m going to back Parma to avoid defeat. The double chance market gives us a bit more leeway than the draw, and the odds are still very attractive.