There is no denying that Napoli vs. AC Milan is the standout Serie A tie on Sunday, but there are plenty of important games this weekend in the Italian top flight. The bottom-three battle between Genoa and SPAL is likely to be a tasty encounter, while Parma’s mid-table clash with Bologna also stands out.
In total, there are six Serie A games taking place on Sunday, July 12. Here is the fixture list.
Genoa vs. SPAL
Parma vs. Bologna
Fiorentina vs. Verona
Cagliari vs. Lecce
Udinese vs. Sampdoria
Napoli vs. AC Milan
Following their shock win over Lazio, can relegation-threatened Lecce continue to shine against in-form Cagliari? Sampdoria will be aiming to move away from the drop zone, but a revived Udinese team won’t make life easy for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
You can find my predictions for all of Sunday’s Serie A games below. I also share my Serie A betting picks for July 12 at the end of this post, so make sure you check those out!
Genoa to Beat SPAL
If it wasn’t for the dismal form of the bottom two, I’m pretty sure that Genoa would already be destined for relegation. Davide Nicola’s men have spent the majority of the 2019/20 campaign in the drop zone. But every so often, they pick up a couple of results to keep them within touching distance of the rest of the league.
Genoa won three of their four games before the season was put on hold, and although the team has failed to find a win since the resumption, draws with Brescia and Udinese have kept Nicola’s side afloat. The Griffins may find themselves in the bottom three, but they are only one point from safety.
On the other hand, there isn’t much hope for SPAL. The Ferrara outfit has recorded four defeats and one draw this side of the lay-off, while one win in their previous 11 league outings has left the club rock bottom. With seven games remaining this term, SPAL is nine points from safety. Their three-year stay in the top flight is surely coming to an end.
This is by no means the most glamourous Serie A fixture, although I do think it will be an interesting battle. SPAL is likely to put up a fight, but I’m confident that Genoa will come out on top.
Bologna to Beat Parma
This matchup brings together two teams moving in opposite directions. Parma has been sitting pretty in the European places much of the season, but a poor run of results has seen the team drop into the bottom half of the table. Meanwhile, Bologna has spent the majority of the campaign in the bottom half but has recently leapfrogged Parma.
Following a defeat to Juventus in their first game after the restart, Bologna put together an impressive three-game unbeaten run. Victories over Sampdoria and Inter Milan, along with a draw against Cagliari, have put the club in a strong position. A 2-1 loss to Sassuolo last time out was unexpected, but a fourth goal in four games for Gambian forward Musa Barrow is a very positive sign.
By contrast, there are very few positive signs for Parma at the moment. The Crusaders took four points from a possible six when soccer returned. However, they have since suffered four consecutive defeats. Games against Inter and Roma were never going to be easy, although Parma will be disappointed with losses to Verona and Fiorentina.
Roberto D’Aversa will be desperate for his team to avoid five straight defeats, but Bologna will have other ideas. I’m backing the away side to return to winning ways on Sunday.
Fiorentina and Verona to Draw
Fiorentina has picked up a series of mixed results since the campaign resumed. Defeats to Lazio and Sassuolo have prevented the club from officially securing their top-flight status, although La Viola should be safe from relegation. A much-need win over Parma last week complemented recent draws with Brescia and Cagliari.
Overall, it’s been a difficult season for Fiorentina. Giuseppe Iachini replaced Vincenzo Montella as manager back in December, but the new boss has failed to galvanize the squad. La Viola was sitting fifteenth when Iachini took over, and the club has only risen two places since then. Still, finishing the season on a high must be a priority.
It’s fair to say that Verona has been one of the most inconsistent teams since the restart. Two wins, two draws, and two defeats have all but ended their European dreams. But a strong first half of the season has left the club in a good position, especially when you consider that Verona only gained promotion to Serie A via the second-tier playoffs last year.
The Mastiffs currently find themselves ninth, eight points ahead of Fiorentina. Both teams have been pretty unpredictable lately, so I can see this game ending in a draw.
Cagliari to Beat Lecce
It feels like Cagliari is finally back on track. A damaging 12-game winless run leading up to the shutdown quickly put an end to the Islanders’ hopes of playing in Europe next term. But one defeat in their previous five outings has got Sardinia smiling again.
Back-to-back victories over SPAL and Torino at the end of June were followed by hard-fought draws with Bologna and Fiorentina at the beginning of July. Last week’s loss against high-flying Atalanta halted the team’s impressive run, but a narrow 1-0 defeat to Gian Piero Gasperini’s free-scoring machine is nothing to be ashamed of.
Lecce stunned Italian soccer on Tuesday with a remarkable win over second-place Lazio. Khouma Babacar and Fabio Lucioni scored either side of half time to earn the relegation struggler a crucial victory, despite seeing just 30% possession.
The shock result saw the Giallorossi climb out of the bottom three, but let’s not forget that Lecce went into their previous game on the back of six straight defeats. The Apulia outfit will be brimming with confidence after their unexpected win. However, Cagliari is likely to bring Lecce back down to earth on Sunday.
Udinese to Beat Sampdoria
What has happened to Udinese? The team went nine outings without a win between January and June. But having taken seven points from their past three games, things are looking up.
The Little Zebras kicked off their revival with an impressive 2-0 victory over Roma before drawing with Genoa, while a convincing 3-0 win against SPAL last time out saw the club open up an eight-point lead over the relegation zone. Kevin Lasagna has been instrumental to Udinese’s resurgence, netting five goals in his previous four appearances.
Meanwhile, Sampdoria has suffered four defeats in their six games since the resumption. Recent victories over Lecce and SPAL have prevented the club from plummeting down the table. But with fellow relegation-battler Lecce beating Lazio earlier in the week, La Samp will be looking over their shoulder.
There may only be three points separating these two teams, but Udinese has the upper hand here. The home is on an eye-catching run at the moment, and I can’t see Sampdoria putting an end to that right now.
Napoli to Beat AC Milan
Last but by no means least, Napoli welcomes AC Milan to Stadio San Paolo for Sunday’s late kickoff. With sixth-place Napoli currently leading seventh-place Milan by just two points, it is difficult to overstate the importance of this matchup. Indeed, both sides have been in excellent form of late.
Napoli has lost just one of their previous eight league games, with three straight victories before the lay-off coming before four wins this side of the break. Gennaro Gattuso’s men have flown up the table recently, and it’s hard to imagine anyone putting an end to their rise.
Having said that, Milan will be confident of halting Napoli’s ascent. Four wins and one draw mean the Rossoneri is unbeaten since the restart, while the manner of the recent victories has been hugely impressive. Milan beat Champions League-hopefuls Roma (2-0) and Lazio (3-0) before coming from behind to thump league-leader Juventus 4-2 last time out.
Needless to say, both sides will be fired up for the clash. The two teams have been playing some seriously attractive soccer, but there is no denying that Napoli is stronger than Milan. It’s destined to be a tight game, but the home side should edge it.
Serie A Picks for Sunday, July 12
I have chosen to feature bets from two of Sunday’s Serie A games that offer great value. I share the logic behind my selections below.
Genoa vs. SPAL – Both Teams to Score (1.91)
It feels like both teams must go for broke in this matchup. SPAL is nine points from safety, so the bottom club has no choice but to give everything for the win. At the same time, Genoa needs all three points to stand any chance of moving out of the drop zone.
Given that both sides will be battling for the victory, this is likely to be an open game with a lot of goalscoring chances. With that in mind, I’m surprised that the bookies are offering odds of 1.91 for both teams to score. I recommend jumping on this bet before the price goes down.
Napoli vs. AC Milan – Over 3.5 Goals (2.88)
Napoli (2.00) is the favorite to win this game, while Milan (3.40) is the outsider. I predicted that the home side will come out on top. But I think backing Napoli to win outright is a risk, especially when you look at Milan’s recent results.
Three of Milan’s last five games have produced over 3.5 goals, with a 3-0 victory over Lazio also coming during that period. Napoli has also been scoring plenty of goals recently, but their defense has been leaky. I’m expecting this to be a high-scoring encounter, so I like the look of over 3.5 goals at 2.88.