Matchday 33 Betting Tips for Serie A (2021)
A fascinating set of midweek results in Serie A did little to clear up the picture at the top and bottom of the table but acted as a reminder of the excitement the Italian top-flight can serve up. That seems especially important in a week where a potential European Super League has made most of the headlines.
Inter remains at the top and on the course for the scudetto even after only drawing with Spezia. At the same time, the race for the remaining Champions League places continued with some surprising results for those concerned. A bunch of draws at the other end of the table made Cagliari’s win away at Udinese one of the results of the round (and one that I had predicted earlier in the week).
Matchday 33 kicks off on Friday, and I will be taking a look at all ten games over the three days, as well as picking out three of the best bets to consider in the Italian top-flight.
Genoa to Beat Spezia
Genoa’s resurgence under David Ballardini has slowed somewhat in recent weeks. Even though relegation seems unlikely, the Grifone probably needs a few more points between now and the end of the season. On Wednesday, the draw with Benevento consisted of a thrilling four-goal first half and a second period that tailed off a little. It was another point won, though – and Genoa should be celebrating three more on Saturday.
Spezia was celebrating a very special point won in the week when it held league leaders Inter to a draw. The Serie A minnow even took the lead in that game and deserved a share of the spoils at the end, especially with so many of its top players out injured. It had to survive two Inter goals chalked off for offside towards the end of the encounter, but it was a special day for the club. Genoa might bring it back down to Earth at the weekend, though.
Parma to Beat Crotone
This is surely Roberto D’Aversa and Parma’s last chance of giving itself any hope of staying up this season.
Parma couldn’t hang on – and now it is looking very likely that one of the quintessential Italian clubs of the 90s will be relegated this season.
Crotone might give Parma one last positive on Saturday. The bottom of the table club has looked much better – and far more adventurous – since Serse Cosmi took over. But it is still losing games and fell to a solitary Sampdoria goal on Wednesday. Relegation could be confirmed this weekend, but any chance of the club staying up this season disappeared long ago.
Sassuolo to Beat Sampdoria
Maybe Sassuolo’s faint European qualification dreams have not been completely extinguished. It looked as though injuries and a busy fixture schedule had put the Neroverdi finishing in the top-seven this season. But three consecutive victories – including the 2-1 win against Milan in the San Siro in the week – have boosted spirits at the club. Sassuolo could go just three points behind Roma on Saturday with a win here.
Sampdoria is just a little too far behind the top-seven to contemplate a late drive for Europe. But it has been a successful second part of the season for the Blucerchiati, who won again in midweek away at Crotone. Veteran international playmaker Fabio Quagliarella scored the only goal of that game – and he will be a thorn in the side for Sassuolo here as well. His talent might not be quite enough, however.
Benevento and Udinese to Draw
Benevento led twice in the opening quarter of an hour of its game against Genoa on Wednesday. Still, it could not hold on on either occasion and had to settle with a fairly respectable draw in the end. That did little to end its relegation worries this season but will give the players some belief that it can stay out of the bottom three now. Another point on Sunday could help with that.
Udinese was missing star player Rodrigo De Paul – and a whole host of others – for its midweek game against Cagliari and was beaten by a solitary goal from the spot just after halftime. However, the Friulani didn’t look like getting anything from the game. Now Luca Gotti needs to make sure that his side doesn’t fizzle out completely with little to play for in the remainder of the season.
Juventus to Beat Fiorentina
The relationship between these two clubs is not the greatest at the best of times. Still, Fiorentina will be even keener to win this one after a week in which Juventus attempted to reshape the way soccer is played in Europe. The Viola comes into this game on the back of what could be an invaluable win away against Verona on Tuesday and will be full of confidence after Beppe Iachini’s first victory.
But three unanswered goals gave the current champion the points and kept its top-four finish hopes alive. With Napoli looking ominously good, Andrea Pirlo needs to inspire his players in the next few games to ensure that the Old Lady qualifies for the Champions League.
Inter to Beat Hellas Verona
There could be a suggestion that Inter’s players consider their job done after the Nerazzurri could only manage a draw for the second game in a row on Wednesday. Spezia and Napoli took points from the league leaders in the space of five days after the club had won 11 in a row to virtually assure that the scudetto will be making its way to Milan this season. Antonio Conte will not allow his players to rest, though, so we should expect a response on Sunday against Verona.
Ivan Juric can probably consider this season a success, even if he is not around next year. But Hellas Verona is in danger of finishing off the campaign in the worst possible way after losing its sixth game in seven in the week. It was a hard-fought encounter with Fiorentina, but it was the kind of fixture that the Gialloblu was winning earlier in the year. More performances like that and Verona could end up in the bottom half of the table.
Cagliari and Roma to Draw
This weekend is a huge game in Serie A that could have a big impact on what happens at both ends of the table. Cagliari has been transformed under Leonardo Semplici – and has come back again after a minor blip a few weeks ago. The win at Udinese in the week followed the excitement of the 4-3 win over Parma at the weekend, and now the Rossoblu will feel as though it can catch Benevento and keep its top-flight status.
On the other hand, Roma will be looking nervously over its shoulder as it attempts to cling to a European place. The Giallorossi failed, once again, to beat a top-seven club on Thursday as it drew with Atalanta in the Stadio Olimpico and is now three points behind bitter rivals Lazio. That’s the difference between a Europa League place and a berth in the new third-tier Europa Conference League for next season. There could be half a mind on the semifinal with Manchester United for the capital city club here as well.
Atalanta to Beat Bologna
Atalanta went ahead in Rome on Thursday but found it far too difficult to hang on to the lead after losing Robin Gosens to a red card with over 20 minutes still to play. Roma equalized soon after, and in the end, Gian Piero Gasperini should probably be pleased with the point as La Dea continues to cling onto a Champions League spot. There is no room for complacency, so three points from this straightforward-looking fixture is a must.
Bologna could do nothing about an absolutely wonderful goal from Torino’s Rolando Mandragora on Wednesday and had to make do with just a point from its midweek fixture.
That is unlikely to happen on Sunday, though.
Napoli to Beat Torino
How Torino boss Davide Nicola would love to see a repeat of that wonder goal on Monday, as his side looks to pick up some more points in the hope of securing its Serie A status for another year. The draw away at Bologna was a good result for the Granata, but it remains just three points above the bottom three and with a much-improved Cagliari that is starting to win games now. Defeat to Napoli would not be an embarrassment – but it would not help with escaping relegation either.
Napoli ensured that it is still in the race for a top-four finish with a 5-2 thrashing of Lazio on Thursday at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Lorenzo Insigne scored two in the rout, and the Partenopei is now just two points behind Juventus and Atalanta – and a further point behind Milan in second. Gennaro Gattuso’s side has a favorable run-in, too, so three points on Monday would put Napoli in a good position.
Lazio and Milan to Draw
Lazio and Milan round matchday 33 off in the late game on Monday, with both clubs desperate for a win that would help maintain European qualification hopes this season. After an excellent run of results, Lazio will probably have to make do with the Europa League now, after falling against Napoli in the week. But it is very tight in that part of the table, so every point is crucial now.
Many thought that Milan got everything it deserved on Wednesday as it lost at home to Sassuolo. After being part of the ill-fated European Super League plans, there is little concern for the Rossoneri at the moment, and the defeat also condensed the race for Champions League places. Milan holds a slight advantage over Napoli when it comes to the head-to-head record, but Stefano Pioli will not want it to end up so close after his side led the way until February.
My Top Serie A Picks for April 24-26, 2021
Here are my top-three selections for the weekend’s games on matchday 33. Odds are courtesy of Betway.
With everything so tight at the top and bottom of the table, I expect a lot of clubs to look at draws as one point gained rather than two points lost over the next few weeks. That’s why I’ve gone for three in my picks this weekend. I would normally back Udinese to beat Benevento, but I think that the absence of RDP will be enough for a stalemate instead.
I also expect Roma’s difficulties to continue in the league. Its form against the big clubs has scuppered its chances of qualifying for the Champions League. Now I feel that Cagliari’s upturn in form – and the Europa League semifinal next Thursday – will see it grind out a draw in Sardinia.
My final pick of the week is for Lazio and Milan to do each other no real favors by finishing level in the Stadio Olimpico on Monday. Both clubs desperately need three points as they chase European qualification. But I think that they will balance each other out and end up with the result that doesn’t help either.