Serie A Matchday 36 (2021) Predictions and Best Bets

| May 11, 2021 5:13 am PDT

Inter may have won the league, but there is a lot still to play for in Serie A. We have a full midweek set of fixtures to enjoy, starting on Tuesday. The race for the Champions League places continues – as does the battle against the one remaining relegation place at the other end of the table.

Top of Serie A Standings
Team Played Points
Inter (C) 35 85
Atalanta 35 72
Milan 35 72
Napoli 35 70
Juventus 35 69
Lazio 35 64
Roma 35 58
Sassuolo 35 56

Most matchday 36 games take place on Wednesday, but Napoli kicks things off against Udinese on Tuesday. I will be looking at all ten games and choosing three of the best bets in Serie A this week.

Napoli to Beat Udinese

Napoli kept its Champions League dreams intact with another big win at the weekend, as it put four past Spezia away from home. Gennaro Gattuso’s side has lost just once in the last 13 games and even went second with the win on Saturday. Results later in the weekend saw the club drop to fourth – but the top four finish is in its own hands now.

Udinese shouldn’t put up too much of a fight on Tuesday to derail Napoli’s ambitions. Rodrigo De Paul scored yet again at the weekend in the draw with Bologna that kept both clubs comfortably away from either end of the table. The Friulani’s results have dipped in recent weeks – due largely to an ever-growing injury list. But the presence of RDP always gives Luca Gotti’s side a chance. He may not be enough here, though.

Cagliari to Beat Fiorentina

Recent form is always an important factor to consider – and never more so than at this time of the season. Cagliari may still be battling against the drop, but the Sardinian club has one of the best form records in Serie A at the moment. They also beat Benevento on Sunday to go five games unbeaten. That was a huge win against a relegation rival – and there could be another against Fiorentina on Wednesday.

It is not as though Fiorentina has not been playing well recently. The Viola has pulled away from the drop zone thanks to its own four-game unbeaten streak and recorded an excellent win against Lazio at the weekend. In an ill-tempered and evenly balanced affair, Fiorentina was just more clinical than Lazio and fully deserved the victory to see the club safe now.

Atalanta to Beat Benevento

Atalanta’s hopes of Champions League soccer for a third consecutive season look right on track after a comprehensive 5-2 beating of Parma on Sunday. The result was never in doubt as La Dea triumphed thanks to its league-leading goal-scoring record. A top-four finish is still not guaranteed, so expect Gian Piero Gasperini’s side to find the net a few more times on Wednesday to help with that effort.

Benevento really needs the points here, too. The big relegation battle at the weekend got off to the worst possible start when Le Streghe went a goal down to Cagliari after just a minute. It did get a little better, but there has still only been one win in the last 19 Serie A games, and a drop-down to the second tier is looking increasingly likely now.

Bologna and Genoa to Draw

After a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Atalanta a few weeks ago, Bologna has managed back-to-back draws to ensure that the end of the season is as worry-free as possible. The mid-table position it currently holds is likely to remain the same over the next few weeks, and another draw here would keep that on track. The Rossoblu are safe now, so we shouldn’t expect too much from the players.

Genoa could still go down theoretically, but a draw here would be mutually beneficial.

The Grifone gifted Sassuolo the win at the weekend but did enough when Davide Ballardini arrived at the end of last year, causing no worries about dropping out of the top tier this season. The remaining fixtures are not the kindest, but Genoa should be around to improve next year.

Inter to Beat Roma

These clubs scored five at the weekend, but it is only Inter that is really celebrating. Antonio Conte’s side is the new Serie A champion and has only lost two games on the way to the title this year. Any fears of the players relaxing were put to rest very early on; it seems though the Nerazzurri will continue at the highest level until the end of the season.

That’s bad news for Roma is that it still needs to beat any of the clubs above it this season. The 5-0 drubbing of Crotone on Sunday was expected – but it has been a disappointing year for the Giallorossi. Losing in the Europa League semifinal was a bitter blow, and now there is a danger that the capital city club might not qualify for Europe at all next season. Jose Mourinho will not have expected that when he agreed to take over.

Lazio to Beat Parma

The blue half of Rome is a little happier – but Lazio can still be caught in the race for European qualification, and the defeat to Fiorentina at the weekend has not helped. The Aquile grew increasingly frustrated as the game went on and took its fair share of yellow cards before Andreas Pereira was sent off right at the end. The fixtures are kind for Lazio, but it faces Sassuolo on the last day of the season, so victory here is necessary.

Parma is already relegated, but it may feel like ruining Lazio’s day on Wednesday.

To give the players credit, they have picked up their game in the last few months but have allowed stupid mistakes to cost points.

Giving away goals and leads has been a particular problem – and Parma conceded another five at the weekend at home to Atalanta. It seems like it’s time to forget about this season and start planning for Serie B.

Sampdoria to Beat Spezia

Sampdoria experienced its worst result of the season by far on Saturday as it met Inter in a celebratory mood. That 5-1 thrashing is not indicative of the kind of campaign the Blucerchiati has enjoyed on the whole. Claudio Ranieri should remain proud of the job he has done at the club. There is an excellent chance that Samp will finish in the top half – and three points here will help with that aim.

Spezia desperately needs the win, too. After looking like it would escape the pre-season prediction of being relegated for a long time this season, Vicenzo Italiano’s side has endured a rocky few weeks and now sits just above the relegation zone. Spezia only has three more points than Benevento, so it needs to get something from its remaining fixtures.

Juventus to Beat Sassuolo

Sassuolo’s fine run of form continued at the weekend when it beat Genoa away from home to extend its unbeaten streak to six games. There have been five wins in that period – and those points have made the Neroverdi a real contender for the Europa Conference League place. The remaining fixtures are not easy, but if Sassuolo could get something from this one, confidence would be high going into the final two fixtures.

The bad news for Sassuolo is that Juventus is also in dire need of some points. The Old Lady has relinquished its crown already this season and is currently looking from the outside into the top four. Missing out on the Champions League would be unthinkable – and would surely see Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club. The sheer weight of pressure should turn this into an away win on Saturday.

Milan to Beat Torino

Torino is now four points clear of the drop after another fine display at the weekend that brought a point for the Granata. Although relegation is still possible, just one defeat in the last seven has shown that Davide Nicola’s side has the talent to stay in the top division. It was almost three points from the trip to Verona, but Torino conceded just two minutes from time after only scoring in the 85th minute themselves. Milan could be a tougher foe on Wednesday, though.

Stefano Pioli may have to do without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for this one after the Sweden international had to leave the victory over Juventus at the weekend with an injury.

Judging by that result, Milan will not need him to finish in the top four.

The comprehensive display could have been even better if Franck Kessie had not had his penalty saved – but 3-0 against the champions on their pitch is not too bad. There should be three more points to celebrate this week.

Crotone and Hellas Verona to Draw

The final game in this round of fixtures occurs on Thursday and brings together two clubs with nothing left to play for. Hopefully, that will mean that we see an open game with plenty of chances. Crotone has definitely been playing a more expansive style of soccer since the new manager came in. Although Serse Cosmi couldn’t stop the club from being relegated, he has brought some enjoyment to the club.

Verona plays a much tighter game, but Ivan Juric has begun to bring in a whole new group of players in the last few games as the season slowly grinds to a halt for the Gialloblu. The draw with Torino was only possible thanks to a late goal from Federico Dimarco, but minds will be on the next campaign now. That could mean an evenly balanced game on Thursday.

My Serie A Betting Picks for Matchday 36

Although Inter has won the league fairly comfortably in the end, there is so much still to play for in Serie A. That means there might be some value to be found in games involving the few clubs that have nothing to play for at either end of the table. I’ve picked out these three games as my Italian bets for the midweek set of fixtures.

Cagliari to Beat Fiorentina2.60
Bologna and Genoa to Braw3.30
Crotone and Hellas Verona to Braw4.00

Cagliari’s form continues to improve as Leonardo Semplici gets the best out of his players to beat the drop. I think the Rossoblu is the least likely of the bottom clubs to get relegated now – and a win against Fiorentina in the week should about confirm that.

Genoa still needs some positive results to stay up but has been much better in the second half of the season. Bologna has little to play for, so I think that the Grifone could pick up another crucial point and make Benevento’s life harder in the bottom three.

My final pick for this matchday relies on Ivan Juric to put another experimental starting eleven as his Hellas Verona team to play out the rest of the season, gaining experience. Crotone has already been relegated as well, so it might be that the freedom the players enjoy brings us a high-scoring draw.

Dan Roberts
Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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