Serie A Matchday 35 Predictions and Best Bets (May 8-9, 2021)

| May 7, 2021 11:22 am PDT

It took over 11 years, but Inter has finally won the league title in Italy again. Juventus had won the scudetto for the last nine years, but one of its former players has now led the Nerazzurri to glory with four games of the season to go.

There is still a lot else to be decided in the Italian top flight. There is a very close battle to escape the one remaining relegation spot at the bottom. But the race for Champions League qualification is just as close, with five clubs still in with a chance of finishing in the top four.

Matchday 35 kicks off on Saturday this week, and I am going to take a look at all ten games and choose three of the best betting picks for the weekend.

Napoli to Beat Spezia

The result of this encounter will have ramifications at both ends of the Serie A table as Spezia look to escape the drop, and Napoli strives to finish in the top four. Spezia did win in Naples earlier in the season and picked up another valuable point away at Hellas Verona last week. But what would be a crucial three points might be just out of the Serie A minnow’s reach this Saturday.

Gennaro Gattuso has a selection headache with missing several defenders, including the influential Kalidou Koulibaly. A stoppage-time equalizer stopped Napoli from winning its third straight game last weekend, but the Partenopei has only lost once in the last 12 games in its pursuit of Champions League soccer.

Udinese and Bologna to Draw

Both these sides only need a point to be completely safe this season. The middle of the table they have made their home over the last few months looks like continuing until the end of the season. Udinese might have already been safe if it had not allowed Juventus to score two late goals for victory last week. There should be no such problems on Saturday.

Bologna was involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw last weekend with Fiorentina, as both teams did all they could to keep away from the scrum at the bottom of the table. Rodrigo Palacio scored a hat-trick in that game but has been nowhere near as prolific for Bologna over the season. Players such as Musa Barrow might be able to do enough for a point this weekend, though.

Inter to Beat Sampdoria

Inter may have won the league title last weekend, but there is unlikely to be too much change to Antonio Conte’s starting eleven on Saturday. He cannot allow his players to ease off, but there will surely be less urgency from the Nerazzurri here. That doesn’t mean that it won’t probably still win this fixture and extend its unbeaten streak to 19 Serie A games, though.

Sampdoria was actually the last club to beat Inter back at the start of January. But with Antonio Candreva unable to face his parent club, there is unlikely to be a repeat of that result on Saturday.

The Blucerchiati has enjoyed a very successful season and should be able to compete with Inter here, even if it leaves without any points to add to the tally.

Lazio to Beat Fiorentina

Beppe Iachini has definitely steadied the ship a little at Fiorentina since returning to the club at the end of March. However, there are still very serious relegation worries for the Viola. The 3-3 draw with Bologna last weekend may have been exciting for the neutrals, but it kept Fiorentina just four points above the bottom three and still in dire need of a victory.

That might not be forthcoming this weekend, as Lazio has lost just once in its last eight games and is pushing for a top-four finish. The Aquile still has a game in hand and has been scoring many goals in recent weeks. There is hope for Fiorentina, though, as Lazio has also been conceding a few at the same time. Simone Inzaghi will be hoping that his side score at least one more on Saturday.

Genoa and Sassuolo to Draw

Genoa scored two goals in the last ten minutes to give Lazio a scare at the Stadio Olimpico last weekend. But it wasn’t able to do quite enough to come out on top in a seven-goal thriller. That means, with all the good work that Davide Ballardini and his players have done in the second half of the season, it is still just five points above the relegation zone. That should be enough – but another draw this weekend will keep the anxiety levels high.

Sassuolo also still has a lot to play for this year, as there is a chance of catching Roma and taking the last European place. Last week’s draw with Atalanta handed Inter the scudetto but was important for the Neroverdi, who has now gone five games unbeaten. This built up enough confidence to back itself in a race with a fatigued Roma.

Bottom of Serie A Standings
Team Played Points
Genoa 34 35
Fiorentina 34 35
Torino 33 34
Spezia 34 34
Cagliari 34 32
Benevento 34 31
Parma (R) 34 20
Crotone (R) 34 18

Cagliari to Beat Benevento

Nothing will be decided with the result of this fixture, but if Benevento loses, it will surely find it difficult to climb out of the bottom three in the remaining weeks. Le Streghe has now won just once in its last 18 games – incredibly, against Juventus – and sits a point behind this Sunday’s opponent. With one of the worst defensive records in the league, things are not looking good for Pippo Inzaghi’s side.

Everything is looking much brighter for Cagliari, though. The arrival of Leonardo Semplici as head coach has been the catalyst for an upturn in results. Even though the league position is not fantastic, the Rossoblu looks more capable than most to escape the drop. On Sunday, a win at Benevento will be a huge statement of intent on behalf of the Sardinian club.

Hellas Verona to Beat Torino

Verona’s season stalled at the beginning of March and any outside hopes of Europe completely disappeared over the following months. Last week’s home draw with lowly Spezia was the first point won since the beginning of April, and, fortunately, the Gialloblu did so well in the first half of the season. A rare victory at home against Torino would be warmly welcomed.

After a vast improvement, Torino remains just three points off the bottom three and needs a few good results in the last four games of the season to ensure it stays up this year. The narrow 1-0 win over Parma last weekend confirmed its opponent’s relegation, but it might take a few weeks before the Granata’s immediate future is decided.

Atalanta to Beat Parma

When Parma was promoted back into Serie A three years ago, it was a huge triumph over adversity for the club after years of mismanagement and adverse results. But it has been difficult for the club this season, and its relegation was confirmed last weekend with the loss to Torino.

It has been involved in some exciting games over the last few months but has not held onto leads, losing the last five. That could be six by the end of the weekend.

There was no realistic hope of catching Inter at the top of the table this season for Atalanta. Still, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side remains in second place in Serie A and holding on to a Champions League place once again. That is a huge achievement for a club its size, but it should probably have beaten Sassuolo last week, even after having a man sent off in the first half. Luis Muriel missed a penalty that would have won all three points, so he will want to make amends on Sunday at Parma.

Roma to Beat Crotone

Jose Mourinho has already been announced as the new Roma boss for next season, but it remains to be seen whether he will have a European campaign to prepare for. After a season of being unable to beat the top sides, Roma is now clinging on to the final European spot for dear life. The Europa League semifinal defeat to Manchester United on Thursday means that the Giallorossi has to finish in the top seven now. A win against Crotone on Sunday is, therefore, a must.

The Calabrian club has won just one of its last eight games – and only five all season – so Roma shouldn’t have any real trouble picking up a vital victory on Sunday. But there has been a shift in the mood at Crotone since Serse Cosmi took over. There have been more goals scored, and the home side should be careful not to take this fixture too lightly.

Juventus to Beat Milan

If things had gone very differently, this fixture might have even been a title decider this season. But both Juve and Milan have fallen away, allowing a rampant Inter to stay on course for the scudetto. Juventus did manage to win last weekend, at least. But it needed two late goals from Ronaldo to snatch the points in Udine. He will need to keep focused for the remainder of the campaign if Juventus isn’t to fall out of the top four altogether.

Milan is also in real danger of missing out on the Champions League after looking like it might even win the league earlier in the season. Back-to-back defeats to Sassuolo and Lazio at the end of April mean that Stefano Pioli’s side now faces a tough task just finishing in the top four. Two games in Turin in the space of a week could decide how the Rossoneri’s season ends.

Serie A Betting Picks for Matchday 35

With the title now decided, the focus in Serie A will be shifted to some very important fixtures involving Champions League hopefuls and relegation battlers. But there are some other less important games that might offer some betting value in the next few weeks. Here are three betting picks that I like the look of this weekend in the Italian top flight.

Udinese and Bologna to Draw3.20
Genoa and Sassuolo to Draw3.40
Hellas Verona to Beat Torino3.10

It is well known that end-of-season games in Italy can be low-key affairs where clubs that do not need victories don’t always seem to try too hard to win. But both Udinese and Bologna look comfortable in the middle of the table without any real need to exert themselves over the remaining weeks of the season. That makes me think that a mutually beneficial draw could be the outcome here.

Genoa and Sassuolo have a lot still to do to achieve their respective aims. But that might see these two balance each other out and finish with another draw. That result would be frustrating for both managers but could work out to be more positive than negative in the grand scheme of things.

This weekend, my final pick is to back Hellas Verona to halt a poor run of form and pick up three points at home against Torino. The Turin club still desperately needs points to escape the drop, but the odds offered by Betway for a home win seem very attractive, even considering Verona’s recent form.

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.

More Posts by Dan Contact Dan Dan on Twitter



Back to top