Serie A Predictions and Best Bets – February 5-7, 2021

| February 4, 2021 8:48 am PDT

Milan is still top of the league in Italy, but its lead is just two points over Inter and the chasing pack. Even Zlatan Ibrahimovic is beginning to lose his cool as the Serie A scudetto race really heats up now in the second half of the season.

The race for the Champions League spots will be just as intense – and there are a number of big clubs that might well miss out when it comes to the end of the campaign.

There is another full set of fixtures this weekend, with matchday 21 starting on Friday with the game between Fiorentina and Inter. I’ll be taking a look at all ten fixtures and picking out three of the best bets to consider.

Inter to Beat Fiorentina

Fiorentina looks to have gotten over the 6-0 mauling at the hands of Napoli the other week and will look to the draw with Torino last weekend as a point gained due to the fact that the Viola had two men sent off and spent the last 20 minutes reduced to nine. Midfielder Sofyan Amrabat has been a stabilizing figure in the Fiorentina side recently and will be looked to on Friday to prevent a home defeat.

Inter will go into this game with one eye on Tuesday’s Coppa Italia semifinal second leg with Juventus. Antonio Conte’s side is 2-1 down in the tie, and he may select a starting eleven to face Fiorentina with the cup game in mind. Sanchez and Vidal are suspended for the Juve game, so they are likely to start here – as is Eriksen, who impressed in the 4-0 win over Benevento last weekend.

Atalanta to Beat Torino

Atalanta is another Serie A side that might be distracted by a Coppa Italia game in midweek. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side could only draw with Napoli on Wednesday – and that followed a disappointing 3-1 defeat at home to Lazio in the league last weekend. There have been a few points dropped in the last month by the Bergamo side, but this fixture looks like a good opportunity to get back in the Champions League race.

Torino has improved, though. Davide Nicola is yet to celebrate a win as the Granata boss, but he has overseen two draws now – earning a point from Fiorentina last weekend. But he will be frustrated that his side was unable to take all three after playing against nine men for a large part of the second half. Atalanta might not give Torino as many chances here.

Sassuolo to Beat Spezia

This could be a good chance for Sassuolo to pick up just a second win of the year after a poor run of form. It is not a coincidence that it has come at the same time as Domenico Beradi’s injury problems. The striker is integral to the Neroverdi’s hopes of success, and his absence has been a big hole to fill. Luckily, this weekend sees the visit of a similarly injury-stricken Spezia, so there might be a win to celebrate after all.

Spezia has shown that it can compete in Serie A this season, but it is always going to be tough for such a small club when the injuries start mounting up. The squad is fairly limited anyway – but will definitely miss the likes of M’bala Nzolo. He has been the reason for many of the points won this season, and even a depleted Sassuolo night prove too difficult to beat.

Juventus to Beat Roma

This looks like a good chance for Juventus to prove itself as the main challenger to the two Milan clubs this season. The Old Lady has looked very impressive since the turn of the year and took a commanding lead over Inter in the Coppa Italia in the week as well. Even without Ronaldo scoring, Juve has looked like one of the form sides recently – and it should be able to beat a Roma team that doesn’t like playing the top four.

The tension between Edin Dzeko and manager Paulo Fonseca has been left to simmer after the Bosnian was unable to find a new club in the January transfer window. After a falling out between the pair, Dzeko has been stripped of the captaincy and could start on the bench for this one. Goals have been coming from other outlets anyway – most noticeably Mkhitaryan and Mayoral, who both scored in the 3-1 over Verona last weekend – but Juve should prove to be too strong on Saturday.

Genoa to Beat Napoli

Genoa has been one of the real form sides in Serie A since Davide Ballardini returned as head coach. The club is now four games unbeaten, with striker Mattia Destro looking particularly good. He scored another two in the win away at Crotone last weekend and has even been mentioned in connection with the Azzurri squad for the European Championship in the summer. That might be a long shot, but a home win on Saturday doesn’t seem quite as far-fetched now.

That’s because Napoli is struggling with an extensive injury list and will also have to think about the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal against Atalanta next Wednesday. Gennaro Gattuso has been upset about rumors of Rafa Benitez returning to the club and is still without Dries Mertens and Fabian Ruiz for this one. A surprise home win might not actually be that big of a shock here.

Sampdoria to Beat Benevento

Going to the San Siro and coming away with anything from a game against Inter is always going to be tough, but Benevento didn’t really help itself last weekend as it offered very little in the 4-0 thrashing it received. Pippo Inzaghi was particularly disappointed with the lack of effort shown by his players, but he may have even more to worry about after this game on Sunday.

Claudio Ranieri felt his Sampdoria side made life too easy for Juventus last weekend. But the defeat was only confirmed in stoppage time as Aaron Ramsey scored his team’s second. The Blucerchiati had actually improved in the second half and attacked in waves in an attempt to find an equalizer – but to no avail. Benevento’s defense will probably not be quite as tight this Sunday.

Milan to Beat Crotone

It’s top versus bottom in Serie A this weekend as Milan welcomes Crotone to the San Siro, for what should be a fairly straightforward win for the Rossoneri. Stefano Pioli’s side could afford to miss a penalty last week and still beat Bologna away from home and remain at the summit. With no Coppa Italia tie to distract the players, Milan will have its eyes firmly on the scudetto this season.

Crotone became just the latest team to fall to a rejuvenated Genoa last weekend – and the signs are not looking good for the Calabrian club. Victories have been few and far between, even though it is still only three points from safety at the current time. In all honesty, head coach Giovanni Stroppa will more than likely be writing this game off and already looking towards the next fixture.

Udinese and Hellas Verona to Draw

It was a game of few goals and high drama for Udinese last week, as the Friulani came away from Spezia with a narrow 1-0 win, but will now miss the contribution of Rodrigo De Paul this weekend as he received a red card after scored a penalty in the second half. But Luca Gotti seems pleased with new signing Fernando Llorente and will be confident of getting something from this one on Sunday.

Hellas Verona may have one of the better defensive records in Serie A, but the three goals it conceded in just nine first-half minutes against Roma last weekend should act as a wake-up call for the Gialloblu. Roma had put the game out of sight within half an hour, and now Ivan Juric needs his players to concentrate for this trip to Udine.

Bologna to Beat Parma

This game brings together two sides that have had a terrible time in recent months, with just two victories between them since November. Parma has lost seven of its last eight games and has only scored one goal in the last six, so it goes into this fixture in more need of something positive. Roberto D’Aversa was brought in to turn things around but has been ineffectual so far. The lowest goal tally in the league has not helped matters.

That is one of the main reasons why Bologna might be able to pick up a much-needed victory on Sunday. Head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic put the defeat to Milan last weekend down to bad refereeing decisions – and he probably feels that he will get a better chance of winning at Il Tardini than the San Siro. Three points would certainly be helpful in extending the gap between Bologna and the bottom three.

Lazio to Beat Cagliari

There is a complete clash of fortune with the two sides that meet at the Stadio Olimpico in the late game on Sunday, with Lazio looking to record its sixth straight win – and a Cagliari team striving to add to the solitary point it has achieved in the last seven Serie A games. The Aquile looked very good for its victory over Atalanta in Bergamo last weekend and will very confident of making it six out of six.

Cagliari boss Eusebio Di Francesco will be hoping that the arrival of Daniele Rugani will bolster his defense after the Italy international completed a loan move from Juventus after spending the start of the season with French club Stade Rennais. He will be hoping that his addition will stop the last-minute goals that have seen points snatched away from the Rossoblu – as was the case with the draw with Sassuolo last weekend.

My Top Serie A Picks for February 5-7, 2021

Here are my top three selections for the weekend’s games on matchday 21.

  • Genoa to beat Napoli – 5.25
  • Udinese and Hellas Verona to draw – 3.10
  • Bologna to beat Parma – 2.30

I’m going big with my first pick this weekend. Genoa is looking very good under David Ballardini, and I think that a combination of injuries, friction at Napoli, and Gattuso having one eye on the Coppa Italia is a good combination for a home win this Saturday.

Hellas Verona should be particularly careful at the back this weekend after conceding three goals in under ten minutes against Roma – and that could make for a tight game in Udine. Luca Gotti’s side does have some attacking talent now, though, so this could end up with honors even.

My final pick is for the game between two of the less convincing sides in Serie A at the current time. Bologna’s form has been poor for months, but Parma might be one of the few teams that are looking even worse. Just one point from a possible 24 is relegation form – and I don’t expect it to get any better for Roberto D’Aversa’s side on Sunday.

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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