A popping season finale is brewing in the Italian Serie A. AC Milan, Inter and Napoli are all vying for the opportunity to wear the scudetto badge on their kits next season, but who of them will prevail? This weekend’s fixtures might determine just that.
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SERIE A FIXTURES: ROUND 29 BETTING TIPS
AC MILAN VS EMPOLI
Recently, Rossoneri fans have been head over heels, owing to AC Milan’s win away at fellow title-contenders Napoli last Sunday. Olivier Giroud’s tap-in was the difference between the two Serie A powerhouses until an uncompromising tackle by Kalidou Koulibaly sent the Frenchman to the infirmary for the fifth time this season.
The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, however, might be Stefano Pioli’s saving grace. The Italian tactician will be looking to improve AC Milan’s average performance against mid-table sides, and the big Swede might be just the man he needs. Pioli, just like AC Milan fans, knows that dropping points now simply isn’t an option, not without the risk of losing the first piece of silverware since 2016.
Empoli’s last win dates back to December, which is why Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men have been inching ever-closer to the danger zone. A goalless draw to crisis-ridden Genoa cannot cloud their confidence ahead of their glamorous trip to San Siro.
AC Milan’s record against smaller clubs leaves much to be desired, which is why Empoli will be looking to replicate their 2017 performance at San Siro when they beat the Rossoneri by two goals to one.
AC Milan go into the fixture as strong favourites at 3/8 (1.38) to win, with Empoli at 31/4 (8.75).
TORINO VS INTER
Inter’s heroic display at Anfield wasn’t enough to see them through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last Tuesday. Qualification was still very much up for grabs before Alexis Sanchez saw a second yellow, thus steepening the hill for his fellow teammates.
Nevertheless, a win is a win, and Inzaghi’s men will want to keep riding the high of beating Liverpool as they travel to mid-table Torino. Inter still have a game in hand, but winning is a big must if they want to defend the title.
Ivan Juric has been showering in praise for his team’s attractive brand of football this season, but good looks aren’t helping Torino look farther from the confines of their mid-table position. Up against Inter, Juric will need more than just good-looking football to break open the second-best defence in Serie A.
Torino have suffered two straight defeats at home, dampening the fans’ enthusiasm following their brave comeback in the derby. Sitting 12 points above the relegation is no reason for Juric’s men to let their guard down, especially with a chance to avenge their narrow 1-0 loss to Inter back in December.
Inter are the front-runners at 5/7 (1.72) to win, with Torino at 4/1 (5.00).
VERONA VS NAPOLI
February has been anything but kind to Napoli. Spalletti’s men hosted both Milan counterparts — drawing against Inter and losing to AC Milan — while their European escapade proved to be quite short-lived after suffering a 4-2 home defeat to Barcelona, effectively booting them out of the tournament.
Nevertheless, the top spot remains just three points away, and seeing off Europe-hopefuls, Verona, might be the turning point Napoli need to clinch a trophy they last won in the 1989/1990 season.
High-flyers Verona are the reason why Napoli didn’t participate in the Champions League this year, owing to a shocking 1-1 draw on the final day of the season that allowed Juventus a last-gasp leapfrog. The Partenopei are fighting it out for the scudetto this year, but can ninth place Verona stand a chance?
Verona have won each of their last three home games, which is why Igor Tudor’s side has its sights fixed on that elusive Europa League spot. With Giovanni Simeone marked down as Serie A’s third most prolific scorer, Verona can be optimistic about packing a good punch.
Napoli are slight favourites at 16/15 (2.07) to win, with Verona at 23/9 (3.55).
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing