Cagliari v Fiorentina
Sunday 23rd January – 11:30AM KO
Cagliari can expect to be up against it from the off in Sardinia in Sunday’s early game in Serie A as they host a Fiorentina side hoping to keep pressure on Juventus above them as they continue to go in pursuit of European qualification this season.
Sitting sixth and six points off Juventus’ 41 but with a game in hand, Fiorentina are a lot further away from the drop zone than they have regularly found themselves at this same point in recent seasons, though Cagliari are very much involved in another survival fight, currently 18th and on just 16 points from their 22 games played so far.
La Viola claimed a comfortable 3-0 win in Florence when these two met back in October, and it wouldn’t come as a great surprise to see a similar scoreline in Sardinia this weekend, and maybe even by a similar margin.
Cagliari are without a host of players including goalkeeper Alessio Cragno, whereas Vincenzo Italiano has close to a full squad to choose from, making it hard to look beyond an away win.
Cristiano Biraghi, Dusan Vlahovic, and Nicolas Gonzalez were all on target in their previous meeting with Cagliari this season, and all are in line to start this time as well. Vlahovic, despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, will see this as a chance to add to his 17 Serie A goals this season.
Prediction: Fiorentina to Win, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Torino v Sassuolo
Sunday 23rd January – 2:00PM KO
Torino’s recent 4-0 hammering of Fiorentina had everyone who follows Serie A scratching their heads, and the Granata threw up another surprise the last time they met Sassuolo all the way back in September.
Then, Toro ran out 1-0 winners in an uncharacteristically low-scoring game at the Mapei Stadium, given how their recent visits there had been, with their trip to Reggio Emilia last season, ending 3-3 before the two teams again threw up a thriller in Turin as the hosts stole a late 3-2 despite having gone 2-0 behind in the first half.
Andrea Belotti remains absent for Torino while Filip Djuricic is one of Sassuolo’s most notable absentees, meaning each side will be lacking something in firepower and/or creativity in the final third, but chaos tends to rule when these two go head to head.
With Giacomo Raspadori, Gianluca Scamacca, and Domenico Berardi all in line to start for Sassuolo, this should be another open game that is packed full of chances, and Alessio Dionisi’s men are known for leaving spaces for their opponents to exploit at the other end as well.
It won’t be a surprise to see goals in this one, and the expectations are that the 1-0 in October will prove to be an odd result in a wider trend of drama-filled clashes between Torino and Sassuolo.
Prediction: Over 2,5 Goals, 1.60 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Napoli v Salernitana
Sunday 23rd January – 2:00PM KO
This meeting of two Campania clubs is something of a one-sided derby, with Salernitana fans being a lot more concerned about Napoli than the Partenopei supporters are of the Granata.
If the season so far is anything to go off, then those watching from Salerno are likely to be in for another long afternoon of frustration and suffering, with their team unlikely to be taking any points with them as they make the return trip back past Vesuvius on Sunday evening.
Sitting rock bottom with just 10 points to their name so far as they mark their Serie A return, Salernitana don’t appear to stand much chance as they visit the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and this game could well be a case of Napoli scoring as many as they wish to.
Although Franck Ribery has recovered from COVID-19, he’s not expected to feature and the away side are still without a number of first-team regulars, while Napoli are thought to be welcoming Victor Osimhen back and possibly straight into the starting XI.
Still, without three players due to the Africa Cup of Nations, Napoli are without any suspension nor injuries for Sunday and Luciano Spalletti will want to see his side show more of their early-season selves.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.36 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Spezia v Sampdoria
Sunday 23rd January – 2:00PM KO
In another fixture that may seem like a derby but isn’t one, Spezia host Sampdoria in a meeting of two Ligurian sides that has a lot riding on it.
The Blucerchiati will be hoping for a new-coach bounce after dismissing Roberto D’Aversa last week to bring Marco Giampaolo back to the club, while Spezia will be keen to build on their controversial, but huge, 2-1 win away to AC Milan on Monday.
Sampdoria, though, are without a win in six since claiming back-to-back victories against fellow Ligurians Genoa and then Torino in the Coppa Italia.
Spezia have had more mixed form, winning three of their last four Serie A outings including a memorable 1-0 win away to Napoli, the aforementioned triumph at Milan, and another win against a Ligurian side as they won 1-0 at Genoa.
Giulio Maggiore will be a big miss for the Aquilotti, but Samp will have to cope without Emil Audero, Mikkel Damsgaard, Maya Yoshida, Valerio Verre, and Fabio Quagliarella. Both sides have AFCON-related absentees as well.
Although Samp won this fixture 2-1 in November and will be desperate to show some fight for their new boss, it’s hard to look beyond a home win for this. Or, at the very least, Spezia managing to avoid defeat.
Prediction: Spezia Draw no Bet, 1.85 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Empoli v Roma
Sunday 23rd January – 5:00PM KO
Empoli have had their fun on their Serie A return this season, claiming a historic first-ever win away to Juventus and then picking up three points at Napoli as well, but the Tuscans have found themselves in a winter slump of late.
Winless in their last six between Serie A and the Coppa Italia, Aurelio Andreazzoli’s side are likely to come up against it as they host Roma at the Stadio Carlo Castellani this Sunday.
Three winless games against Sampdoria, AC Milan, and Juventus had Roma on the verge of a crisis, but favourable fixtures against Cagliari and Lecce allowed Jose Mourinho’s side to get back to winning ways. Having beaten Empoli 2-0 earlier this season, the Giallorossi will expect nothing less than three points to take back to the capital with them on Sunday night.
Leonardo Spinazzola is still a few weeks away from a return, but Lorenzo Pellegrini joins hthe win-back as an injury absentee, though it’s the Azzurri who could be without as many as six players through fitness concerns.
Empoli will likely make life difficult for Roma, but if Mourinho’s men are to stand any chance of getting into Europe next season they’ll make the trip to Tuscany knowing that nothing less than a win will do.
Prediction: Roma to Win, 1.75 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
AC Milan v Juventus
Sunday 23rd January – 7:45PM KO
All of this weekend’s Serie A action is building towards Italy’s most successful club in Europe hosting its most dominant side domestically as Milan welcome Juventus to the Stadio San Siro.
Just like most of this season’s big games, this one is a tough one to call as Juventus have found some form despite the pessimism surrounding the Turin club and they’re unbeaten in Serie A since November, even if their backline hasn’t been as watertight as Massimiliano Allegri would have wanted it to be.
Milan, meanwhile, suffered stoppage-time outrage and heartache against Spezia last time out and their form has been a lot more variable than Juventus’, again showing defensive vulnerabilities in the absence of some important players.
But the Rossoneri have gone unbeaten in three of their last four against the Old Lady, which was as many times as they had avoided defeat in thei previous 17 games against them, showing how fortunes have turned for both clubs over the last 18-24 months.
Neither side have any suspensions, though Federico Chiesa and Leonardo Bonucci miss out for Juventus. Milan’s problems have been well documented this term, and remain without Simon Kjaer, Fikayo Tomori, Franck Kessie, and a handful of others. With important defenders missing on both sides and neither of these being at their organised best, an outcome is hard to predict but there should be goals on show for anybody who chooses to tune in
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.85 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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