Champions League race going to the wire

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The race for Champions League football looks set to go down to the wire in the Serie A with more key games this weekend.

Gian Piero Gasperini is looking to keep the Serie A title race alive

Inter will have one hand on the Serie A title if they beat bottom team Crotone on Saturday, but there are a host of other issues in Italian football that look set to go to the wire and this weekend could be pivotal with five games of the campaign remaining.

The race for Champions League places and the battle to avoid the drop are being keenly contested and while there are plenty of short-priced favourites in this week’s action, there are still some good betting opportunities for punters to get stuck into.

Fine Atalanta run could come to an end

Inter are 11 points clear after they posted a 1-0 win over Verona in midweek and Atalanta will be the only team who can stop them from claiming the crown if Antonio Conte’s team beat Crotone on Saturday.

However, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have a difficult game to negotiate at Sassuolo and they could come unstuck.

The visitors could hardly be accused of allowing Inter an easy ride as they have won five and drawn two of their last seven games and they have scored an impressive 25 goals in their last ten outings.

However, the realisation that they are going to fall short could just set in and Sassuolo are worth backing on the double-chance market at 17/10, a bet that would win should the home side win or draw.

Sassuolo have won their last four matches since they ran Inter close (they lost 2-1 at the San Siro) and they can take advantage if Atalanta are off their game.

Roma in for a difficult test

Roma had failed to win their last four games before their 6-2 Europa League defeat at  Manchester United on Thursday and their fortunes may not change at Sampdoria on Sunday.

The Wolves’ away record has been a particular cause for concern as they have won just once in their last eight Serie A matches on the road.

While Sampdoria have suffered three defeats in their last eight on their own patch, those losses were against Juventus, Atalanta and Napoli, all of whom are in the thick of the battle for Champions League qualification.

The home side look attractively priced to claim three points at 37/20.

Relegation battle could be a thriller

Monday’s battle of the strugglers between Torino and Parma has all the ingredients of being an entertaining clash.

Torino have won just two home matches all season and they are desperate to drag themselves away from trouble. They will see a game against Parma, a team in even greater peril, as a nice opportunity to pull away from the bottom three.

While Parma have lost their four matches, they have scored eight goals in those outings and results included 4-3 losses against Cagliari and Crotone.

It is worth chancing over 3.5 goals at 7/5 as both teams have little option but to be positive.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post

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