Derby D’Italia Headlines Exciting Weekend in Italy

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Another super weekend of Serie A action awaits over the next few days, with plenty going on at both ends of the table.

Sampdoria boss Claudio Ranieri

Home Comforts Key for Samp

Saturday’s late game is at the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris where Sampdoria host Udinese.

I Blucerchiati have won two of their last three at home but are actually the 39/20 underdogs to make it a hat-trick.

That seems a bit strange considering Udinese are without a win in their last six, all of which have landed BTTS bets, and trail their hosts by four points in the standings, albeit having played a game less.

Defending has been an issue for the Zebrette, conceding at least twice in their last four and again that bodes well for the home win, notably as Claudio Ranieri’s men have scored two or more in their last three.

They have also won the last three editions of this fixture and it makes sense to back that outcome. However, it is always worth delving deeper for some value and Keita Balde is 5/2 in the anytime market to net for a third straight home game, while a Samp win and both scoring springs out at 19/5.

Conte + Juve = Drama

Undoubtedly the highlight on Sunday is the Derby d’Italia as Juventus’ travel to Inter Milan, with Antonio Conte’s side-line histrionics likely to be worth tuning in for alone.

Life is never dull with the 51-year-old around and he again blamed a lack of investment in his squad after last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Roma, conveniently forgetting the £100m or so spent in the close season.

Conte, of course, started Juve’s current run of nine straight Scudetti and faces a fellow architect of those early successes in Andrea Pirlo.

While his former mentor is demonstrative to the last, Pirlo is as cool a coach as he was a player and his team are yet to lose away from home this season.

They head to the San Siro on the back of four straight wins, form which is in contrast to the Nerazzurri, whose midweek extra-time Coppa Italia victory at Fiorentina ended a run of two without a victory.

Interestingly, five of the last six meetings have seen the deadlock broken in the opening 20 minutes and a goal in the first quarter of an hour is 21/20.

Both coaches will be fully aware of how key this game could be to their title hopes so a draw at 49/20 seems worth the risk. However, it is unlikely to be dull so 39/4 for another 2-2 for the Nerazzurri is to be considered.

Mean Milan to Punish Struggling Sardinians

Finally, to Monday and AC Milan who head to the Sardegna Arena to take on a Cagliari side in trouble.

Gli Isolani have failed to win any of their last 10 in all competitions and may well start this game in the bottom three.

The pressure is really on Eusebio Di Francesco and he is unlikely to be relishing the visit of leaders, at the time of writing at least, Milan.

Stefano Pioli made a handful of changes for the midweek penalty shootout win over Torino and is likely to recall Hakan Calhanoglu, Theo Hernandez and Franck Kessie.

The Rossoneri have been incredible on the road this season, dropping just two points courtesy of last month’s 2-2 at Genoa, and are unlikely to fear playing at a ground where they have lost just once since 1998.

Milan have conceded in just one of their last four away games but Cagliari deserves some respect having netted in all but one of their home fixtures this term.

An away win and both to score is tempting at 8/5, while some punters may want to push a bit further to the 2/1 for a Milan win and over 3.5 goals.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

The first choice in any quiz team, Jack is your man for stats, facts and information across a wide range of different sports. As well as a vast knowledge of football, he specialises in cycling, rugby and tennis amongst a number of other sports.

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