Serie A Tips: Decisive Milan derby and Napoli sliding

It’s Inter’s time

Milan v Inter
Sunday, 14:00
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

It’s the first time since 2011 that the Milan derby has featured the top two teams in the Serie A table, and that adds a real thrill to Sunday afternoon, as Milan look to recover from their humbling by Spezia, while Inter look to build on the win against Lazio which sent them surging to the top of the pile.

Milan have already lost three Serie A games in 2021, which is one more than in the whole of 2020, and even though the table tells us that they are right in the heart of the title race, there’s just a sense that they’re sliding, and in danger of fading from the picture.

Inter know that Sunday night is their chance to put clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack, and they are priced at 2.1211/10 to do just that. I think that’s a fair price for a team that’s playing well, has won four of five in Serie A, and has the brilliant Romelu Lukaku to lead the line. He gets better by the week, and for me has been the best player in Serie A this season so far, just ahead of his team-mate Nicolò Barella.

Inter are 2.1211/10 for the win, and given their firepower, and their increasing solidity at the back, that looks a price for us to wade in to.

Coppa replay

Atalanta v Napoli
Sunday, 17:00
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

Napoli did particularly well to beat Juventus last weekend, certainly surprising this column, but their injuries are starting to mount, and a Europa League trip to Spain in midweek hasn’t helped them.

Gennaro Gattuso’s team travel to a relatively fresh Atalanta on Sunday, and while Gian Piero Gasperini’s team haven’t quite hit the title challenging heights that many expected them to in this campaign, they look a solid bet at 1.9620/21 to repeat their victory in the Coppa Italia semi-final a couple of weeks ago.

Atalanta have lost only twice in Serie A since the 24th October, and while they have a habit of throwing points away, they have turned in some exceptional performances this season, notably against Roma and Milan.

Napoli look stretched to their absolute limit, and with key players missing and one or two clearly playing with injuries, I expect Atalanta to avenge their defeat at the San Paolo earlier this season.

Parma can match record

Parma v Udinese
Sunday, 11:30
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

Parma might have changed their coach, but replacing Fabio Liverani with Roberto D’Aversa really hasn’t changed the direction of their season. They are now four points from safety, and face another uphill task against Udinese this weekend.

I’m not suggesting that Udinese are a team that I would normally place a great deal of faith in, but they have shown enough form lately to win two of their last three, and even though they failed at Roma last time, they have more than enough to deal with Parma.

Parma have lost 9 of their last 10 Serie A games, lost in Udine earlier in the season, and I just haven’t seen anything from them in recent weeks to suggest that they’ve improved enough to start picking up results.

Parma have now gone eight home matches without scoring in Serie A, which is just one short of the all-time record, held by the hapless 1972 Sampdoria team. I’ll take Udinese at odds against to compound the Tardini misery.

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