- Inter to beat Sampdoria with both teams to score + Zapata to score anytime against Milan 6/1 with Bet365
While Juventus continue to set an astounding pace at the top of the Serie A table, those behind them are now locked in an intriguing battle for the remaining Champions League berths.
Last weekend’s win over Sassuolo meant that not only did the Bianconeri remain unbeaten in the competition, but it also saw their lead over the chasing pack increase to 11 points.
Napoli sit second and now find themselves a further nine points clear of third place, and it is there where the chase becomes truly intense.
Inter are currently the best of the rest but, after winning just one of their last four league games, crosstown rivals AC Milan have moved to within four points of the Nerazzurri, their tally of 39 thus far putting them one ahead of AS Roma, Lazio and Atalanta who all have 38.
🔢 Latest #SerieA Top 4 Odds:— Bookmakers.co.uk (@bookmakers) February 12, 2019
🔵 Napoli 👉 1/500
⚫️ Inter 👉 1/4
🔴 AC Milan 👉 13/8
🇻🇦 Roma 👉 15/8
🔵 Lazio 👉 2/1
⚫️ Atalanta 👉 3/1
🏃♂️ Next weekend is a big one in the race!
The importance of not missing out on a berth in UEFA’s elite competition – and the financial windfall it represents – is not lost on those sides, with Gennaro Gattuso openly admitting the need for his club to qualify this term.
“I’ve liked our performances for a while and said we needed to get both phases right, attacking and defending,” the Milan coach told Sky Italia last weekend.
“Now it’s about hunger, the desire to work together as a unit. I don’t want to hear ‘I’ from anyone, it’s about ‘us.’ For many years we’ve reached the spring and Milan have been outside the race for the Champions League, but we need to break that trend and fight hard to be in a strong position when the final weeks arrive.”
He is far from alone in those thoughts, with Inter counterpart Luciano Spalletti telling a recent press conference that “a lot of our professional quality is at stake” as he looks to improve results and keep a grip of third place.
This weekend presents a huge test for both the San Siro giants, with Milan up first as they make the short trip to Atalanta on Saturday evening, followed on Sunday afternoon by Inter’s clash at home against Sampdoria.
Inter's Surprising Record Against Samp
Given their tumultuous results, it is somewhat surprising to note that Inter boast an excellent record against Sampdoria.
On paper, their upcoming opponents are exactly the kind of side that causes problems for the Nerazzurri; young, dynamic, intense and well organised, yet the Nerazzurri have won each of the last three meetings between the two teams.
Furthermore, last week against Parma saw Inter return to winning ways, and it must be noted that while they have not scored in either of their last two home games, the Milanese giants have not failed to score in three consecutive games at San Siro since 1992.
After losing just one of their last six home games against Sunday’s opponents, the most likely outcome is another Inter win, a result available at odds of 8/15 with Bet365, but the same bookmaker is also offering 12/5 on an Inter win with both teams to score.
Not only does that option provide better value, it also makes sense when considering that Samp have conceded in each of their last eight Serie A away games, while six of the last seven meetings between these two clubs have seen both teams find the back of the net.
Expect A Tense Clash In Bergamo
While Inter’s record against Sampdoria is surprising, it is also startling to note that Atalanta have not lost in their last seven meetings with Milan.
However, that streak is compiled of only five draws and two wins for the Bergamo-based outfit, a set of results that make picking a winner here extremely difficult.
There is still value to be found however, with the quality of the two attacks meaning there will undoubtedly be goals in this game. After finding the net 50 times thus far in 2018/19, Atalanta are Serie A’s leading scorers and have struck in each of their last seven home league games.
The biggest factor in that has undoubtedly been the form of Duvan Zapata who has scored 18 goals in his last 12 games in all competitions, while the Colombian has also scored one goal and added two assists in his last three games against this weekend’s opponents.
Backing both results – Inter to win against Sampdoria with both teams scoring and Zapata to net at any time against Milan – is double available at odds of over 6/1, providing great value in what is shaping up to be a big weekend of Serie A action.