- Fabio Quagliarella to score anytime vs Napoli – 12/5 with BlackType
- Milan to beat Roma – 23/10 with BetVictor
Fresh from an incredible midweek round of Coppa Italia matches, Serie A returns this weekend with some big clubs looking to bounce back from untimely exits.
AC Milan recorded a superb quarter-final win over Napoli on Tuesday evening, and they will look to carry that excellent form into a meeting with a reeling AS Roma side.
The Giallorossi were smashed 7-1 by Fiorentina despite fielding a largely full-strength lineup, a result that increases the pressure on already under-siege Coach Eusebio Di Francesco.
“We cannot afford to be embarrassed like that and behave that way during a game,” he told reporters after the final whistle.
“I will reflect on the situation and I am sure the club will too. Tonight’s match confirmed some issues that had been only hinted at during the campaign. However, I can rule out a resignation. That has never been a thought in my mind.”
While his job security remains on a knife-edge, former Roma midfielder Carlo Ancelotti will also be looking to recover after his Napoli side were eliminated by another of his former clubs.
“Other than the goals, Milan didn’t actually do very much,” he claimed while speaking to RAI Sport on Tuesday. “But right now we are not physically sharp enough to break down such a defensive approach.”
They will need to improve upon that lack of creativity if they are to overcome an impressive Sampdoria outfit on Saturday, particularly given the form of Fabio Quagliarella as he looks to break a long-standing Serie A record.
Fabio Quagliarella to Surpass Gabriel Batistuta?
Indeed, should Fabio Quagliarella – who celebrated his 36th birthday this week – find the back of the net at the Stadio San Paolo, it will mark the 12th consecutive league game in which he has scored.
That would see the Sampdoria star break the current joint-record of 11 straight matches set by Fiorentina legend Gabriel Batistuta back in 1994, and there is little doubt that the Blucerchiati man would love to etch his name in history.
Expect Goals Between Napoli & Samp
Whether Quagliarella sets a new standard or not, there are likely to be plenty of goals during the Napoli-Sampdoria encounter anyway. Napoli have seen over 2.5 goals in seven of their last eight matches against Sampdoria in all competitions, scoring at least two goals in their last five home matches against Sampdoria along the way.
Furthermore, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in six of Sampdoria's last seven away games in Serie A, making the prospect of a high total here well worth backing. Bet365 are offering odds of 4/7 on there being over 2.5 goals in this latest clash, while the same bookmaker has set odds of 11/8 if that total goes over 3.5.
The Sunday night encounter between Roma and Milan could have huge ramifications on the race for fourth place in Serie A as both clubs harbour Champions League aspirations.
The Rossoneri currently occupy the spot with Sunday’s opponents sitting just one place – and one point – behind them in fifth.
Something will have to give in this clash as while Roma have scored at least two goals in nine of their last ten home matches in Serie A, Milan have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven outings.
There is little doubt that the visitors arrive for this meeting in much better form, the departure of Gonzalo Higuain sparking a noticeable turnaround in fortunes for Gennaro Gattuso’s men.
“We had the chance to break away in fourth and we got it wrong,” Gattuso told reporters earlier this week. “We had a lot of injuries and had the wrong approach in crucial moments, so that’s something we need to work on, to play with humility and we must continue doing so against Roma.”
They have put together a three-game unbeaten run since sending the Argentinian striker to Chelsea, a streak which includes a win and a draw against Napoli. As a result of both that and the poor form of Roma, backing Milan to win here seems tempting, particularly as BetVictor have them at a best-priced 23/10 to earn a win on Sunday.