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Serie A Super Saturday and the race for the Champions League

April 13, 2012

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Serie A Super Saturday and the race for the Champions League

Just two games on Saturday this week in the Serie A, with the majority of games taking place a day later in Italy. Both Milan sides take to the pitch Saturday, with former leaders AC hoping to overcome their recent slip in form to continue to challenge for the title. They host Genoa, and have many returning to full fitness after a 1-0 defeat to Chievo in the week. Daniel Bonera and Alberto Aquilani return from suspension, but Ambrosini and Thiago Silva remain out through injury. A big boost for the home side is the return of Mark Van Bommel from injury though. Young Dutch sensation Stephan El Shaarawy is set to partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Alexandre Pato is still unavailable. Robinho, Maxi Lopez and Cassano make up a strong bench for Milan, so expect goals from the home side. Genoa’s reappointment of Alberto Malesani has done little to lift their form, and despite scoring 4 at the San Siro a few weeks previous, were still unable to come out on the winning side of that tie. Kakha Kaladze, Kevin Constant, Fernando Belluschi and Emiliano Moretti all sit out the tie for the visitors.

£30 FREE at Betfair: AC Milan: 1/4 | Draw: 11/2 | Genoa: 15/1

Meanwhile Inter travel to Champions League hopeful Udinese, with the travellers’ hope of qualification all but impossible now. The home side are without striker Antonio Floro Flores, Medhi Benatia and Dusan Basta through injury. Also, Giampiero is suspended. Inter’s Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder has a groin injury and Maicon has failed to recover from a knee issue. Furthermore, Walter Samuel has been ruled out with a muscle problem. Udinese have only picked up one win in their last 7, but have only lost one home game all season. Goals have also been difficult for the home side, their opposition earning four clean sheets in the past nine games.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Udinese: 7/5 | Draw: 12/5 | Inter: 11/5

A good run of form for strugglers Lecce sees them just two points away from safety, after an emphatic win against Roma last weekend and another win against Catania in the week. They host Napoli, who have notched just one win in their last five. Their last three games have seen nine goals flow past the southerners, who have a woeful record on the road. Perhaps Lecce are good odds at almost 2/1 at some bookmakers in the Monday fixture. Elsewhere, in Sicily this weekend, Palermo host fellow midtablers Parma at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Miccoli and Hernandez start up top for the home side, with the former notching 12 goals this season and a further 13 assists for his side in the league this season, expect much of the play to go through the influential forward.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Lecce: 85/40 | Draw: 5/2 | Napoli: 6/4

Stragglers Cesena are rooted to the bottom of the table, 15 points adrift and almost already relegated with six games still remaining. They see no rest as league leaders Juventus travel to visit, who have dropped just 2 points out of a possible 15 (against title challengers AC Milan). Whilst Cesena have managed to carve out four draws out of their last four games, it is unlikely they will repeat this feat against the still unbeaten league leaders. Adrian Mutu will be looking to impress his former employers by continuing his midweek form. Roma’s mixed season has been personified in their last two games, a shock defeat to strugglers Lecce followed by beating fourth place Udinese at home. Roma have won their last three games at home and despite Fiorentina’s shock win against AC Milan, their poor recent form is in full view, as they currently lie 16th in the table. Despite scoring in the week, the often scapegoat Amauri is set to start on the bench for the visitors.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Cesena: 13/1 | Draw: 5/1 | Juventus: 3/10

Other games this weekend see a midtable clash where Siena meet Bologna, with both sides left with little to play for this season with both sides seeing mixed form in recent weeks. Atalanta will look to continue in recent ways after their away victory at Napoli, and with a win they can leap above Chievo who they face, into a potential 8th position. The home side rest veteran forwards Tiribocchi and Marilungo in favour for Manolo Gabbiadini. Another similar clash sees Cagliari host Catania, with the home side still potentially threatened with relegation, being just four points away from the drop. Both sides come off the back of defeats, with Catania showing the worse form of the two.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Siena: 11/8 | Draw: 8/5 | Bologna: 4/1

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