Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I have put up three selections today and whilst I do not wish to post any of those on the blog, I did discuss a couple of other matches briefly, which I am happy to share ....



I am not going to get overly involved in these games, but do have an opinion on each, which I will give briefly.

To be honest, I was very surprised by the opening asia quotes for Chievo and whilst their odds have fallen a little overnight, still feel they are a little big at circa 2.26 to win this and there is some 2.375 in places as I type. Hosts have 24 points in Serie A which sees them in 8th place and more importantly, nine points clear of Cesena and the drop zone. That should allow them to focus purely on this match and worry about the weekend visit from Lazio, tomorrow. They are 5-3-1 here in the league and have only conceded four times. The visitors have picked up recently and have a good record in this fixture and stadium, but remain just one spot outside the drop zone and have their big derby game with Fiorentina at the weeekend, they also play Juventus and Roma in the next couple of weeks and do they really need a two legged tie with the winners of the other match being played today, thrown into the equation ? They have also travelled with a huge group of players, every available player, 26 in total and that surely indicates that they will make wholesale changes. Either way, the odds on Chievo look wrong, given the likely motivation of each.

Inter have not won in Napoli inside 90 minutes in six visits and surely you would think they had bigger objectives, they are now up to 4th in the table and definitely in the title race and have a Champions League meeting with Marseille on the near horizon, things could hardly have gone better for Claudio Ranieri, but the "tinkerman" seems reluctant to let this match go. He has named a pretty identical squad (see below) to the one which battled past Lazio at the weekend and this son of Rome, seems determined to want to go to the final in the Eternal City. I find that hard to comprehend, given that Inter have won this four times already in the last seven seasons, but Ranieri has not won a domestic honour in his own country since 1996, so maybe that, is his motivation. Napoli like to play very narrow and on the counter and if Inter play like they did at Milan and sit back too, it is difficult to see too many goals. Last six h2h meetings here have produced just five goals, the last three have all been draws after 90 minutes and given their likely style of play, if there is not an early breakthrough, this should follow suit. Under 2.25 goals at circa 2.02 is a little tempting and would be my pick if you forced me to make one.

Goalkeepers: 1 Julio Cesar, 12 Luca Castellazzi, 21 Paolo Orlandoni;

Defenders: 2 Ivan Cordoba, 4 Javier Zanetti, 6 Lucio, 13 Maicon, 23 Andrea Ranocchia, 25 Walter Samuel, 26 Cristian Chivu, 37 Davide Faraoni;

Midfielders: 8 Thiago Motta, 10 Wesley Sneijder, 11 Ricardo Alvarez, 18 Andrea Poli, 19 Esteban Cambiasso, 20 Joel Obi;

Forwards: 7 Giampaolo Pazzini, 22 Diego Milito, 28 Mauro Zarate, 30 Luc Castaignos.

In the African Cup of Nations, if you are not on Zambia outright.....

Good Luck.

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