The eagerly anticipated return of Serie A is upon us and former AC Milan legend Pippo Inzaghi will take another crack at management in the Italian top flight with Bologna.
His spell in charge of the Rossoneri back in 2014/15 was nothing short of a disaster, however the 45-year-old went back to the drawing board with Venezia in 2016, achieving promotion to Serie B in his first season in charge and narrowly missed out the top flight in the playoffs last term.
“Be patient, the squad will be competitive,” said Inzaghi to reporters on his appointment earlier this summer. “If not I wouldn’t be here. [American owner Joey] Saputo has invested a lot of money in three years and he wants to see results. I don’t feel I need to prove anything to anyone. I was very happy at Venezia, wherever I coach is like my Champions League. This is an incredible opportunity and I’ll try to prove myself up to the task.”
Indeed, Bologna have signed talented goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski from Roma, while their experienced stopper Antonio Mirante made the swap to Stadio Olimpico, and fans should be hopeful that Inzaghi can improve a side that has been consistently mid-table in the last three seasons.
Meanwhile, SPAL managed to remain in the division after they achieved top-flight status for the first time in 50 years thanks to some excellent coaching by Leonardo Semplici, his side continuing to improve as last season progressed.
On the surface this may look like a Bologna win thanks to home advantage and the effect of a new manager. However, last season these two sides were very evenly matched as SPAL finished just one point behind the Rossoblu in the final standings. Coach Leonardo Semplici is extremely astute and the club have added a fantastic signing in Andrea Petagna from Atalanta in the summer.
Bologna have acquired Diego Falcinelli up front, the 27-year-old having spent the second half of last season on loan to Fiorentina. However, his 12 appearances for the Viola resulted in zero goals and a refusal by the Tuscan outfit to take up their option to buy the player.
The odds for this match go in Bologna’s favour, but for soccer betting fans the offer for SPAL to take a surprise win here, at 13/5 by 888sport, is well worth considering. You can also get 13/20 on the same site for a SPAL win or a draw, another bet worth considering for this match.
Both of these sides had tight defences last season, Bologna conceding the fewest goals in the bottom half of the table last term with 52, while SPAL were joint-second with 59. It is no surprise then, that there were few goals in the two meetings between these teams in 2017/18, SPAL losing 2-1 to Bologna in October and winning the reverse fixture 1-0 in March.
Betting on less than 1.5 goals with Karamba is a good option at 17/10, or a 1-2 away win for SPAL at 11/1 is also well worth your attention. A SPAL win by one goal is also 3/1, another great option bearing in mind those stingy defences and the fact that their Coach Semplici has now enjoyed the added advantage of a full season in the top flight with his players.
SPAL have really bagged an excellent deal with the loan of Andrea Petagna from Atalanta this summer, the 23-year-old having already represented Italy at all youth levels and made his senior Azzurri debut in June 2017. The Ferrara-based outfit kicked off their 2018/19 campaign in the Coppa Italia preliminary rounds last Sunday and sure enough, Petagna fired in the only goal of the game versus Spezia on his full debut.
A bet on the striker to find the net once again on the first league encounter of the new campaign is definitely worthwhile, and 888sport offers 7/1 for Petagna to score first, last or 3/1 to fire in anytime. The same site also features a wincast at 7/1 for a Petagna anytime goal and a win for his side, or 13/1 for the Italian international to score last to secure victory.