WE'VE sealed another stellar signing for the season with Serie A don Paolo Bandini bringing his expertise to the site thanks to our partner Unibet.
Paolo is an Anglo-Italian sportswriter who pens a superb weekly Serie A column for the Guardian and his other credits include ESPN, the BBC and TalkSport as well as making regular appearances on the Football Weekly podcast.
He's a Trevi Fountain of knowledge and we're delighted to have him on board. Here he previews Roma at SPAL.
SPAL v Roma (Sat 3pm)
The schedule-makers have done what they can to accommodate Roma ahead of their trip to Anfield, giving them a rare 3pm kick-off on Saturday afternoon. Of course, that does also trim down the time available to prepare for this game following a midweek win over Genoa. With just a point separating them in third place from Inter in fifth, the Giallorossi still need to keep winning domestically as well.
Eusebio Di Francesco rotated his team against Genoa, making six changes to the team that started the derby, including a complete swapping out of his first-choice midfield. Some players, though, are harder to replace than others. Edin Dzeko still started, as did Aleksandar Kolarov.
Will they get a rest against SPAL? Reports suggest that they might. To play without Dzeko, in particular, though, represents a major gamble. His only obvious replacement, Patrik Schick, has failed to score a league goal for Roma in 17 appearances since joining last summer.
SPAL, despite their lowly league standing, are unbeaten in eight games. They have held Juventus and Fiorentina to draws during the present run, and only lost 1-0 away to Napoli in the game before it began. Although without much attacking potency of their own, they are certainly difficult to break down.
- SPAL 0, Roma 1 (6-1, Unibet)
- El Shaarawy to score first (24-5, Unibet)
- Under 2.5 goals (4-5, Unibet)
Anglo-Italian Paolo Bandini writes about Italian football for the Guardian and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.