Mark O'Haire - Serie A & Ligue 1 Selections

7 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with France and Italy taking centre-stage.


Reports from Italy suggest Roma head coach Paolo Fonseca must win the Europa League to keep his job. Former Chelsea and Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has already been sounded out for the position as the Giallorossi hierarchy prepare to make a change with the capital club sliding down the Serie A standings following an unflattering run of results.

Fonseca has readily admitted to the press that continental glory is the club’s number one aim over the coming weeks and Roma’s team selection at Cagliari last weekend backed up those views. The Giallorossi rested and rotated with a trip to Old Trafford in mind and fell to another disappointing 3-2 defeat at relegation-haunted hosts.

Roma have prioritised European success this season.

Roma have been off the boil for a while now. Sunday night’s guests have earned top honours in just three of their past 11 domestic dates and being turned over at fellow battlers Parma and Torino, as well as Cagliari, in their most recent three away days. Overall this term, La Lupa have pocketed only five victories on the road.

The downturn is also highlighted in the relevant performance data metrics. Fonseca’s charges are displaying a negative process over the past eight and 12-game splits, and the capital outfit are already out of the running for Champions League contention via their Serie A position, falling below pre-season expectations.

Regardless of Roma’s first leg result at Manchester United, the Giallorossi are again expected to make changes with Thursday’s return at the Stadio Olimpico the club’s top priority. Therefore there should be an opportunity for underdogs Sampdoria to pick up at least a share of the spoils from this Marassi match-up.

Claudio Ranieri’s group are in no-man’s land in mid-table and contract rumbles continue between the club and the veteran head coach.

However, the hosts are still hoping to secure a top-half finish this term and the Blucerchiati haven’t been a million miles away in some testing fixtures of late.

Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri is targeting a top-half finish this term.

I’d expect cash to come for Sampdoria, although the 1.84 available with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start is too big to turn down at the time of writing and holds plenty of appeal considering Roma’s position.


There’s a desperately dark cloud hanging over Bordeaux right now and the famous French club are well worth opposing as they prepare to welcome Rennes on Sunday. Les Girondins have endured a desperate 2021, posting 11 defeats in their past 13 outings, and conceding 17 goals in their most recent five fixtures.

Last weekend the six-time champions were sliced and diced by fellow strugglers Lorient 4-1 and that disastrous effort followed hot on the heels of news that the club’s American investors were ceasing funding, plunging Bordeaux into administration.

Les Girondins have endured a desperate 2021

Rumours and reports suggest Les Girondins’ players have been involved in numerous squabbles in the dressing room, and with the threat of administration and potential bankruptcy now hovering over the club, morale is bound to be at rock bottom.

The hosts have generated fewer than 1.00 xG from open play in 11 of those aforementioned 13 tussles, with Bordeaux ranked inside the bottom half for almost every applicable performance data metric at our disposal.

And the rudderless outfit face a tough task with in-form Rennes arriving…

Rennes have seen a marked improvement under Bruno Genesio

Les Rouge et Noir have tabled five triumphs from six unbeaten encounters as they chase European qualification. SRFC have posted W7-D4-L0 at clubs in ninth and below when playing away, and their upturn under Bruno Genesio is borne out in the data too.

Rennes have plundered eight goals in their last three road trips, including match-ups with defensively sound Metz and Reims, so should be well capable of succeeding on Sunday with 1.80 quotes on the away success likely to shrink before kick-off.

Recommended Bets

  • Sampdoria +0.25 Asian Handicap in Sampdoria vs Roma 2 units @ 1.81
  • Rennes to win in Bordeaux vs Rennes 3 units @ 1.80

New to Matchbook? Get 0% Commission on ALL Sports for 30 days by using Bonus Code INSIGHTS

Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here

Subscribe to the Matchbook Youtube channel here