European Football analyst Mark O’Haire has been in sensational form to date this season with just one losing selection. He goes again this weekend with bets from Scotland and Italy!
Bhoys Backed At Almondvale
Celtic face a tricky looking Europa League tie at Real Betis on Thursday night. Still, the Bhoys should be well capable of collecting top honours on their return to Premiership duty this Sunday afternoon.
The Hoops were available at 1.8 on the opening show at Almondvale.
While the initial prices and lines are no longer available, there’s still plenty of wiggle room to support Ange Postecoglou’s troops with a -0.5/1.0 Asian Handicap start at generous 1.73 quotes.
A club in crisis during the summer, Celtic are not yet out of the woods.
However, the brave appointment of Australian boss Postecoglou appears to have put the Glaswegian giants back on the road to recovery.
An abrasive coach with a fixation on playing attack-minded and expressive football, performances have improved significantly in recent weeks.
The Bhoys were the better team during an Old Firm defeat, whilst their three other domestic matches since the opening day have seen the visitors seal two 6-0 triumphs and a 3-0 success.
They now head to rock-bottom Livingston and look a touch underrated.
Livi have regressed since last term, losing key players, with shrewd judges of the Scottish game supporting the Lions for relegation ante-post. Having opened with a convincing 3-0 loss at Ibrox, the hosts have picked up a solitary point and scored just twice in their following four league fixtures.
Livingston prop up the Premiership in terms of Expected Points (xP) and non-penalty Expected Goal (npxG) ratio, with both the eye test and numbers pointing to a club that’s set for a difficult campaign.
Therefore, I’m happy to oppose the hosts at the lines and prices.
Over the past three seasons, Rangers and Celtic have visited Almondvale on seven occasions. In six of those seven showdowns, the Asian Handicap line was set at 1.0/1.5, with the average price on the away team to win coming in at 1.35.
With Livi undoubtedly weaker, it’s difficult to see why the Hoops aren’t getting the market respect they deserve.
La Dea To Find Their Range At Salernitana
Salernitana endured a difficult off-season after making a historic return to Italy’s top-flight.
Lazio president Claudio Lottio owned the Granata, and league rules do not allow any owner to lead more than one club in the same league. Therefore, the new boys had to be taken over by a blind trust, which handicapped their preparation for 2021/22.
Nevertheless, Fabrizio Castori’s charges made a bit of a stir on the opening weekend, twice taking the lead before being pegged back and eventually beaten 3-2 by Bologna in a match that saw three red cards. It was a chaotic contest, and the newcomers have struggled to recover from their curtain-raising exploits since.
Salernitana have been stuffed 4-0 in successive showdowns against Roma and Torino and must now face the daunting prospect of welcoming Atalanta to their Stadio Arechi base.
The Granata have been shredded in the second half in both recent defeats while barely laying a glove on their opposition.
They already sit rock-bottom on all major metrics.
Atalanta are yet to hit top gear this term, but Gian Piero Gasperini’s posse produced a solid display at Villarreal in the Champions League, and probably didn’t get their just deserts in defeat to Fiorentina or when held by Bologna on MD2.
Even so, the market gives La Dea an 80% chance of maximum points here, and it’s difficult to disagree with the Match Odds.
However, we can dive into the Asian Handicap market and snap-up 1.92 on Atalanta, covering the -1.5 hurdle.
The Bergamo boys have finished third in each of the last three campaigns, boasting a 72% win rate at bottom-six dwellers with an average of 2.89 goals-per-game scored in that same sample. Those figures increase at newly-promoted teams.
With the market forecasting 2.85 goals from Atalanta here, and Salernitana’s displays at both ends of the field causing consternation, I’m happy to back the visitors picking up the victory by a margin of two goals or more on Saturday night.
- Celtic -0.5/1.0 – 3 units @ 1.73
- Atalanta -1.5 – 2 units @ 1.92
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