Mark O'Haire: Goals Forecast In The Eternal City & A Bet From Switzerland

8 min

Mark O’Haire returns refreshed from the International Break with selections in Italy and Switzerland for the weekend ahead!

Goal Rush In Rome

Serie A continues to fly the flag for goals-based backers in Europe’s major leagues.

Italy’s top-flight has averaged 3.20 strikes through the first seven rounds of action this season, beating the Over 2.5 Goals line in 67% of those opening 70 showdowns. A chunky 44% of encounters broke the Over 3.5 Goals barrier, whilst 60% saw both sides score.

The average closing price on Over 2.5 Goals this term has been 1.75 – odds that imply only a 57% chance of three or more goals being scored – with the overall Expected Goals (xG) per-game average hitting 2.89.

The samples might be relatively small, but the numbers in question suggest the prospect of goal-laden games are being underestimated.

Lazio’s mouthwatering match-up with Inter Milan on Saturday certainly stands out for punters looking for entertainment.

Simone Inzaghi returns to Rome for the first time with a Nerazzurri side playing an exciting brand of attacking football; the shackles have been released from the Antonio Conte era, and Inter are enjoying their front-foot approach.

Inter have scored 22 goals in their first seven league games.

The visitors top the Serie A goalscoring charts with 22 in seven and are yet to be beaten under Inzaghi’s watch.

Inter should therefore be licking their lips at the possibility of facing a Lazio rearguard that’s yet to keep their sheets clean, has conceded multiple goals in four of seven outings under Maurizio Sarri, and is also missing critical defensive cog Francesco Acerbi.

The Biancocelesti signed off for the international break with a 3-0 reverse at Bologna and need a response here.

Sarri’s side do have the ability in the attacking third to make their mark, though with star striker Ciro Immobile due back following injury, joining Pedro, Felipe Anderson, Luis Alberto and Sergei Milinkovic-Savic in an offensive XI.

I’m anticipating an end-to-end shootout with Over 2.5/3.0 Goals, the play of interest at 1.86.

The two teams on show have seen their respective contests average 3.03 xG and 3.11 xG this term – the two highest figures in the division – with 12 of their combined 14 dates providing profit in this market, 11 of which also landed Both Teams To Score pay-outs.

Meanwhile, when entertaining top-six teams, 10 of Lazio’s past 12 tussles have seen Over 2.5 Goals, with half of their most recent ten such fixtures delivering Over 3.5 Goals.

And for all Inter’s attacking excellence – scoring twice in every game under Inzaghi and generating 1.86 npxG per game – the away side’s only shutout came against Genoa on the opening day.

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Basel Faultless In Sion

Basel are the dominant club of the modern era in Switzerland, taking title honours on 12 occasions over the past 20 years, but FCB are in the midst of an unusual dry patch.

A solitary domestic cup success has been achieved of the past four seasons with Young Boys overtaking the RotBlau as the team to beat in the Super League.

Nevertheless, Basel lead the way this season with Patrick Rahmen’s outfit unbeaten (W5-D4-L0) through nine rounds. Young Boys remain favourites in the outright markets. Still, FCB are determined to run the defending champions close and can continue their promising campaign with victory at lowly Sion on Sunday.

Basel can be backed at an appealing 1.81 at the Stade Tourbillon.

Rahmen’s troops have already smashed Sion 6-1 in the reverse meeting, and the visitors are returning a substantial 68% xG ratio supremacy thus far. The RotBlau rank inside the top-two of the Super League for almost all major metrics and have scored multiple goals in three of four road trips.

Basel players celebrating has been a regular sight so far this season.

Sion only narrowed avoided relegation last season and are housed inside the bottom-half with just two triumphs to their name this term.

The hosts sit rock-bottom for npxG ratio and xG generated from open play, raw shots, on-target attempts, efforts from inside the penalty area, whilst also conceding the most Big Chances in the division.

Sion did topple Young Boys (1-0) at the Tourbillon earlier in the campaign, although further inspection shows the home side were fortunate to do so.

The away side had 21 shots – 11 from inside the box – and comfortably won the xG count, with the winning goal arriving from the penalty spot.

I don’t expect Basel to be quite so generous at the odds on offer.

Recommended Bets

  • Over 2.5/3.0 Goals in Lazio vs Inter – 2 units @ 1.86
  • Basel to beat Sion – 2 units @ 1.81

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