Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a goal-based play from Ligue 1 and a strong fancy in the Derby Della Madonnina…
ENTERTAINMENT EXPECTED IN ALSACE ENCOUNTER
With four clubs set to suffer Ligue 1 relegation this season, the battle to survive is beginning to intensify.
It’s a little too early to deem Sunday’s showdown between struggling pair Strasbourg and Montpellier a ‘six-pointer’ but both sides will be setting their sights on an overdue victory having recorded only six triumphs between them in 42 combined contests.
However, neither can be trusted at the prices and a wager on Both Teams To Score holds much more appeal at eye-catching 1.88 quotes.
Strasbourg are the BTTS kings in France’s top-flight. The Alsace outfit have seen both sides oblige in 17 (81%) of their 21 Ligue 1 outings with Le Racing managing to keep their sheets clean just once all term.
When operating at their Stade de la Meinau base, the hosts have produced Both Teams To Score profit in nine of their 11 matches in 2022/23.
Having finished inside the top-six last season, it’s a surprise to see Strasbourg embroiled in the relegation scrap.
Julien Stephen was sacked in early January with his assistant Mathieu Le Scornet stepping into the hot-seat. But little has improved with Le Racing returning W1-D1-L2 under the new head coach, shipping multiple goals in all four fixtures.
Thirteen of Strasbourg’s past 14 league dates have featured Over 2.5 Goals, and with the home side scoring in 17 (81%) of their 21 tussles.
They should be confident in contributing against a Montpellier team that have also fallen well below expectations thus far, with an inability to keep the goals out proving most problematic.
La Paillade arrive just two points above the drop-zone following a 3-1 reverse to PSG in midweek. MHSC have recorded only three shutouts of their own thus far and are shipping 2.05 goals per-game on average – the fourth-worst tally in the division.
That figure increases to 2.20 on Montpellier’s travels, although the guests have scored in eight of 10 away days.
Like Strasbourg, the out-of-form visitors do possess real quality in forward areas and have been blanked on only four occasions.
Both Elye Wahi and Wahbi Khazri are both due back from suspension to bolster Montpellier’s offensive ranks and so backing Both Teams To Score at 1.88 looks the standout selection in Sunday’s action from Ligue 1.
OPPOSE AC IN MILAN DERBY
Milan boss Stefano Pioli admitted he had given up hope of successfully defending their title following a second successive Serie A mauling left the Rossoneri 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Napoli.
The AC chief was quick to change the side’s focus by suggesting, “our Scudetto will be getting into the Champions League” via a top-four finish.
Pioli was in particularly despondent mood. Milan suffered a chastening 4-0 thrashing at Lazio a fortnight ago and returned to San Siro to suffer a shocking 5-2 reverse to lowly Sassuolo.
Those heavy back-to-back losses came hot on the heels of poor performances against Lecce, Torino, as well as a 3-0 Super Coppa defeat to city rivals Inter in January.
The Rossoneri have now conceded 16 goals in six games since the World Cup break and shipped 12 goals in their most recent three fixtures.
Injuries have played their part, but Pioli admitted post-match he was perplexed by the sudden drop-off, saying: “Everything that has worked for us over the past two years has stopped working in the last month.”
Pioli met with Milan’s directors following the Sassuolo humbling, and whilst his position isn’t in any current danger, another desperate defeat this weekend could tip the balance and pile the pressure on.
Inter haven’t been flawless since returning to Serie A action but the Nerazzurri showcased their potential by becoming the first and only side to topple Napoli this term.
Simone Inzaghi’s troops also progressed to the Coppa Italia semi-finals in midweek after ousting Atalanta. The designated ‘home’ side are in a much greater position of promise.
I’m therefore happy to back Inter to win at 2.06 quotes.
- Both Teams To Score in Strasbourg vs Montpellier – 1 unit @ 1.88
- Internazionale -0.5 in Internazionale vs AC Milan – 1 unit @ 2.06
Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here
Subscribe to the Matchbook YouTube channel here