There’s a hectic domestic football schedule across the continent before Christmas and football betting analyst Mark O’Haire has picked out two of his favourite fancies from Sunday’s action in Europe.
Roughly a third of the way through the football season and divisional standings starting to take shape. The usual suspects of Celtic, PSG, Juventus, Ajax and Barcelona top their domestic tables with Liverpool and Borussia Monchengladbach upsetting pre-season predictions with league-leading positions.
I’m moving straight to Sunday for this weekend’s best value bets in Europe with a keen focus on the Bundesliga and Serie A in search of goals.
Italian Encounter To Feature Goals Galore
Lazio signed-off for the international break in fine fettle. The capital club might already be eight points adrift of summit-sitting Juventus but the Biancocelesti were never realistic title challengers this term. Instead, Simeone Inzaghi’s side are fully focussed on breaking into Serie A’s top four and clinching a berth in next year’s Champions League.
The Aquile extended their unbeaten domestic streak to seven matches with a 4-2 victory over Lecce, the club’s fourth league consecutive success and the seventh straight game in which Lazio have racked up at least two goals in a game.
The Roman outfit have looked exceptional in offensive areas and the underlying numbers certainly support such a view.
Only Atalanta can match the Biancocelesti’s attacking numbers when looking over Expected Goals (xG), xG from open play and shots from inside the penalty area in Italy. The club have struck three times or more on five occasions and top goalscorer Ciro Immobile has excelled, grabbing 14 goals in just 12 Serie A outings to top the Capocannoniere charts.
Such scintillating forward play should encourage Lazio on Sunday as they travel to a Sassuolo side that have struggled to keep their back door closed, especially against the league’s elite. The Neroverdi have already lost 4-3 to Inter Milan, 4-1 to Atalanta and 4-2 to Roma and a similarly high-scoring affair is expected when the two teams lock horns.
Despite their obvious threat in the final-third, Lazio are far from watertight themselves, especially outside of Rome. Inzaghi’s outfit have silenced only six of 25 hosts since the start of last season in Serie A, an encouraging trend to goals-based backers, as well as Sassuolo’s attack-minded boss Roberto De Zerbi.
With De Zerbi in charge, Sassuolo have proven to be one of Serie A’s great entertainers. Before the international break, the Neroverdi beat regional rivals Bologna 3-1 to make it nine Over 2.5 Goals winners in their 11 encounters during 2019/20, continuing a fantastic run of high-scoring showdowns at home.
At their Mapei Stadium base, Sassuolo have now seen Over 2.5 Goals in 17 of 25 matches here since the beginning of last term with Over 3.5 Goals copping on 13 occasions. The Neroverdi have notched in 21 of those tussles and will be confident of breaching that questionable Lazio backline.
Meanwhile, the visitors have crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier in 9/12 (75%) contests, meaning collectively the pair have produced profit for Over 2.75 Goals backers in all bar five of their combined 23 games, 11 of which returned full-stakes pay-outs, and 15 were ticked off for Both Teams To Score backers.
Those 23 matches averaged a whopping 3.62 goals-per-game, highlighting the value in supporting a repeat at generous 1.71 quotes on Sunday.
Goal-Frenzy Forecast For Germany
Augsburg boss Martin Schmidt relieved a little pressure on his position by snapping a six-match winless streak before the international break with a crucial 1-0 victory at rock-bottom Paderborn. The three points moved Die Fuggerstädter out of the bottom three, although the Bavarians supporters are demanding more from their struggling side, particularly away.
With last season’s top scorer Alfred Finnbogason out until 2020, FCA have relied on current leading marksman Florian Niederlechner, plus Philipp Max and Marco Richter for attacking spark and inspiration.
Although goals have been hard to come by, Augsburg have at least generated enough open play opportunities to be considered a reasonable threat.
However, Die Fuggerstädter have only really come to the fore at their Augsburg Arena home. The hosts have scored in all bar three of their last 22 Bundesliga battles here since the beginning of last season; so whilst FCA might be considered a safety-first prospect on their travels, Schmidt’s side are happy to open up in front of their home supporters.
In fact, few Bundesliga teams have proven as reliable for high-scoring shootouts than the Bavarians.
The hosts’ dodgy defence, coupled with their thirst for the offensive on home soil, has seen Augsburg cross the Over 2.5 Goals whitewash in 18/22 (82%) of matches here since the start of 2018/19 with a huge 13 (59%) also featuring Over 3.5 Goals.
Sunday afternoon’s visitors Hertha Berlin are without a league win in four stretching back to the start of October with the capital club losing three on the bounce. Ante Covic’s charges have earned 10 of their 11-point tally against clubs in the bottom-six with backline woes the source for most concern amongst the Charlottenburg club’s followers.
Hertha have silenced a solitary opponent this term but few such issues surround their frontline with Marius Wolf, Dodi Lukebakio, Javairo Dilrosun and captain Vedad Ibisevic all battling for starting berths in Bavaria this weekend.
Considering the top-heavy displays, it’s no surprise to see the Berlin boys involved in consistently entertaining encounters.
The guests have proven regular operators in goal-heavy games, particularly on their travels. Hertha have seen a healthy 15/23 (65%) of away days produce Over 2.5 Goals profit as matches have averaged 3.05 goals.
Ten of those 23 ties also featured at least four goals and a similar outcome could be on the cards as the bottom-half dwellers go head-to-head.
- Over 2.75 Goals in Sassuolo v Lazio 4 units @ 1.71
- Over 2.75 Goals in Augsburg v Hertha Berlin 3 units @ 1.86