Mark O'Haire - Opposing FC Hollywood & A Tasty Goals Angle In Italy

12 min

With the international break now over, football betting analyst Mark O’Haire is back on familiar territory with a selection each from Serie A and Bundesliga for the weekend.

There was no joy with last weekend’s pair of goals-based bets in the Americas as the two pokes fell a goal short of profit. Despite the losses, I standby the selections. As a much wiser man once told me – good bets will often lose, and bad punts will regularly win.

As long as we’re on the right side of variance more often than not, we’ll be fine in the long-term.

With the international break concluding, we’re back to domestic duties across the continent and there’s a number of eye-catching angles to dig deeper on. I’ve focused in on a pair of fancies from Italy and Germany, and I’m confident of bouncing straight back to winning form.


Bayern Munich won a record-extending seventh consecutive Bundesliga title last term but the Bavarians were made to work doubly hard by Borussia Dortmund en-route. FC Hollywood are now odds-on favourites to clinch a remarkable eighth straight Meisterschale in 2019/20 and Niko Kovac’s side are similarly short for their first major test of the campaign.

Nobody should doubt the quality and ability in Bayern’s ranks, particularly after a reasonably successful transfer window, but we can question the wisdom of backing the Munich men at skinny quotes in East Germany.

In fact, the 1.88 on the visitors at the Red Bull Arena this weekend is bordering on disrespectful to current league leaders, RB Leipzig.

RB went into the international break top of the pile following a perfect start to life under head coach Julian Nagelsmann. The 32-year-old has presided over three straight triumphs, with Die Rotten Bullen bagging at least two goals in each encounter.

Whisper it, but the underdogs have title aspirations and see this a potentially decisive early season contest.

New Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann has already worked his magic in Leipzig.

Nagelsmann produced a minor miracle to transform Hoffenheim’s fortunes from relegation battlers to Champions League participants, and the baby-faced boss appears to be working his magic once more in Leipzig. RB have earned plenty of plaudits for their efforts against Union Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt and Gladbach, whilst star striker Timo Werner has been immaculate in front of goal…

Werner signed a new contract with the club in the summer and plundered a hat-trick in the 3-1 win at Gladbach. His clinical finishing, plus Die Roten Bullen’s high-energy pressing style, should ensure RB Leipzig cause the defending champions plenty of problems here – much more so than their bulbous odds imply.

Nagelsmann – who went unbeaten in his first three games as a manager against the record German champions – is bullish about his squad’s potential, and why not? Since arriving in the German top-flight, the hosts have avoided defeat twice in three fixtures here with Bayern. Their only loss arrived three seasons ago by the narrowest of margins (4-5).

Niko Kovac’s Bayern side has tended to struggle against the Bundesliga’s top sides in recent times.

Bayern have registered comfortable victories over tame opponents Mainz and Schalke before the international break. However, the Bavarians were far from convincing in their opening day draw against Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena, whilst their big-game mentality troubled them last term too.

Kovac’s charges failed to meet expectations in the Champions League and picked up a solitary point from trips to fellow top-four finishers Dortmund (2-3), Leipzig (0-0) and Leverkusen (1-3) in 2018/19, suggesting there’s enough evidence to oppose odds-on quotes.


Sunday morning’s meeting between Genoa and Atalanta should not be missed.

Two of Italy’s most experienced coaches go head-to-head in Bergamo and the pair have a penchant for high-quality, forward-thinking, attacking football.

The outcome can surely mean only one thing – goals (and plenty of them).

Despite his veteran status, 65-year-old Aurelio Andreazzoli is renowned for his modern-day ideals. Having overseen Empoli’s battling relegation from Serie A last season, Andreazzoli earned rave reviews for his team’s style, swagger and approach. The Tuscan native was credited for the rapid improvements of his squad on an individual level and was in-demand.

Genoa swooped to secure Andreazzoli’s signature and supporters have been impressed by the club’s early efforts. A fascinating point was picked up in Roma (3-3) before Il Grifone made the most of poor Fiorentina defending (and the woodwork) to table a 2-1 triumph before the international break. In both fixtures, Genoa showcased their offensive values.

Don’t be fooled by Aurelio Andreazzoli’s age, the Tuscan native keeps up with the best of them.

The current incumbent has been compared with his opposite number this weekend, Gian Piero Gasperini, which showcases the high esteem he is held in.

Atalanta supremo Gasperini deserves immense respect for his role of guiding La Dea from mid-table obscurity into the Champions League, doing so on a budget, with one of Serie A’s most enjoyable styles of play.

The Bergamo boys rated as one of Italy’s strongest teams last term, and whilst performances haven’t been flawless thus far, it’s clear that Atalanta’s encounters will again feature plenty of goalmouth action. The guests opened with a come-from-behind 3-2 success at Spal, before suffering a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Torino after failing to defend set-pieces.

Gasperini – who had two spells on the Genoa bench and remains a fan hero – is looking for consistency, particularly with Champions League involvement on the horizon next week. La Dea’s boss has demanded an improvement in concentration levels coming into this Marassi clash; his visitors are fair favourites, although a better bet can be found in the goals markets.

Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez is one of their key men in the attacking third.

We might only be two rounds of fixtures deep in Serie A, but goals have been a regular feature of the opening exchanges with 60% of the contests featuring three or more goals and the same figure returning profit for Both Teams To Score backers. On average, 3.25 goals-per-game have been seen in Italy’s top-tier, busting the boring myth.

Sunday’s early fixture should follow the early season themes with Andreazzoli and Gasperini renowned for favouring forward-thinking football. Already the pair have produced profitable Over 2.5 Goals returns in all four of their combined fixtures, with three such games going Over 4.5 Goals.

Encounters between Genoa and Atalanta have also been kind for goals-based backers in previous campaigns with the past seven meetings between the pair breaking the Over 2.5 Goals. And last term the two played out a thrilling 3-2 encounter when Andreazzoli was in charge of Empoli in Tuscany.

All the evidence points towards another high-scoring showdown and Over 2.75 Goals therefore holds plenty of appeal at 1.74 this weekend.

Recommended Bets

  • RB Leipzig +0.50 – 2 units @ 2.07
  • Over 2.75 Goals in Genoa v Atalanta 3 units @ 1.74