Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with a pair of plays from Serie A.
ENTERTAINMENT EXPECTED IN FLORENCE
Fiorentina begin life without star striker Dusan Vlahovic on Saturday as La Viola welcome Lazio to the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Serbian hitman sealed a big-money move to rivals Juventus last week, although the Florence club were at least able to bolster their squad with the additions of Jonathan Ikone, Krzysztof Piątek and Arthur Cabral.
All three forwards are fit and available for the weekend’s contest and I’m hopeful the newcomers will be able to contribute to what should be an eye-catching encounter.
Fiorentina have been formidable in Florence this term, earning top honours in seven of eight matches when excluding the top-two.
Vincenzo Italiano’s outfit have scored in all 10 of their overall home outings, notching twice or more in all eight when again extracting Inter and Napoli from the sample – La Viola have even scored 3+ goals here on six occasions.
Vlahovic was of course paramount, yet Italiano’s coaching lends itself to fluent, open and attacking matches, fitting the longer-term trend surrounding high-scoring Serie A fixtures.
So expect Fiorentina to continue in their expressive and forward-thinking manner at the Franchi.
Therefore a thrilling affair could play out against a capable Lazio team.
The visitors received plenty of criticism for a dire 0-0 draw against a decimated Atalanta side before the break. Maurizio Sarri’s men managed to record only a fourth clean sheet of the campaign, yet the Biancocelesti are still nowhere near trustworthy territory in terms of their rearguard efforts, particularly with influential centre-back Francesco Acerbi absent.
The capital club’s only shutout on their travels came at rock-bottom Salernitana with Lazio shipping 23 goals across their other 11 away Serie A outings.
Nevertheless, the Romans continue to boast one of the division’s most proficient forward lines, averaging 2.00 goals-per-game and scoring in 15 of 16 league dates with opponents outside of the top-six.
So I’m expecting an enjoyable and exciting game in Florence and therefore happy to support a relatively low goals line, especially so when the league as a whole has seen Over 2.5 Goals click in 60% of fixtures thus far with 3.04 goals per-game delivered on average.
Fiorentina and Lazio have combined to see 34/45 (76%) matches produce winning Over 2.5 selections, although the advertised odds of 1.76 on a repeat suggests just a 56% chance of success.
MARASSI MATCH-UP SHOULD PRODUCE GOALS
We should all know the drill by now, right? Sassuolo equal goals!
Across the Neroverdi’s past 17 Serie A showdowns, Over 2.5 Goals has copped on 15 occasions, Both Teams To Score has banked in 16 such contests with Over 3.5 Goals paying-out in 10 fixtures.
Alessio Dionisi’s charges have scored in 20 of their overall 23 outings, yet managed to keep their sheets clean only twice, failing to record a shutout since September.
Sassuolo have been at their electric best when taking to the road. The Emilia-Romagna outfit have gotten on the scoresheet in all 11 away days, notched twice or more in eight games as guests with matches producing a sky-high 3.91 goals per-game.
Remarkably, all 11 have landed BTTS profit with Over 2.5 backers suffering a solitary reverse in that sample.
Considering all of Sassuolo’s leading lights are fit and available, I’m expecting the Neroverdi to make their mark in Sunday’s match-up with Sampdoria at the Marassi.
Sampdoria are back under the tutorship of Marco Giampaolo. The Blucerchiati have bolstered their squad with a collection of new arrivals as they bid to battle clear of the relegation dogfight. However, I don’t anticipate significant defensive improvements from the Genoese hosts this weekend.
Il Doria have silenced only three opponents in 2021/22 thus far, and Giampaolo certainly prefers to implement a more forward-thinking style, which should only aid our angle of attack – backing Over 2.5/3.0 Goals at 1.78.
Having already highlighted Sassuolo’s compelling figures, it’s also worth noting that matches at the Marassi have been goal-heavy.
This term, 10 of Samp’s 12 home ties have clicked for Over 2.5, as well as Both Teams To Score, however, since the start of last season 23/31 (74%) Serie A games here have produced Over 2.5 with 12 (39%) beating the Over 3.5 line.
- Over 2.5 Goals in Fiorentina vs Lazio 2 units @ 1.77
- Over 2.5/3.0 Goals in Sampdoria vs Sassuolo 2 units @ 1.78
Mark’s Best Bet Double
Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here
Subscribe to the Matchbook Youtube channel here
Bookmark Mark O’Haire’s articles here