Mark O'Haire: "Swerving The FA Cup For My Weekend Bets"

7 min

Mark O’Haire is heading to Germany and Italy this weekend in search of a couple of value bets.

‘Der Club’ Woes To Continue On Saturday

The Bundesliga returned last weekend with Borussia Dortmund picking up a vital victory against RB Leipzig to keep their title challenge alive and kicking. The Black & Yellows boast a six-point advantage over Bayern Munich as we begin the journey to the finishing line in mid-May.

At the other end of the table, newly-promoted Nurnberg are staring at an immediate return to the second-tier following a disastrous run of results since October. Der Club prop up the division having collected only 11 points from their opening 19 outings with just three points tabled from their past 12 tussles (W0-D3-L9).

Michael Köllner’s men have suffered defeat in each of their last five fixtures and have scored only once in that sample. Over the course of the campaign as a whole, the struggling side have scored just 15 times with their top goal-getter being midfielder Hanno Behrens, but two of his three strikes came via penalties.

Nurnberg boast just a 31% Expected Goals from open play ratio in the Bundesliga – comfortably the division’s worst effort – and their paltry average of 0.48 xG from open play is also rock-bottom compared to their league rivals. At the other end, Nurnberg have shipped a league-high 41 goals. There are few positives.

Nurnberg Manager Michael Köllner has seen his side struggle on their travels this season.

This weekend Der Club travel to Mainz looking to improve upon a road record that reads W0-D2-L6, losing by an aggregate score of 5-27. And with eight of their nine defeats in their recent winless streak arriving by at least two goals, it’s easy to oppose the visitors with Mainz available to support at 1.74 with a -0.50 start.

The hosts began their Rückrunde efforts with a 3-1 success away at Stuttgart with the O-Fivers taking advantage of defensive disarray in the Swabians backline. The triumph moved Sandro Schwarz’s side 10 points clear of danger and into the relative safety of mid-table despite pre-season predictions of a relegation battle.

Mainz have only suffered two defeats in nine outings at their Opel Arena home this term – against Dortmund and Bayern– as they’ve also held the likes of Wolfsburg, Hertha and Eintracht Frankfurt to stalemates here. The home side have W10-D6-L3 here when excluding the top-four since the start of last season and should be well capable of enhancing that return on Saturday afternoon.

Old Lady To Bounce Back In Eternal City

Juventus are cantering towards an eighth consecutive Serie A crown, enjoying a nine-point advantage at the top of the table following an unblemished W18-D2-L0 start to the 2018/19 campaign. The Old Lady have overcome all five of their top-five rivals this term and look well worth supporting again on Sunday night.

The Bianconeri bagged three goals or more for only the fifth time in the league this season on Monday night despite Cristiano Ronaldo missing a penalty, and second-top scorer Mario Mandzukic joining Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira on the treatment table. Nevertheless, the Turin giants eased past Chievo 3-0.

The all-conquering table-toppers now head to the capital looking to make it six successive wins against Lazio in Rome across all competitions. And Juventus should be well capable of justifying their position as 1.91 -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites at the Stadio Olimpico.

Massimiliano Allegri manager of Juventus has his side firing on all cylinders right now.

Lazio lost at Napoli last time out 2-1. The Biancocelesti saw their woodwork hit three times as they fell to another reverse against the elite in Serie A. Remarkably, the Eagles have now come away empty-handed in 10 of 13 winless meetings with top-six teams of late, including five of six such showdowns in 2018/19.

Simone Inzaghi’s side have been beaten in five of seven such fixtures with Italy’s leading lights on home soil and may struggle to match their much-hyped guests. Lazio have fallen out of the top four following a W2-D5-L2 streak across their most recent nine league outings and convincingly trail behind Juve in the majority of major performance data markers.

Recommended Bets

  • Mainz -0.5 Asian Handicap (1.74)
  • Juventus -0.5 Asian Handicap (1.91)