Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with Germany and Italy taking centre-stage.
Back Bayern To Blitz Hoffe
Bayern Munich have been far from their all-conquering selves this season but the Bavarian powerhouse still find themselves seven points clear of the chasing pack at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Hansi Flick’s charges have churned out 13 victories from their 18 league outings, and I’m happy to support FC Hollywood enhancing their record again on Saturday.
The European champions shredded lowly Schalke last weekend and should have revenge in mind for the visit of Hoffenheim.
Go back to late September and Bayern were deservedly beaten 4-1 in the reverse encounter as the Bavarians’ high line was ruthlessly exposed and Hoffe’s high-pressing tactics caused endless problems for Flick’s outfit.
However, that fixture came just days after Bayern went 120 minutes against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup in Budapest. Clearly fatigued, the German giants were a million miles away from their usual high standards and were given plenty of grief by the domestic press in the aftermath.
The champions will be keen to set the record straight when reacquainting here.
Hoffenheim themselves have endured an inconsistent, and at times, an erratic campaign under Sebastian Hoeness.
The visitors’ head coach was previously Bayern’s reserve team boss, whilst his uncle Uli is the club’s former president, so there’s plenty of links between the two teams, making the matter of retribution and retaliation a top priority in the home camp.
The Sinsheim guests have posted back-to-back 3-0 victories over out-of-form Hertha Berlin and Koln in recent weeks to keep Hoeness in a job. But the way in which Hoffenheim toiled in a goalless draw with Bielefeld, plus their 4-0 thrashing by Schalke earlier in January, remains fresh in the memory.
TSG have suffered seven loses in eight outings against top-half teams, whilst only three sides have conceded more goals.
So should Bayern find anything close to top form, a comfortable home win should follow, and therefore the -1.75 Asian Handicap hurdle has to appeal at 1.77, knowing money is made should a two-goal triumph or better be achieved.
Roma Won’t Run Riot Over Verona
Roma continue to throw their hat in the ring as potential Scudetto contenders with an unconvincing 4-3 triumph over Spezia at the Stadio Olimpico the latest success for the Giallorossi. Paulo Fonseca’s men are perched six points adrift of the summit in third but attention surrounding the capital club remains focussed on off-field matters.
Star striker Edin Dzeko has been frozen out following a clash with Fonseca and the club captain’s future remains in the balance. The Roma boss refused to answer questions about the split with the Bosnian following the last-gasp Spezia success and the row continues to rumble on with the transfer window deadline looming.
To make matters worse, the Wolves have suffered injuries to fellow forwards Pedro and Henrikh Mkhitaryan with both considered doubtful for Sunday night’s contest with Verona.
The Giallorossi have thus far returned a perfect record against bottom-half teams but have tended to toil against the league’s elite and such key absentees won’t help their cause here.
So I’m happy to keep a resilient Hellas outfit onside with a +1 start on the Asian Handicap line at 1.76.
Roma have returned W1-D4-L3 against top-10 teams this term – their solitary success coming against 10th-placed Sampdoria – and Verona have a penchant for upsetting the big boys of Italian football under astute head coach Ivan Juric.
Last weekend the Gialloblu turned over Napoli 3-1, whilst the away side have already earned at least a share of the spoils when travelling to Milan, Atalanta, Juventus and Lazio in 2020/21.
In fact, Verona are yet to lose by a margin of two goals against any side above them in the Serie A standings and since the beginning of last season, Hellas have been beaten by two goals or more just once at top-half opposition.
Such fortitude makes the visitors worthy candidates to support as underdogs in this sort of scenario.
- Bayern Munich -1.75 – 3 units @ 1.77
- Hellas Verona +1.0 – 2 units @ 1.76