Mark O'Haire
1 month ago - 6 minute read

Mark O’Haire – Sunday Funday On The Continent

Fresh from another weekend clean sweep, Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire shares his thoughts and favourite fancies from across the continent with Serie A and Ligue 1 taking centre-stage on Sunday.

Goal Glut Forecast In Rome

Goals continue to reign supreme in Serie A.

In 2019/20, Italy’s top-flight delivered 3.05 goals-per-game, as a hefty 63% of matches featured Over 2.5 Goals – that figure has since ballooned to 3.73 goals-per-game during the opening stanza this season, with a jaw-dropping 41% of all fixtures producing a minimum of five goals.

That’s madness!

Two chief protagonists in the high goals count clash in the capital on Sunday as Roma welcome Fiorentina to the Stadio Olimpico, and yes, I want to follow that tried-and-trusted formula of supporting a high-scoring showdown with a play on Over 3 Goals at 1.95.

Roma opened their account this term with a goalless draw against pragmatic Verona but the Giallorossi have since reverted to something more akin to themselves. Paolo Fonseca’s troops have crossed the Over 3.5 Goals whitewash in each of their following three Serie A fixtures with contests concluding in 2-2 and 3-3 draws, as well as a 5-2 thrashing.

Paolo Fonseca’s Roma side have been willing participants in goal fests of late!

Anybody that tuned into Monday night’s match-up with Milan will recognise this Roma side are a joy to follow in forward areas but lack the solidity to keep the back door locked.

In fact, the hosts have recorded just two shutouts in 21 Serie A outings at the Olimpico under their current coach – 76% of those encounters produced at least three goals.

Fiorentina have meandered in mid-table for far too long and the shadow of Maurizio Sarri looms over the Florence club as ailing boss Beppe Iachini struggles for consistency. However, La Viola are well capable of joining the goals party, evidenced by their most recent four outings that have finished 4-3, 1-2, 2-2 and 3-2.

Never a dull moment.

The Tuscans have tended to play their part in entertaining encounters on the road under Iachini too.

In 13 Serie A away days, nine have clicked for Over 2.5 Goals backers with the same figure also rewarding Both Teams To Score hunters, again suggesting they can make their mark in the Eternal City in a match packed with goalmouth action.

Montpellier Missing Many At St-Etienne

Montpellier were flying as high as third in Ligue 1 in September but their 4-0 thrashing at home to Reims last Sunday extended La Paillade’s winless streak to four (W0-D2-L2) and left Michel Der Zakarian’s men in mid-table. The reverse also came at a cost with both captain Hilton and fellow defender Damien Le Tallec sent off and now banned this weekend.

To make matters worse, goalkeeper Jonas Omlin limped off and Montpellier have a long list of further absentees for their contest with Saint-Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Saturday. Playmaker Teji Savanier remains suspended, whilst central defender Pedro Mendes tested positive for COVID in midweek, meaning he hasn’t travelled with the squad.

Despite a strong start to the season, Michel Der Zakarian’s Montpellier side have been in a bit of a freefall since!

Right wing-back Arnaud Souquet is unavailable, as is Serbian international midfielder Mihail Ristic. The suggestion from La Paillade’s camp is, 20-year-old Clement Vidal could be in line for his first start since December should Der Zakarian wish to stick to his preferred 3-4-1-2 system. Behind him, goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud will deputise between the sticks.

Truth be told, Saint-Etienne are far from their best right now and come into this clash having been beaten in each of their past four.

Claude Puel’s charges will not have a better opportunity to turn the tide, and that’s why I’m happy to support the hosts off a scratch 0 start knowing we’ll get our cash back should the match-up end all-square.

Montpellier have tabled a solitary success in 17 Ligue 1 games as guests going back to the beginning of last term and have overperformed against the underlying data during the opening weeks of this campaign, returning a negative process for Expected Goals (xG) and shots attempted from inside the penalty area.

It’s time for Sainte to make them pay.

Recommended Bets

  • Over 3 Goals in Roma v Fiorentina – 2 units @ 1.95
  • Sainte-Etienne +0.0 – 2 units @ 1.78