Two out of three. Again.
Last week I Underestimated Hamburg against Schalke before landing both of my tips for Sunday, firstly Lyon – 1 at Metz, with the Ligue 1 outfit romping to a 5-0 win, before Lazio secured all three points in Udine.
This time I’m sticking to Sunday, sticking to the goal line markets, and starting where I left off, in Serie A.
Sassuolo vs Benevento – 14:00 KO
According to the price, the odds are stacked on this relegation battle being a high scoring affair, but I cant make too much sense of that. The pressure is on the home side, that’s for sure, with Benevento all but certain to drop straight back down into Serie B, and the hosts may well play with more caution than they usually would against a side with nothing to lose.
That said, there’s no escaping the fact that the visitors have been woeful on their travels, without as much as a point from 15 matches thus far. They’ve failed to score in ten of said outings, and only more than once up against sides that went all out attack, losing 6-2 and 5-2 to Roma and Lazio respectively.
As mentioned, given their close proximity to the drop this will be a nervy game for the hosts and as such there’s little chance of them opening up in the same fashion. Sassuolo, after all, are the league’s worst home side, winning just two of 15 games and only scoring more than once on one occasion. Given this is the league’s lowest home scorers (seven) vs the lowest away scorers (also seven) odds well in excess of even money on the unders goal line are far too high.
Schalke vs Dortmund – 14:30 KO
If the latest installment of the Revierderby is anything like the last we’re in for an absolute treat. Back in November Schalke came from 4-0 down at half time to draw 4-4 and there has been very little to separate these two sides in recent years – four consecutive draws – and indeed for much of the season.
This is a match with more than just bragging rights at stake after all, with the two rivals split by just one point in second and third respectively. Neither are guaranteed their current top four berth, with a defeat plunging one or the other right back into that particular scrap, but neither of these sides really do reserved football very well.
Both are hard runners and both possess players capable of breaking the lines in the final third, close to full strength in terms of starting XIs despite absences from both ranks.
Each of the last 11 league meetings between the two in Gelsenkirchen have seen both teams score, with no shortage of goalmouth action and drama. With 41 goals across said encounters averaging out at 3.73 per game, odds of 1.91 on over 2.5 looks a smart bet to me.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Monaco – 20:00 KO
I’m finishing off with a potential trophy procession at the Parc des Princes, where PSG will be hoping to do Monaco the indignity of winning back their title against the reigning champions on Sunday night. Another game backed to be an absolute goal fest, there are certain circumstances that I don’t think are being taken properly into account.
While the fact that a win would secure the title highlights the hosts’ dominance in Ligue 1 this season, it’s a pressure that can get to even the best of sides, as Manchester City showed last week, not to mention the Parisians as they required an injury time own goal to draw 1-1 at Saint-Etienne.
PSG have been short of their best for some time now, with a hectic schedule taking its toll on their prolificacy to an extent, not to mention fitness levels. Without as many as six regular starters this season under Unai Emery this weekend – with Neymar still the most notable among them – Monaco will be more than up for spoiling the party in Paris.
The visitors will have revenge on their mind too after a no show in the Coupe de la Ligue final between the sides last month, and while PSG have romped to victory in cup fixtures between the two in recent years, said matches have been outliers compared to their league meetings.
The odds are as high as 1.89 on under 3.5 goals this Sunday. That’s under 3.5! When you look back over the years, that’s an outcome that has copped in a whopping 21 of the last 24 league meetings between the sides, and provided there isn’t a goal in the very early exchanges, one that should come in again.
- Sassuolo vs Benevento Under 2.5 at 2.16
- Schalke vs Dortmund Over 2.5 at 1.91
- PSG v Monaco Under 3.5 at 1.89