Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with Serie A taking centre-stage on Sunday.
Goals Forecast In Turin
Two of Serie A’s great entertainers lock horns on Sunday morning as Torino take on Bologna.
The duo are each scrapping around the lower reaches of Italy’s top-flight with respective head coaches Marco Giampaolo and Sinisa Mihajlovic both feeling the heat following inadequate starts to the 2020/21 campaign.
At the time of writing, Torino’s result at Roma is unknown but Giampaolo had promised drastic changes to his team as he bids to save his job. The Granata travelled to the capital in 19th, only off the bottom due to goal difference, and boasting the division’s worst defensive record.
In eight of 11 outings, the Turin outfit have conceded two goals or more.
Nevertheless, Torino’s tussles have been watchable, entertaining affairs for the neutral.
With the attacking quality within the ranks, plus Giampaolo’s preference for front-foot ball, matches involving the Granata have produced a whopping 4.18 goals-per-game with Sunday’s hosts striking twice or more themselves on eight occasions.
We’ve had two 4-2s, two 3-2s, a 4-3, a 3-3 and a 2-2 already this term and a repeat is a live possibility when Bologna pitch up.
The visitors burgled a 2-2 draw at Spezia in midweek and have conceded goals in 44 of their past 45 Serie A contests. Regardless, the Rossoblu pack a punch of their own in the final third and that’s led to a glut of high-scoring showdowns.
Going back to the beginning of 2019/20, Bologna have been involved in 17/25 (68%) away games that have featured Over 2.5 Goals with 11 (44%) breaking the Over 3.5 Goals barrier, so backing the 1.82 available on Over 2.75 Goals here looks just the ticket, knowing we’ll make money should a minimum of three goals be plundered at the Stadio Olimpico.
Collectively, the pair have seen this angle provide profit in 17/23 (74%) of their combined Serie A fixtures, with the same figure landing in the Both Teams To Score column this term.
A hunky 13 (54%) of those ties beat the Over 3.5 Goals line, whilst the duo have managed a grand total of two shutouts between them, suggesting a shootout could be on the cards.
Capital Punishment For Understrength Napoli
Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso was frustrated following Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss to Inter Milan at the San Siro. The former Azzurri terrier said post-match, “If we judge the overall match, then obviously Napoli deserved the points more, but you have to score goals”, and he wasn’t wrong. The Partenopei had their opportunities to pick up a share of the spoils.
The visitors had 14 shots from inside the penalty area against Inter, created five big chances and generated 3.02 Expected Goals (xG). However, the game came at a cost for Napoli who saw leading marksman Dries Mertens pick up a serious-looking ankle injury in the first half, and Lorenzo Insigne needlessly sent off for abusing the referee in the second period.
With key summer signing Victor Osmihen out of action until January, Gattuso will now be without his three leading forwards for a trip to the capital on Sunday night.
Chuck in the 24-hours rest disadvantage that the Partenopei have against their hosts, and it’s easy to see why the market is slowly shifting away from Napoli with interest understandably cooling.
I’m keen to jump on Lazio with a +0.25 start at 1.79 with the all the above as worthy evidence for opposing the guests.
Admittedly, the Biancocelesti have been a bit of a rabble from a defensive aspect this season but it’s hard to dismiss the capital club’s ability to raise themselves for their toughest tests under the expert tutelage of Simeone Inzaghi.
Sure, Lazio have recorded their worst start of the Inzaghi era at this stage of a campaign but it’s been clear that the Aquile’s eyes have been set on Champions League progression, which was achieved. In doing so, Dortmund were downed at the Stadio Olimpico, whilst both Inter and Juventus have been held to stalemates in Rome already this term.
Coppa Italia champions in 2019, Lazio toppled Inter, Juve and Napoli here last season, and picked up a point when entertaining Milan.
So knowing we’ll make money should the home side avoid defeat at the Stadio Olimpico certainly appeals at the prices.
Regardless of performance levels, Napoli have tended to toil when travelling to Serie A’s elite over the past 18 months.
The visitors picked up a solitary point from six trips to the top-six in 2019/20 and already this campaign they’ve been beaten in all four fixtures with top-five opposition.
Without their game-changers, it could be tough in the capital.
- Over 2.75 Goals in Torino vs Bologna – 3 units @ 1.82
- Lazio +0.25 – 2 units @ 1.79