Mark O’Haire’s European Football Tips – Saturday
Inter’s Derby d’Italia draw with Juventus last weekend ended goalless – only the second in Serie A this season – but it was a very enjoyable 0-0 stalemate.
Palermo v Inter Milan, Saturday 24 October 2015, 19.45, BT Sport Europe
Played at a breathless pace, both side’s pressed but it was Juve who came closest to breaking the deadlock.
Roberto Mancini’s Inter started the weekend in second and needed to show they could do more than beat up the league’s lesser lights. Having won their first five games, Fiorentina thrashed Nerazzurri 4-1 at the San Siro before a draw against Sampdoria raised question marks.
The point has kept Inter just a point off the top ahead of Saturday night’s trip to Sicily and a date with Palermo. The Nerazzurri have been consistent in grinding out results on the road under Mancini (W8-D5-L4) and their W2-D1-L0 return in three away days this term will certainly have punters interested in even-money quotes on a fourth success as a Serie A guest.
Palermo are no walkover despite back-to-back losses on the island. Guiseppe Iachini’s moulded a hard working talent and sprinkled match-winners across his forwardline to make the Rosanero an intriguing team to follow in 2015/16. But their W3-D1-L4 record is far from inspiring and it’s worth noting the hosts have lost all four fixtures against sides in 12th and above.
I’m going to be bold and back Inter to win and Both Teams To Score at 3/1.
The stats make the straight win look a little under-priced but both teams have figured prominently in the BTTS markets.
Palermo have proved profitable in 16/23 (70%) of home matches and Inter following suit in 12/17 (71%) of away games under Mancini.
Five of Inter’s eight road successes under the former Manchester City boss have included Both Teams To Score winners whilst four of Palermo’s seven losses in Sicily since the start of last season saw the hosts score in defeat.
Inter Milan To Win and Both Teams To Score @ 3/1
Sevilla v Getafe, Saturday 24 October 2015, 19.30, Sky Sports 2
Eight games into the new La Liga season and Getafe are sitting ahead of Sevilla in the standings – who saw that coming? Didn’t think so.
Sevilla’s slow start has been irking Unai Emery in recent weeks but there has been signs a revival isn’t too far away. Sure, a 1-1 draw at Eibar last weekend won’t strike fear into their capital club visitors on Saturday night but Los Rojiblancos had plenty of penalty claims and arguably deserved more than just a point.
Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan form remains their solace. Although Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo have turned up and departed with maximum points, a convincing beating of Barcelona on home soil boosted confidence and belief in the ranks. The hosts have now W15-D5-L3 when welcoming La Liga opposition since the start of last season.
Fran Escriba arrived as the new Getafe coach in the summer after doing sterling work with Elche. Having lost their first three, the Deep Blues have W3-D1-L1 but nine of their 10 points accrued have come at their Madrid home. Getafe have long toiled on the road and their W4-D3-L16 efforts on their travels from their past 23 is pretty abysmal.
Sevilla should prove too strong and have a habit of starting games fast. Los Rojiblancos have led at both half-time and full-time 11/23 (48%) league matches in the past 12 months and that’s a return that tallies nicely with Getafe’s L-L rate of 13/23 (57%) in the same spell. Backing Sevilla-Sevilla in the HT/FT market is 3/4 this weekend.
Sevilla-Sevilla Half-time/Full-time @ 3/4
GFC Ajaccio v Nice, Saturday 24 October 2015, 19.00, BT Sport 2
I was delighted to see Nice impress European football fans live on TV last Sunday and we get another glimpse of Claude Puel’s troops on Saturday night as they head to Corsica for a clash against newly-promoted Gazalec.
Nice have now scored 24 goals in their nine fixtures – their best return since 1975 – and a huge 21 of those have come from open play. Puel’s men have won four on the spin, scoring at least three goals in each. Unsurprisingly, the visitors boast the most prolific attack in the league (despite playing a game fewer) and have Hatem Ben Arfa in the form of his life.
The visitors have W3-D2-L0 already on the road this season and whilst it’s tempting to include a Both Teams To Score angle, I’m going to play the straight Nice win at 23/20. Rennes, Bordeaux and Bastia are all of significantly higher quality than Gazalec and the Eagles have beaten all four by an aggregate 17-4 in recent weeks.
Gazalec have W0-D3-L2 on home soil this season but remain rooted to the bottom of the table and taken just a solitary point from a possible 24 against sides sitting in 16th and above since making their debut in France’s top-flight. Relegation looks pretty certain, even at this early stage with only two sides suffering demotion, and it should pay to oppose the home side on Saturday.
Nice To Win @ 23/20
*Prices correct at time of publication