Having landed six of his last eight best bets, renowned football tipster Mark O'Haire returns with his weekend column.
3pts Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score in Sampdoria v Lazio at 19/20 (bet365)
1.5pts Bayern to beat Dortmund and Over 1.5 Goals at 19/20 (Marathon Bet)
0.5pt Tyrone Mings 1+ headed shot on target in Aston Villa v Leicester at 11/2 (Sky Bet)
Leicester’s dismal defensive numbers have been well documented this season.
The Foxes have recorded only two clean sheets across all competitions in 2021/22 – on the opening day against Wolves when Brendan Rodgers’ side were second-best, as well as against Millwall in the cup – and in the Premier League it’s now only three shutouts in 29 tussles.
Across Leicester’s last 10 league games, the Foxes have conceded twice or more on eight occasions, including Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw at Southampton.
Saints enjoyed plenty of success from set-pieces against Rodgers’ outfit and City have now shipped seven goals from dead-ball situations this term, giving up 0.39 Expected Goals (xG) from set-pieces per-game.
Those concerning figures should encourage Aston Villa to utilise dead-ball opportunities with John McGinn’s excellent delivery and Matty Cash’s long throws potentially providing Leicester’s rearguard with plenty of problems to solve.
The obvious candidate to cause havoc is towering centre-half Tyrone Mings.
The England international had three attempts at goal against Manchester City in midweek, as well as against Brighton a fortnight ago, highlighting his threat in the final-third.
I’m therefore happy to have an interest in MINGS TO HAVE 1+ HEADED SHOT ON-TARGET at 11/2 quotes with Sky Bet in Super Sunday’s standout showdown.
Two of my favourite teams for goals-based wagers meet in Serie A on Sunday and it’s difficult to dismiss 19/20 quotes on OVER 2.5 GOALS & BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE when Sampdoria welcome Lazio to the Marassi.
The duo have been prominent performers in the majority of goals-based markets this term and come into this contest with plenty to prove following disappointing midweek results.
Sampdoria were dismal in defeat at Fiorentina and will be keen to bounce back with their big city derby now just days away.
Meanwhile, Lazio inexplicably dropped points at home to Udinese on Thursday night with Maurizio Sarri’s side playing out a fabulous 4-4 draw that featured three red cards. Pressure is therefore on both squads this weekend.
Samp do tend to produce their best on home soil.
The Blucerchiati have bagged in 22 of their 27 Marassi matches going back to the beginning of last season, although Il Doria’s dodgy defence has managed to silence only four opponents during that same sequence. A huge 74% of those fixtures here in that same sample have produced Over 2.5 Goals profit.
More recently, Roberto D’Aversa’s outfit have seen three or more goals scored in 12 of their past 13, with eight Serie A showdowns breaking the Over 3.5 Goals barrier.
Sampdoria have found the back of the net in 11 of those 13 outings and will fancy their chances of extending that streak on Sunday with Lazio toiling on their travels.
The Biancocelesti were blown away by Napoli last weekend and have now shipped multiple goals in five of their seven away days, with Overs banking on five occasions.
Nevertheless, the capital club retain plenty of final-third threat in the squad and have gotten on the scoresheet in 11 of their 13 league dates when excluding the current top-two.
In fact, Lazio’s matches have produced the highest goals average in the division (even before Thursday night’s thriller) with a huge 3.87 goals per-game.
All bar four of those fixtures featured Over 2.5 Goals, with a significant 60% of their encounters rewarding Over 3.5 Goals backers, suggesting another high-scoring match-up could be on the cards.
Collectively, the pair have seen Over 2.5 land in 23/30 (77%) matches, and Over 3.5 click in 17/30 (57%), overwhelming figures that bring our OVER 2.5 GOALS & BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE wager into focus at odds just shy of evens.
Der Klassiker takes top billing in the Bundesliga on Saturday and I’m happy to side with the juggernaut that is Bayern Munich, despite the absence of influential midfielder Joshua Kimmich, as well as a series of off-field issues concerning unvaccinated players and commercial links with Qatar that have overshadowed the past couple of weeks in Bavaria.
Sure, Julian Nagelsmann's men have been far from flawless – suffering surprise defeats to Frankfurt and Augsburg, and were shredded by Gladbach in the cup - but FC Hollywood adore the big stage.
The red machine have beaten Dortmund in six successive meetings, and already smashed up Leipzig and Leverkusen in their toughest away days to date.
The league table may suggest FCB are only one point better than BVB but the reality is, there’s a huge gulf in class.
Expected Points (xP) ratings already have a huge 11-point difference between the two teams with Dortmund grossly overperforming according to all the underlying metrics, such as Expected Goals (xG).
Defensively, Marco Rose’s team rarely convince and Die Schwarzgelben boast a solitary Bundesliga shutout across their opening 13 outings.
Five of their six top-eight opponents thus far have scored at least twice against Dortmund, whilst Ajax were comfortably the better team in home and away match-ups with BVB in the Champions League.
Of course, Dortmund are protecting a 100% league home record at Signal Iduna Park, and also have Erling Haaland fit to lead the line.
However, Jude Bellingham is a major doubt in midfield and there’s little evidence to suggest the gap between the two big guns in Germany has closed enough to believe the hosts can keep Bayern at bay this weekend.
The visitors arrive fresh from a rare midweek off, have already guaranteed Champions League progression in top spot and can aim all their attention at Dortmund on Saturday, and I’d expect Nagelsmann’s troops to make their mark.
Backing Bayern to win appeals but we can take the attractive 19/20 on BAYERN TO WIN & OVER 1.5 GOALS.
Three of the last six fixtures saw the Bavarians pocket victory by two goals or more, with FCB scoring multiple goals against Dortmund in 13 of the past 15 renewals.
We’ll be paid out should the guests take top honours by any scoreline that’s not 1-0.
Odds correct at 08:00 GMT (26/11/21)
We are committed in our support of safer gambling.
Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.
If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.Further support and information can be found at begambleaware.org and gamblingtherapy.org.