Renowned football tipster Mark O'Haire returns with his nap, next best bet and longshot for this weekend's action.
3pts Both Teams To Score in Newcastle v Tottenham at 20/27 (MansionBet)
1.5pts Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals in Lazio v Inter Milan at 5/6 (Sky Bet)
0.5pts Ander Herrera to score at anytime in PSG vs Angers at 15/2 (Unibet)
Serie A remains the place to be for high-scoring showdowns across Europe’s major leagues with the opening seven rounds of action averaging 3.20 goals. A huge 67% of outings beat the Over 2.5 Goals line, with an eye-catching 44% of matches paying out for Over 3.5 Goals backers. Meanwhile, 60% of contests have seen both sides score.
I’m keen to explore the possibility of marrying up OVER 2.5 GOALS AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE at 5/6 (Sky Bet) when Lazio welcome Inter Milan to the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, one of the league’s standout matches this weekend.
Lazio and Inter are the top two teams for overall Expected Goals (xG) averages thus far, with their respective contests averaging 3.03 xG and 3.11 xG per-game. The duo have combined to hit the Over 2.5 Goals mark in 12 of their collective 14 encounters, 11 of which also landed BTTS pay-outs, immediately pointing us towards the goal markets.
Inter arrive in fine fettle. Simone Inzaghi has released the shackles following Antonio Conte’s stint and the Nerazzurri are playing an exciting brand of attacking football, leading the goalscoring charts with 22 strikes in seven games. The visitors have bagged multiple goals in all seven outings, generating 1.86 non-penalty expected goals (npxG) on average.
Inzaghi’s outfit are aided by the suspension of Lazio’s key defensive cog Francesco Acerbi here, while the hosts are also yet to keep their sheets clean during Maurizio Sarri’s reign, allowing two goals or more in four of their seven Serie A clashes. Fortunately, the capital club are expecting Ciro Immobile back for Saturday and boast plenty of firepower.
Lazio will be keen to make their mark having suffered a damaging 3-0 defeat at Bologna before the international break, and will be encouraged by the fact Inter themselves have failed to silence any of their domestic opponents since the opening day against Genoa.
A new era begins on Tyneside this Sunday as Newcastle prepare to face Tottenham in front of a sold-out St James’ Park. The Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of the Toon led to celebratory scenes outside the stadium and vociferous supporters should guarantee a fervent atmosphere as the Magpies return from the international break.
The future of manager Steve Bruce remains unclear, although he looks set to be in charge this weekend for his 1,000th game in management. The Newcastle chief has been boosted by the potential returns of key attacking personnel Callum Wilson and Joe Willock, and I’m anticipating an all-guns blazing approach from the home side here.
The Toon might still be winless in 2021/22 but Bruce’s boys have been an entertaining watch for neutral observers with games producing the third-highest Expected Goals (xG) average in the Premier League. The hosts boast the worst defence in terms of goals against yet have impressed in the final third, generating over 4.50 xG in their most recent three games.
Newcastle’s gung-ho approach has been in situ since late January with the Magpies scoring in 19 of their previous 24 Premier League encounters, delivering profitable Both Teams To Score returns in 18 (75%) of those fixtures, again highlighting the propensity for a goal-laden, end-to-end shootout at St James’.
Spurs supremo Nuno Espirito Santo isn’t accustomed to such contests, although the Portuguese coach will know he has the tools to take advantage if the match mirrors the fervent atmosphere in the stands. Both Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min have been excellent in transitions, while Harry Kane always enjoys games against Newcastle.
Tottenham have actually notched in 29 of their last 31 match-ups with the Magpies, and head north having recorded shutouts in only three of their past 17 road trips in the top-flight, further trends that point towards a potentially enjoyable watch with BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE appealing at 20/27 quotes with MansionBet.
PSG remain six points clear of the pack in Ligue 1 despite an unexpected reverse at Rennes before the international break. Les Parisiens had tabled eight successive league victories beforehand, plundering 22 goals in the process (scoring twice or more in all eight wins) with the loss arriving in the immediate aftermath of their vital Champions League success against Man City.
Mauricio Pochettino’s troops are back in action on Friday night against surprise package Angers, and the league leaders will be short of their South and Central American contingent. That means the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos will be missing, along with Sergio Ramos and Juan Bernat who remain on the comeback trail.
PSG should still be able to field a competitive XI with a sprinkling of world class quality across the park so it’s no surprise to see the home side still strong odds-on favourites to pick up maximum points. The market is expecting 2.35 goals for Les Parisiens and understandably forwards Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi take up a chunk of that market.
But ANDER HERRERA looks a little too big to ignore at 15/2 (Unibet) TO SCORE ANYTIME. The Spaniard has been afforded more freedom to get forward this season in a box-to-box midfield role, firing in multiple shots in three of his five appearances in this position during Ligue 1 action, and twice attempting efforts at goal in the Champions League.
The former Manchester United man has scored four goals in eight starts, yet the Bilbao-born midfielder is a bigger price to find the back of the net than 15 of his team-mates despite the bulk of those alternative options almost certainly being ruled out of contention.
Odds correct at 2100 BST (14/10/21)
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