MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) looks at the best bets from Italy’s top tier on Wednesday with eight games to pick from…
Roma v Cesena | Wednesday 19.45
It’s over a week since Roma were savaged in their Champions League clash by Bayern Munich in their own backyard but the capital club return to the scene for Wednesday night’s visit from Cesena.
Rudi Garcia’s men recovered to take a point away from Sampdoria in Saturday night’s 0-0 draw, failing to score the first time this season despite being far-and-away the better side on show. But it’s well worth investing your faith in a return to form for the Giallorossi at the Stadio Olimpico.
On their home patch, Roma have won 9/10 Serie A fixtures, been victors by a margin of two or more goals in 11/15 and are yet to concede in front of their own fans this campaign. Paddy Power have kindly give us 4/5 on a Roma win ‘to nil’ and that’s the bet here.
The Giallorossi have already shut six sides out in their eight Serie A matches this term and have also stopped Cesena from scoring in five of their last seven visits to the capital.
And the Bianconeri are unlikely to end that record this week. Pierpaolo Bisoli’s charges are winless since the opening day and have collected just one point on the road, scoring twice. It’s worth noting too that both goals came courtesy of penalties, only adding to the idea the visitors will do well to break down a resolute Roma backline.
Cagliari v AC Milan | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport 2
The Zdenek Zeman effect seems to have taken hold at Cagliari. The head coach, once described as being the epitome of ‘football porn’ for tactics and formations geeks, has overseen his side hit form just in time for the visit of Milan.
The Sardinians stunned Inter 4-1 in the San Siro, held high-flying Sampdoria 2-2 before smashing Empoli 4-0 on Saturday. In between was a 1-0 reverse at Verona but the Rossoblu are finding their feet and finding the back of the net too.
You have to go back to 1998 for Cagliari’s last league win over Milan (D5 L18 of the 23 Serie A meetings since) so we’ll steer well clear of finding an angle to be with the hosts. Instead, we simply must find a goals bet to get onside.
Coral give punters a hunky 7/4 on Over 1.5 Goals in the first-half, an excellent play considering it’s a bet that would have won in 6/8 Cagliari matches and 4/8 Milan matches since the start of the season. But a safer play would be to take the 8/11 with BetVictor that the showdown sees Over 2.5 Goals.
It’s a selection that would have won in 13/19 Cagliari home outings and 12/20 Milan away fixtures, with the Rossoneri also failing to keep a clean sheet in their last seven on their travels. Just get with the goals when these two teams meet.
Fiorentina v Udinese | Wednesday 19.45
Udinese delivered us a nice Sunday winner when dispatching Atalanta but I’ve got a sneaky suspicion their trip to Florence won’t be a classic. Therefore, the 5/6 quotes from BetVictor on Under 2.5 Goals should be considered.
Vincenzo Montella’s hosts have struggled to find their best form in 2014/15, playing out four draws in their last seven games. But it looks fairly clear where their problems are – attack. Four of Viola’s six goals this season have come from outside the penalty area!
Unable to penetrate opposition defences, seven of Fiorentina’s eight games have seen fewer than three goals. And crucially for this bet, seven of Udinese’s eight matches have also featured Under 2.5 Goals, making this an obvious bet to take.
Roma v Cesena – Roma win ‘to nil’ (4/5 Paddy Power)
Cagliari v Milan – Over 1.5 first-half goals (7/4 Coral)
Cagliari v Milan – Over 2.5 Goals (8/11 BetVictor)
Fiorentina v Udinese – Under 2.5 Goals (5/6 BetVictor)