MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the betting for Monday night’s rearranged game from Serie A as Sampdoria host Bologna.
Sampdoria v Bologna | Monday 19.45 | BT Sport
Heavy rain and storms forced the postponement of Sunday afternoon’s Sampdoria-Bologna battle in Italy but the two teams will try again on Monday night. The Stadio Luigi Ferraris was soaked to the core before kick-off and with bright sunshine and warm weather forecast, the game should have no problem going ahead in the rescheduled time slot.
Following Sampdoria’s dreadful showing in the Europa League qualifiers, many Italian football followers expected the Blucerchiati to struggle. Talismanic head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic hot-footed it to Milan in the summer and unheralded Walter Zenga was given the job to continue progress at the Marassi.
It’s too early to be handing out awards, medals and making judgements but Zenga silenced the critics with a four-point haul from Samp’s first two Serie A fixtures. A 5-2 thrashing of newly-promoted Carpi was impressive and the Blucerchiati showed plenty of courage and fight to battle from two goals down at Napoli to claim a point at the San Paolo before the international break.
The last time Sampdoria started a Serie A campaign with seven goals or more from their first two fixtures was way back in 1994/95 and the hosts will be eager to continue their strong record at their Marassi base on Monday night. The hosts have lost just twice in 20 league outings when entertaining Serie A opposition.
Zenga’s induced an attacking style of play into the team and with 11 goals across those Carpi and Napoli games, we’re well within our rights to expect more. As whilst the new coach thrills in the attacking third, his persistent ignorance to his side’s inadequacies at the other end of the pitch will always give the opposition a sniff.
Sampdoria will be without three defenders through injury, two of which are notable absentees in Lorenzo De Silvestri and Ervin Zukanovic. The Blucerchiati may boast a solid W6-D9-L1 record against Monday night’s opponents but with SUCH a defence on display, I can’t trust the home side at odds-on quotes.
Bologna are the strongest of the three promoted clubs but the Rossoblu lost their first two Serie A outings, 2-1 and 1-0 to Lazio and Sassuolo. Wily tactician Delio Rossi has found goals hard to come-by but with a front line consisting of the likes of Mattia Destro and Franco Brienza, I do expect the visitors to get amongst the goals sooner than later.
The Rossoblu have only attempted 10 shots so far – fewer than any other Serie A side – but they’ll be given space and opportunities by their attack-minded hosts. Defensive midfielder Franco Zuculini, defender Marios Oikonomou and new signing Matteo Brighi are all ruled out but two of their three deadline day arrivals could feature.
Saphir Taider and Emmanuele Giaccherini will bolster Bolgona’s threat from midfield areas and I do fancy the guests to play their part in a decent goal-hungry game. Both Teams To Score is a handy price at even-money with Betway (as short as 8/11 elsewhere) and is well worth a poke.
Five of Sampdoria’s late eight matches when entertaining promoted clubs have seen Over 3.5 Goals and with a talented strike partnership between Eder and Luis Muriel blooming alongside their backline woes, it’d be a surprise if this game didn’t follow the weekend trend for high-scoring Serie A encounters.
As well as the BTTS bet, I’ll throw in a speculative play on Sampdoria to win and Both Teams To Score. It’s a 10/3 shot with Coral and looks a much more attractive selection than investing faith in Zenga’s unorganised Blucerchiati at odds-on quotes.