GAVIN MURPHY (@GamePlanGavin) has dished up his best bet from Saturday’s football. It’s off to Serie A for him.
Sampdoria v Genoa | Saturday 17:00 | BT Sport 2
Italy’s fiercest derby takes centre stage this weekend as city rivals Genoa and Sampdoria clash at the Luigi Ferraris stadium, which both clubs share.
Derby della Lanterna, Italian for “derby of the lighthouse”, takes its name from the ancient landmark and main lighthouse in the city’s port.
The rivalry is fuelled by the fact that Genoa has a long history (as Italy’s oldest club) while Sampdoria is the country’s newest continuously operating club. In 94 meetings, Samp have the edge with 35 victories compared to 24 for Genoa.
A tight, atmospheric stadium ensures this will be an occasion like no other. The great Marcello Lippi calls this game ‘the most special in Italy’.
This term, the designated ‘away’ team Genoa have collected five red cards. That is the most in Italy’s top flight. Sampdoria have received two early baths so far. Both teams have 18 yellows in addition to the sendings off.
The past six meetings between these rivals have seen cards of 9-7-5-7-5-8 at an average of 6.80 per-match.
Initially, I was very disappointed to see that Paolo Tagliavento had been put in charge of this fixture. We lost all three tips on his last term. However, after deeper research, I am much more encouraged having spotted that the 44 year-old has covered this fixture previously.
In April 2010 he issued nine cards (six to Genoa and three to Samp) as Sampdoria won 1-0. More recently, in May 2011, he flashed 11 cards including a red to Genoa as the 10 men held on to win the derby 2-1.
Genoa typically collect the most cards of the two clubs (3.50 compared to 3.33 for Sampdoria). This referee also typically shows them more cards in his career (3.32 versus 3.11 for Samp).
I also note that in the two derbies he has covered before, Tagliavento showed them cards of seven and six.
If we add in that they are the away team and have the poorer disciplinary record of the two clubs it starts to paint a compelling picture. Therefore, I’m recommending backing Over 3 Genoa Cards at 19/20 with William Hill.
Genoa v Sampdoria – Over 3 Genoa Cards (19/20 William Hill)