EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) runs the rule over Wednesday night's Serie A contest.
Bologna v Milan | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport
I was bed-bound for the majority of last week but managed to pen a piece previewing Bologna’s home match with Napoli for another site, suggesting the hosts looked decent Asian Handicap value with a +1.25 start…
I wish I could claim the virus I was suffering from was responsible for such a wrong selection. Bologna were obliterated 7-1 and if I’m honest, I’m still scratching my head at that scoreline – results like that just don’t happen in Serie A.
Both Bologna and Napoli were reduced to 10 men in a feisty first-half but it was men against boys for the majority of the match and Roberto Donadoni’s men must now pick themselves up for the challenge of Milan on Wednesday night.
Difficult to beat Bologna
In fairness, the 13th-placed Rossoblu entered the weekend in decent nick having taken seven points from a possible nine since a defeat at Juventus following the winter break. Defensive midfielder Blerim Dzemaili was back from suspension but Emil Krafth and Federico Viviani were both banned and absent.
Arriving at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on Saturday, Bologna had suffered only 8/24 (33%) home defeats under Donadoni with only one of those losses arriving by a margin of two goals or more. Fifteen of their previous 17 games as hosts had featuring no more than two goals as the Rossoblu had leaked just 11 times across that sample.
So I’m sure you can probably see why I’m still so befuddled by the events that occurred in northern Italy.
Asian Handicap attack
Enough with the moping then and as glutton for punishment, I’m back to attack Bologna in the Asian Handicap market here with 888 offering a too-kind-to-ignore 42/41 on the hosts with a +0.25 start.
This selection will see us make money should Bologna avoid defeat – a half-stakes profit made if the match ends all-square and a full-stakes pay-out should the Rossoblu pocket maximum points.
Bologna’s home record this term reads W5-D2-L4, they’ve conceded two or more goals just twice in 18 at the Renato Dall'Ara, had kept four clean sheets in six before the Napoli drubbing and Donadoni welcomes back Krafth and Viviani from suspension.
Adam Masina is banned now and goalkeeper Antonio Mirante is suffering from a ‘buttock’ injury but even so, I’m more to support the hosts picking up a positive result against a Milan side that’s starting to fall away from their early season overachievement.
The Rossoneri have W1-D2-L4 since early September, managing only five goals in that recent sample. Vincenzo Montella’s side have suffered three successive defeats – against Sampdoria, Udinese and Napoli – and look overrated in trading a pinch above even-money.
Milan might have Davide Calabria back, allowing Juraj Kucka to move out of defence, but their backline is stretched by injuries and the forwards aren’t functioning. The visitors are now out of the Champions League race and haven’t kept a clean sheet on their travels since September.
Bologna aren’t pretty and they never fare well in the performance data metrics but you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be organised, resolute and functional. The Rossoblu should show enough grit and determination to right Saturday’s wrong to avoid back-to-back homed defeats and are worth supporting at odds-against.
Bologna v Milan – Bologna +0.25 Asian Handicap (42/41 888)