European Best Bets: Cards and corners take centre-stage in Serie A


THE European season continues its relentless quest for conclusion on Wednesday night and Jack Wright (@bet_shop_boys ) is on-hand to preview his favourite two fancies from Serie A.

Inter Milan vs Sassuolo | Wednesday 24th June 2020, 18:00 | Premier Sports

After Juventus claimed all three points from their trip to Bologna on Monday night it is crucial for third-placed Inter to close the gap on the leaders back to six points with a victory of their own as they host mid-table Sassuolo.

These sides had contrasting fortunes in their return to league action with the Nerazzurri defeating Sampdoria 2-1 while the Neroverdi conceded three first half goals in a 4-1 thumping loss at Atalanta with an injury time goal from Mehdi Bourabia scant consolation.

Antonio Conte has already warned against complacency, stating Inter need to have the right spirit and the right determination to ensure coming away with a positive result. That was music to my ears and confirmed my thoughts of playing the card market in this fixture.

I am expecting Roberto De Zerbi to have demanded a response from his visitors following that aforementioned heavy defeat which is likely to mean adding significantly to their current collection of 40 yellow and two red cards from 13 away games at 3.23 cards per-game. Meanwhile, Inter games at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza have seen 5.14 cards per-game on average.

Davide Massa is the man in charge and has handed out an average of 6.15 cards in Serie A, flashing his red card on no fewer than six occasions from those 13 games – the last time he officiated a game featuring one of these teams he carded six players as Sassuolo defeated Torino. In their first league games back Inter saw six cards and Sassuolo saw seven.

I have been asked if there is a negative impact on the number of cards being shown with games being played behind closed doors, but the small sample size we have to go on has seen card numbers actually increase.

My thoughts are that referees are more inclined to card home players with no fear of angering thousands of home fans, and also with five substitutions now being allowed a manager can take off half his outfield players so that gives far more freedom to tactical fouling safe in the knowledge a player on a yellow is likely to be able to be replaced.

Taking all that into consideration I am happy to play there being 60+ Booking Points in this game at 1/1 with Sky Bet.

Roma v Sampdoria | Wednesday 24th June 2020, 20:45 | Premier Sports

I am keeping this one brief – it is very simple!

The corner market is one that can raise scepticism amongst bettors – but one thing is for sure, every game has them, it’s a case of who gets them and how many…

For some while now I have consistently backed Roma to win corners and they very rarely let me down, at this moment in time there seems to be no reason to change that philosophy. The Giallorossi top the Serie A averages for home corners won, winning an impressive 110 from their 13 fixtures so far, racking up double figures in games against Napoli (10), Brescia (17), Torino (14) and Juventus (13).

Sampdoria, who we mentioned in the preview above, are Wednesday night's visitors to the Italian capital and have conceded 72 flag kicks from their 12 road trips, at exactly 6.00 per-game.

The reverse fixture back in October, ended goalless but with Paulo Fonseca’s Roma team having nine corner kicks, and the last time these two met here at the Stadio Olimpico Roma triumphed 4-1 and also won seven flag kicks.

Although this is the home sides first game back in action, I am confidently taking them to once again have 7+ Corners which is also available at even-money with Sky Bet.

Best Bets

Inter Milan v Sassuolo – 60+ Total Booking Points (1/1 Sky Bet)

Roma v Sampdoria – 7+ Roma Corners (1/1 Sky Bet)

About Author

Having had a passion for football for as long as I can remember – I’m talking Shoot League Ladders here – one of my first “bets” is still my biggest win. After begging my mum to let me fill in her pools coupon so I could show off my knowledge, eight draws later and a cheque for £11,500 was soon in the post. As a Norwich fan it’s important to have a good grasp of what’s going on in the lower leagues and I also like exploring those less popular leagues to have a delve into any stats-based markets that are available. Right now, I’m particularly enjoying player bets. Outside of sport, I love eating and drinking - maybe a little too much - as well as listening to a varied spectrum of music, both from the comfort of my own home and at festivals.

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