MARK O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) European NAP centres on AC Milan’s clash with Cagliari on Saturday night in Serie A. Will you be following him in?
AC Milan v Cagliari | Saturday 19.45 | BT Sport 1
Cagliari, I salute you! Ten days ago the Sardinians sacked Gianfranco Zola and reappointed punters best friend Zdenek Zeman to help aid their fight against Serie A relegation. Sure, it was harsh on Zola but having taken eight points from an available 30 under his watch, the Rossoblu just weren’t getting the results to keep their top-flight status.
Zeman was brought in to revolutionise the club in June but was booted out by December after a run of one win in 12. So we’re back to square one and the Cagliari hierarchy now claim the Czech-born boss will be in charge next season too, even if he’s unable to save the Islanders from relegation.
But on first impressions, his return to the dugout gave the Rossoblu a boost. A cruel late-equaliser from Empoli denied Cagliari all three points last weekend but with Paul-Jose M'Poku and João Pedro stepping up, the Sardinians certainly have the tools to trouble opposition defences.
The 1-1 draw with Empoli was a fine example of how Zeman’s teams operate. Both teams traded numerous goalscoring opportunities with the all-out attacking approach from the veteran coach normally reaping plenty of goals at both ends. And that’s exactly what I’m looking to profit from this weekend as Cagliari make the journey to Milan.
More pressure was heaped on AC boss Pipo Inzaghi as his Rossoneri side squandered a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 late on at Fiorentina on Monday night. Milan have now dropped 21 points from leading positions and are 10 points adrift of a European qualifying place having won just eight of their 27 Serie A starts.
With little confidence in the hosts securing maximum points, the best option is most definitely taking the 3/4 from Ladbrokes on Both Teams To Score. For those who like a slice of value, we’re getting dollops full from this selection as the real price (from my maths) should be closer to 1/2!
Firstly, the Rossoneri can only boast 6/27 clean sheets in league action this season but have managed to net themselves in 21 of their 27 matches. It’s no surprise then that 17/27 (63%) of Inzaghi’s charges’ fixtures have returned winners in the BTTS column.
Visitors Cagliari have kept just two shutouts in their 27 Serie A showdowns but have scored in 20 of those games, leading to a whopping 19/27 (70%) Both Teams To Score payouts.
If we put the two teams’ BTTS records together and find the average, we should see a 66.5% probability of Both Teams To Score landing again, which is the equivalent of about a 1/2 shot. So with the 3/4 from Ladbrokes dangling in our direction, it would be foolish to ignore such a gift and that’s why it’s my European NAP this weekend.
AC Milan v Cagliari – Both Teams To Score (3/4 Ladbrokes)
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