HE'S picked seven winning European bets in 11 weeks this season so who's getting the thumbs-up from Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) this weekend?
Sassuolo v Atalanta | Saturday 17.00
Sassuolo are the side to follow in Italy. The team from a town half the size of Stevenage are in just their second season of Serie A football but continue to make an impression. Just two wins from 10 league fixtures might not make fascinating reading on paper, and nor will their current position of 14th, but they’ve been dealt a tough fixture list and there’s some serious signs of promise from their youthful squad.
After being held by Cagliari on the opening day, Sassuolo then faced Inter, Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Napoli, Lazio and Juventus – now that’s a daunting set of games. But Sass managed to hold Juventus before beating Parma in the derby and are now unbeaten in four.
Eusebio Di Franceso, the Sassuolo coach, has a talented crop of youngsters at his disposal. Defender Francesco Acerbi is the latest to be linked with an international call-up whilst Sergio Floccari and Domenico Berradi continue to impress. And star striker an Azzurri forward Simone Zaza is very close to returning from injury too.
This Saturday they welcome Atalanta and the home side look a gorgeous price at 5/4 with Ladbrokes to bag all three points. Atalanta have endured a torrid start to the season, winning just twice and failing to score in seven of their 10 games, including 4/5 on the road (losing 3/5 away). And dating back to the start of last season, the Goddess have ended up on the losing side in 16/24 (66%) of their travels.
Sassuolo also did the double over Atalanta last season, winning both fixtures 2-0. I'm siding with the home side at a delicious 5/4 with Ladbrokes.
Sassuolo v Atalanta – Sassuolo to win (5/4 Ladbrokes)