MARK O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) Sunday European column has proved fruitful in recent weeks. Can he bag us a few more winners this weekend?
Chievo v Sassuolo | Sunday 14.00
Struggling Chievo sacked Eugenio Corini a fortnight ago but new boss Rolando Maran was unable to stop the rot as the Flying Donkeys fell to back-to-back defeats on Sunday and Wednesday.
The Verona outfit have now lost seven of their nine Serie A outings this season, collecting just four points from a possible 27 on offer, having been swept aside by Genoa and Palermo. But former Catania head coach Maran remains bullish at the prospect of dragging Chievo away from the drop-zone.
The 51-year-old spent nine years as a player at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi and will know a positive performance at home to Sassuolo on Sunday is required from his new team. But rather than focus on finding a bet on either side, the 1/1 on offer from Coral that Both Teams Score can’t be ignored.
As hosts, Chievo have taken just one point from four in front of their home fans but they have managed to net in three of those matches, only failing to score against table-topping Juventus. That’s led to the Both Teams To Score bet landing in three of their four home fixtures, which tallies nicely with Sassuolo’s penchant for goals.
The visitors have hit nine in their past four games with all four seeing both sides getting on the scoresheet. What’s more, Sass have managed to leak 11 goals in their four on the road so far this season, an encouraging trend for punters looking for a high-scoring encounter.
Paderborn v Hertha Berlin | Sunday 16.30 | BT Sport 1
The story of the season in the Bundesliga has to be tiny Paderborn’s outstanding start to life in Germany’s top tier. Yes, Dortmund’s struggles have hogged the headlines but Paderborn’s rise has to be admired.
The ‘city’ with the same population as King’s Lynn and Braintree have lost just three of their first nine games since winning promotion to the big-time for the first time in their history. And the newcomers look overpriced at 17/10 in the Race To 2 Goals market with Ladbrokes for their meeting with Hertha Berlin.
Paderborn sit comfortably in mid-table despite being handed a difficult fixture list. Paderborn's only defeats in the Bundesliga have come against top-four sides and they’ve already played eight teams in 11th and above, yet managed to net at least twice in five of their nine outings overall. That figure includes three two-goal hauls in front of their home fans.
Capital club Hertha can only boast one clean sheet to their name in 2014/15 as they search for some sort of consistency. Jos Luhukay’s team tend to their best work on home soil and have struggled on their travels – taking just a point from 12 on offer and conceded at least twice in three of those four games.
Go back further and Hertha haven’t won in 10 road games in Germany’s top-flight and were even dumped out of the DFB Pokal in midweek at third-tier Arminia Bielefeld. The visitors are also struggling with injuries and so siding with an electric, all-action and attacking home side in the Race To 2 Goals looks a shrewd call at 17/10 with Ladbrokes.