MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) moves back to Serie A for this best continental bet this weekend with Sunday’s ferocious Rome derby taking centre-stage.
Roma v Lazio | Sunday 14.00 | BT Sport Europe
Roma hold a 49-36 advantage of Lazio in the fiercely-contested Derby della Capitale and the Giallorossi have finished above their hated rivals in all bar two of the last 12 Serie A seasons. The last five head-to-heads have a W2-D3-L0 advantage in the Wolves’ favour but the Eagles did win the most important of recent battles – the Coppa Italia final in 2013.
As well as know, form often goes out that open window when it comes to derby matches and that should again be the case in the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon. With both clubs harbouring realistic title ambitions this season and coming into this clash off the back of league losses last weekend, the stakes are incredibly high.
In midweek, Roma sneaked a late 3-2 win thanks to Miralem Pjanic’s penalty but the Bosnian is banned on Sunday. With Maicon and Alessandro Florenzi both struggling, Rudi Garcia may need to bring in a few reinforcements.
Lazio have had a day less rest but did leave out most of their big-hitters in Thursday night’s 2-0 Europa League victory in Rosenborg. Filip Djordjevic’s early brace gave the Biancocelesti a comfortable three points and now Stefano Pioli’s men have set their sights on upsetting the odds this weekend.
Injuries are preventing me from punting Roma despite their excellent recent run, especially at home in Serie A (W4-D1-L0) whilst goals are just a little too skinny for a derby contest despite the obvious claims – Lazio have scored in their last seven Serie A fixtures and seen Over 2.5 Goals in 32/49 (65%) of their league matches under Piolo.
Roma’s last seven at the Olimpico have featured at least three goals with Both Teams To Score also banking in each of those games. But as suggested, prices are a little too prohibitive to take on this weekend.
So what do you do? Easy. You back a red card at 10/7 with 888 – that’s 2.43 in decimals. This fixture has a reputation for boiling over and although there’s been no dismissal in the past three encounters, last season’s showdowns saw a total of 16 yellow cards dished out.
Indeed, over the past eight campaigns, these two have met in the league on 16 occasions and 14 players have been sent off. The 2014/15 fixtures were the only season in which neither derby saw a red card so we must be due one, eh?
And if you need any more reassurance, just take a quick peek at the expected XIs – they’re full of hot-heads who could well lose their cool in the heat of battle. Fireworks night may be long gone but I believe we’re well within our right to expect plenty at 2pm on Sunday in the Eternal City.
Roma v Lazio – A red card to be shown (10/7 888)
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