EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) is heading to Serie A on Sunday for his latest and greatest best bet from the continent.
Parma v Frosinone | Sunday 4th November 2018, 14:00
Parma are back on the up in Italian football after the doom and gloom of bankruptcy and near extinction over the past 15 years. After their second rebirth in the space of a decade, one of the continent’s most recognised clubs achieved a third successive promotion and a romantic return to Serie A for this season.
Led by Roberto D'Aversa, the Gialloblu have made a positive start to life back in the top-flight. The Crociati are nestled comfortably in to mid-table having returned W4-D1-L5 from their opening 10 tussles, including an eye-catching triumph against Inter Milan and spirited effort against Juventus.
However, heavy back-to-back defeats against Lazio and Atalanta have stalled progress and Parma will be looking at Sunday’s match-up with fellow newly-promoted club Frosinone at their Stadio Ennio Tardini as a great chance to get back on track in Serie A.
Frosinone finding their feet
A controversial refereeing decision in their promotion play-off with Palermo aided Frosinone in returning to Serie A for the first time in four years, and there’s little reason to think they won’t be in for a devilishly difficult relegation scrap after the Canaries start saw them pick up one point from their first 10 fixtures.
Last season, Moreno Longo’s men were built upon a reasonably defensive structure, as they conceded just 47 goals across their 42 games. That was due in part to the performances 23-year-old defender Luka Kranjc, as 65% of their away days featured fewer than three goals.
However, the Canaries attempted approach to life in the top-tier was to rinse and repeat, and Frosinone’s defence has quickly been found out. The visitors shipped 16 goals in their opening six matches, failing to score in each and so something had to be done to rectify the situation.
Credit to Longo, who’s adapted the system from 5-3-2 to a 3-4-3 and Frosinone have been reaping the rewards. Sure, they’re still haemorrhaging goals – but they’re also now scoring plenty, notching nine in their past four fixtures since the formation was switched.
Goals on the weekend agenda
Last time out, Frosinone romped to a 3-0 victory at Spal and, like Parma, they’ll be targeting three points on Sunday night. So I’m hopeful the two newcomers will engage in a relatively open and exciting showdown and therefore I’m happy to support Both Teams To Score at 13/15 (10BET).
The visitors have tabled at least four on-target attempts in each of their past four games since their tactical tweaks, averaging 1.47 Expected Goals in that time. With Parma giving up 1.07 Expected Goals per-game from open play, and Parma have facing more shots than any other team in Europe's top five leagues,
I expect the adventurous Canaries to have some joy in the final-third.
Collectively, the duo have seen 12/20 (60%) Serie A games feature three or more goals this season with a goals per-game average standing at 2.85. The pair also combine for a very strong 3.22 Expected Goals average per-game, suggesting we could be in for a high-scoring duel.
Parma v Frosinone – Both Teams To Score (13/15 10BET)