MARK O'HAIRE'S (@MarkOHaire) European NAP heads to Italy this weekend with goals on the agenda in Serie A.
Sampdoria v Lazio | Sunday 3rd December 2017, 19:45 | BT Sport
Sampdoria slipped to their third reverse of the Serie A season last Sunday when surprisingly going down 3-0 at Bologna. Head coach Marco Giampaolo refused to criticise his team’s attitude despite the defeat coming just a week after the Blucerchiati convincingly turned over defending champions Juventus.
Samp started poorly and were two goals down before coming out of their shells in the second period against Bologna. The Blucerchiati rallied after the interval, rattling the woodwork late on and winning the shout count 22-11 whilst enjoying 69% of the ball but in truth, never really looked like turning the tables.
Returning to the Marassi this weekend, Giampaolo will demand a response. The home side have won all six of their encounters as hosts this season, as well as the ‘away’ derby with Genoa, scoring at least three goals in each of their last four here.
Samp’s superb home performances
Home form has been the basis for Sampdoria’s best start to a Serie A season with their success formulating from a vibrant young midfield. Lucas Torreira, Karol Linetty and Dennis Praet have all earned rave reviews for their performances and although Linetty will be missing here, I’d still count on the hosts putting on an eye-catching show.
Il Doria always take a positive approach to matches at the Marassi and their enterprising, attacking football often pays dividends. Since the start of last season, Sampdoria have scored at least twice in 15/25 (60%) of fixtures here. However, Giampaolo’s yet to find the magic formula defensively with the Blucerchiati bagging only four clean sheets in the same sample.
Strong goal stats
Naturally, such stats lead towards high-scoring encounters. A huge 15/25 (60%) have featured Over 2.5 Goals winners and 17/25 (65%) games have produced goals at both ends and so backing a repeat when Lazio arrive on Sunday night at 17/20 (Coral) holds plenty of appeal.
Over 2.5 Goals has collected in seven of Sampdoria’s last eight games and 12 of their 15 fixtures this term, as well as each of Lazio’s previous 12 road trips and 20 of their last 22 in Serie A.
The visitors have scored in all bar four of their previous 26 away days, recording only five clean sheets and leading to 18/26 (69%) successful Both Teams To Score selections and 19/26 (73%) profitable over 2.5 Goals punts.
Collectively, the two teams have seen 35/51 (69%) of their respective home/away Serie A outings since the beginning of 2016/17 feature both sides scoring and 34/51 (67%) breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier with an average goals per-game tally of 3.19.
Sampdoria v Lazio – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (17/20 Coral)