OUR man in Italy, Marco Di Cosmo (@scioltz) looks to continue his hot streak by highlighting the best value bet in Wednesday night's crunch Coppa Italia semi-final clash between Rome rivals Lazio and Roma.
Lazio v Roma | Wednesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 3
There’s a glorious battle in the Coppa Italia to look forward to on Wednesday night as Lazio meet Roma – the Rome derby is among one of the fiercest rivalries of world football.
Roma will try to exact revenge on their neighbours after their defeat in the Coppa Italia final of 2013. That was probably the hardest moment of the Giallorossi under the current US ownership, but they’ve achieved top-three finishes during each of their following campaigns and are on course to do so agin.
Lazio, on the other hand, have not improved much since as the 2013 final was their last victory of the Biancocelesti in this fixture; they’ve failed to beat Roma in each of the last seven meetings. In 5 of those matches Lazio were beaten so there’s an evident supremacy in Roma’s favour.
Hard to resist in-form Roma
Looking at the match from a technical point of view, Roma’s dominance is little to debate. The Giallorossi are in tremendous form, coming from two stunning away victories: 3-1 at San Siro against Inter, and moreover 4-0 in Villarreal – a side that gave Real Madrid a major examination on Sunday.
Radja Nainggolan is in a glorious form having scored five goals in his last five appearances, in his new role that provides him to play both as a midfielder and a supporting striker.
Lazio’s questionable mentality
Lazio have proved to be a consistent team against smaller clubs, where they have rarely dropped points. But the opposite can be said when they take on the league’s leading lights.
The Biancocelesti still do not have a recipe for big matches; if you consider they’ve only won against Atalanta and Fiorentina so far.
The most critical part of their game is their mentality, which converts Lazio in a much more defensive-minded team than they usually are. I suspect that this could happen again here, and the inability to play mentally free could hamper their performances.
The betting angle
Lastly, I like to back Roma. The usual division of supporters has little effect since both sets of fans are protesting against the FA and will not fill their allocation For this reason there will be no difference at all between home and away and this is the reason why the difference in the odds for home advantage isn’t’ justified.
I’m backing Roma with a -0.25 (103/100 Marathon) start on the Asian Handicap market – it means I’ll be paid out should the Giallorossi win but if the game ends in a draw, I’ll only lose half of my stake.
Lazio v Roma – Roma -0.25 Asian Handicap (103/100 Marathon)