THE European season continues its relentless quest for conclusion on Sunday and Jack Wright (@bet_shop_boys ) is on-hand to preview his favourite fancies.
Roma vs Fiorentina | Sunday 26th July 2020, 18:30 | Premier Sports
Roma are ending the season in style as they look to qualify for next seasons Europa League. Their 6-1 midweek dismantling of sorry Spal was a fourth triumph in five games with only an 88th minute Romelu Lukaku penalty depriving them of a win in the other.
Sitting fifth, the side from the capital hold just a two-point cushion over sixth-placed Milan and Napoli in seventh. With both those sides in equally good form, Paulo Fonseca’s side will be all out for a win here especially with a final day trip to champions-elect Juventus on the horizon.
Although Fiorentina bring a six-game unbeaten run to the Stadio Olimpico, they could provide the perfect opposition with their mid-table position meaning they are unable to challenge for a European qualification place but are also mathematically guaranteed another season of top-flight action next term.
There is a history of goals when these sides play each other, with their three meetings last year producing 17, including a 4-1 win for Roma in the reverse back in December.
Both teams scored at least one goal in all those games and the bookies make that a best price 6/10 to happen here too, with Over 2.5 available at 8/15 – however combining both eventualities happening is a much more tempting 5/6. The only thing persuading me not to put that forward is the Viola’s current form of four of their last five having featured two goals or fewer.
As eluded to above, I expect the Giallorossi to take this game to their opponents with plenty of action taking place in and around their opponents penalty area. You already know I’m thinking corners, don’t you!?
As regular readers of my articles for WLB will know, Roma have won far more corners at home than any other side in the league, with 153 for the season so far at an average of 8.50 per game. Taking a look to see what we can get from the bookies I was pleasantly surprised to see we could play the 7+ line at 4/5, a line they have covered in every one of their five behind closed doors home games since the restart and 13 of their 18 fixtures on home soil in total.
From their four league visits to the sides directly above their hosts on Sunday, Giuseppe Iachini’s visitors have conceded 7 (v Lazio), 9 (v Atalanta), 11 (v Inter) and 10 (v Juventus) – also facing 9 corners in a Coppa Italia fixture against Inter in the San Siro. Therefore, Roma winning 7+ corners is a confident selection at a best priced 5/6 with Sky Bet.
Juventus vs Sampdoria | Sunday 26th July 2020, 20:45 | Premier Sports
The Old Lady are making terribly hard work of crossing the line and collecting their ninth successive Scudetto; a midweek injury time 2-1 defeat to lowly Udinese surely only dragging out the inevitable.
A win here, something Juventus have only managed one of in their last five games (W1-D2-L2), against a Sampdoria side who are effectively safe, would officially crown Maurizio Sarri’s side as the campioni of Italy.
Although Claudio Ranieri’s guests will visit Turin in good heart after five wins from their last seven, they have lost 10 of their 17 road trips, and the league leaders are a formidable beast at their Allianz Stadium, with 47 points, the best points haul in Serie A, and 43 goals coming from their 17 home outings.
The Bianconeri have only allowed Atalanta (2-2) and AC Milan (0-0) to travel back home with any points winning every other game, so their record against the lesser lights is formidable.
All variants of Juve winning this one are at fairly prohibitive odds so once again I am looking to the player markets to find anything like half decent odds.
One man who has remained consistent as his side stumbled in recent weeks is Cristiano Ronaldo – I trotted out his incredible stats earlier in the week as we pinpointed a winning bet on him having 6+ shots in that aforementioned Udinese game.
I won’t repeat them all again but the headlines numbers being, 30 league goals for the season and counting, nine goals from nine post-lockdown league games. With the Portuguese superstar firing off 62 shots in those nine games the well-worn phrase “you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket” doesn’t have a better example.
This game is made for CR7 – scoring the title-clinching goal or goals is his forte, all that’s missing of course is his adoring Turin public – but he knows he will have a global audience watching on.
The 35-year old is just 4/7 to get back on the goal trail here, 2/1 to break the deadlock and only 8/1 to seal the championship with a hat-trick. So on that basis I am happy to revisit the Player Bets market and take Sky Bets offer of 5/6 for 7+ shots – he’s 4/1 to hit double figures as he did in his last home game against Lazio when he had 11!