CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Serie A's early kick-offs on Wednesday evening.
Sassuolo vs Genoa | Wednesday 29th July 2020, 18:30
Roberto De Zerbi and his Sassuolo side welcome Genoa to the Mapei Stadium hoping to end a four-match winless streak. The Neroverdi took on Napoli in their last fixture and scored four goals, amazingly, all four were ruled out after VAR had had its input. Despite the disbelief at the time, all four were indeed ruled out correctly.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Sassuolo as they largely dominated Napoli but fell to a 2-0 loss. It was also the first away game they’d failed to find the net in since January (where they drew a blank against Sampdoria).
Genoa go into this one with the knowledge that three points will ensure them of a place in Italy’s top-flight next season.
Last time out, Il Grifone suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Antonio Conte’s Inter. Nevertheless, Davide Nicola’s side have been in relatively good form, winning three of their last five games and putting some distance between themselves and the drop zone at just the right time.
- Commit on average 13.6 fouls per game when playing at home.
- Receive on average 15 fouls per game when playing at home (third most).
- Have seen 2+ cards in 7/8 home games against sides in the bottom half.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 8/8 occasions.
- Have scored in 8/8 and scored 2+ in 7/8 home games against sides in the bottom half.
- Have conceded in 5/8 and conceded 2+ in 3/8 home games against sides In the bottom half.
- Commit on average 15.1 fouls per game when playing away.
- Receive on average 14.1 fouls per game when playing away.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 8/9 away games against sides in the top half.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 4/9 occasions.
- Have scored in 6/9 and scored 2+ in 3/9 away games against sides in the top half.
- Have conceded in 8/9 and conceded 2+ in 7/9 away games against sides in the top half.
- The last three meetings between these two sides have seen a total of 13 goals scored.
- Sassuolo are unbeaten in their last THREE games against Genoa at the Mapei Stadium.
- Genoa have won THREE of their last FIVE league games, as many as they had won in the previous 13 rounds.
My feeling with this one is that Genoa will give all they’ve got in an attempt to cause an upset, secure the victory and as a result, secure their survival but will fall short in what looks to be a potentially enthralling game in Modena.
When Sassuolo play teams in the bottom half at home, their opponents tend to pick up cards. In fact, every single bottom half opponent they’ve faced at the Mapei Stadium this season has seen a minimum of two.
With Sassuolo being the third-most fouled team when playing at home and Genoa committing a high number of fouls when playing away, I think referee Fabio Maresca is going to be jotting at least a couple of players into his book – probably more!
I think Sassuolo are going to do all they can to end this winless run and have far too much firepower for a Genoa side who are leaking on average over two goals per-game on the road this season.
With it looking likely to be one way traffic, I think Sassuolo might rack up the corners and as such I’m on two plays here. Firstly, Sassuolo to score 2+ goals is a great price on SkyBet (10/11) considering this has landed in 7/8 home matches against the other sides in the bottom half.
I’m also going for a longshot at an excellent price of Sassuolo to win, Sassuolo most corners, Genoa most cards at 7/1 (Betfair).
Verona vs Spal | Wednesday 29th July 2020, 18:30
Rock-bottom Spal travel to Veneto to take on a Verona side in their penultimate game of the season. The away side will be plying their trade in the second division next season and it’s largely due to the lack of firepower on their travels. They’re the lowest scorers in the league away, netting a measly 11 goals in 18 games.
Verona will be slightly frustrated given how well their season was panning out pre-lockdown. They were in eighth and in the mix for a European spot, but their poor form since the restart has seen them slip 14 points off of the pace. A top half finish must be the bare minimum and only Wednesday’s visitors have fared worse than them since returning.
- Commit on average 14.2 fouls per game when playing at home.
- Receive on average 12.8 fouls per game when playing at home.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 6/9 home games against sides in the bottom half.
- In those games the opposition have seen 2+ cards on 8/9 occasions.
- Have scored in 8/9 and scored 2+ in 5/9 home games against sides in the bottom half.
- Have conceded in 5/9 and conceded 2+ in 1/9 home games against sides in the bottom half.
- Commit on average 15.6 fouls per game when playing away.
- Receive on average 14.5 fouls per game when playing away.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 8/9 away games against sides in the top half.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 5/9 occasions.
- Have scored in 6/9 and scored 2+ in 1/9 away games against sides in the top half.
- Have conceded in 8/9 and conceded 2+ in 6/9 away games against sides in the top half.
- SPAL have ZERO wins in Serie A post-lockdown, Verona are the second worst with just TWO wins.
- SPAL have lost their last FOUR away games in the league, last losing FIVE on the bounce away from home at the beginning of the season.
- SPAL have won their last TWO league away games played in Veneto, after losing their previous SEVEN trips to the region.
- SPAL have conceded at least TWO goals in SIX of their last SEVEN away matches.
- Hellas Verona are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 matches against SPAL in all competitions.
Whilst it’s not much in the way of motivation, Ivan Jurić’s hosts are well in the race for a top half finish whilst their opponents have officially been relegated to playing in the second division next season.
It’s slightly disappointing given that before lockdown, Verona were eighth and just four points off of the top-six. However, finishing in the top half is a must for the side from Veneto and they will most likely have the upper-hand on a dismal SPAL side.
Marash Kumbulla has been one of the start players for Verona this season, and has been linked with a host of clubs in Serie A – most notably Lazio and Inter Milan. He, along with Alan Empereur and Amir Rhahmani, is out injured for this one and so it looks like Marco Faraoni and Miguel Veloso could be starting in the heart of the Verona defence.
No side has been worse since the restart than SPAL, failing to win a single game. In their last seven away, they’ve conceded at least twice on six occasions. With the home side having the only real motivation and opportunity to impact their respective season, you have to fancy the side from Veneto.
I like the look of a Bet Builder treble consisting of Verona to score two or more goals, Spal to score fewer than two and there to be under six goals in the match for both teams combined. It’s 21/20 (Bet365).
Verona have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 league games but given Spal have scored twice or more just once when playing away to sides in the top half this season and how Verona have conceded twice or more just once at home to sides in the bottom half, it’s a bet I’m happy to take.
Sassuolo vs Genoa – Sassuolo to score Over 1.5 Goals (10/11 SkyBet)
Sassuolo vs Genoa – Sassuolo to win, Sassuolo most corners, Genoa most cards (7/1 Betfair)
Verona vs Spal – Verona Over 1 Goal, Spal Under 1 Goal, Under 6 Goals (21/20 Bet365)