Having tipped the favourites for the Italian Serie A title and relegation races, one went in search of a long-priced betting option for punters seeking a long-term interest in the prestigious football competition that starts this week.
Since Italian Serie B introduced play-offs to determine its final promotion spot there have been six Italian Serie A seasons and the team that has conceded the highest number of goals has never finished higher than 17th on the ladder. So, naturally, one should be trawling through the relegation contenders for a bet in this term’s exotic market.
Cesena, therefore, is an obvious side with which to start but it conceded just 35 goals in its 42 games during the last Italian Serie B regular season. One fancies Cesena to be relegated from Italian Serie A but one is not convinced that it represents value in the most-goals-conceded market at odds of +300 with 888sport and Unibet. One believes that there is much better value on offer to speculative punters.
Available at odds of +3900 with 888sport and Unibet, Verona is the overpriced side to be Italian Serie A’s most porous team. Why? Well, Verona may have finished last term in 10th place but it was indebted to its early results – perhaps when some of its opponents did paid insufficient respect to the promoted side – for ending up away from the drop zone and it was horribly reliant on veteran striker Luca Toni.
Verona made an excellent start to life back among Italy’s big boys, beating Milan thanks to a Toni brace, one of its seven victories in the first 11 round of Italian Serie A matches. Verona’s home form was outstanding until it lost 0-1 to city rival Chievo, although it did bounce back to make it eight wins from its opening nine home matches. But Verona’s home numbers after the winter break were terrible, totalling two wins, three draws and five losses. It would be fair to say that Verona’s pre-Christmas home schedule was soft and that it was flattered by its early results.
One expects Verona to slide down the Italian Serie A ladder this season. Verona conceded 68 Italian Serie A goals last term – only 17th-placed Sassuolo and bottom-of-the-table Livorno leaked more goals – and that was in spite of Andrea Mandorlini’s winning 16 games. Verona kept just seven clean sheets – five at home and two on the road – and it copped several hidings towards the end of the season, including a 3-5 home loss to Fiorentina, a 1-5 away loss to Napoli and a 0-5 away loss to Sampdoria. As one wrote earlier this piece, it was a good job that Verona started off well, otherwise it would have been fighting for its Italian Serie A survival.
As last term’s Italian Serie A survivor that conceded the highest number of goals, Sassuolo will be a popular bet at odds of +450 with 888sport and Unibet but it has made some signings that should improve its defence. In one’s opinion, Sassuolo is the right odds, whereas Verona is overpriced.
One would have been tempted to propose Cagliari because its manager, Zdenek Zeman, believes in trying to win matches 10-9 instead of 1-0 but 888sport and Unibet are aware of the Zeman factor and they are quoting his team at odds of +325 .
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