Chievo v Lazio – Marcantonio Bentegodi at 19:45 Live at BT Sport
Coming off the back of a wonderful season that saw them finish fourth in Serie A and runners-up in the Coppa Italia, Lazio will have a hard task to replicate their 2016/17 success this season but Simone Inzaghi’s side made an early statement of intent in the campaign’s curtain-raiser.
The Biancocelesti beat serial Scudetto champions Juventus 3-2 in a thrilling Super Cup clash a fortnight ago. Deservedly leading 2-0, the Eagles conceded two late goals before snatching victory in the dying embers of stoppage-time.
Understandably, Lazio entered the new Serie A season in buoyant mood and was widely expected to sweep newcomers SPAL aside in their opening encounter. However, despite dominating proceedings, Inzaghi’s charges weren’t able to make the breakthrough.
The Biancocelesti fired in 23 shots – 13 of which were on-target – but were forced to settle for a point. So they’ll be eager to bounce back to winning ways when they travel to Chievo on Sunday evening for their second league fixture.
Since promotion in 2008, Chievo has remained reasonably consistent in Serie A. The Flying Donkeys concluded their campaign in 14th last term but it could have been so much better had the club not signed-off early, winning a solitary game from their final 10 outings.
This summer, head coach Rolando Maran and the Chievo hierarchy have looked at strengthening the squad whilst bringing down the average age of an old squad that lacks pace, charisma and match-winning quality.
The Flying Donkeys have tended to compete well against the lower reaches of Serie A but struggled when taking on the leading lights. Maran’s beloved 4-3-1-2 leaves Chievo matches slow in tempo and often sees the underdogs come unstuck when posed with talented opposition forward lines.
Chievo did collect an unjust opening weekend win at Udinese but their poor performance against top-half teams on home soil suggests they could struggle on Sunday. Still, I feel there’s more value backing a goal-heavy game.
The betting angle
Chievo has suffered six defeats in their past eight when welcoming top-six clubs and they shipped at least three goals in six of their 10 contests when hosting top-half teams last term. Their only clean sheet in that 10-match sample came on the opening weekend against Inter Milan.
Nevertheless, the Flying Donkeys only failed to score once at home to the top-10 so I’d fancy the hosts to notch here. Considering Lazio outscored all of Serie A bar the top-three, the visitors should have more than enough in attacking areas to play their part in a high-scoring showdown.
Over 2.5 Goals has landed in 15/28 (54%) of Chievo’s clashes with top-half teams on home soil, as well as 12/19 (625) of Lazio’s away days under Inzaghi. Both trends make the available 2.10 on Over 2.5 Goals here an attractive proposition, well worthy of our support.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 Goals at 2.080
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