Spal v Parma – Stadio Paolo Mazza at 14:00 GMT+1
Spal head coach Leonardo Semplici admitted his team have “lost some of the balance we had last season” after seeing a deflected goal change the game with all-conquering Juventus last weekend. The Biancazzurri were undone either side of half-time in Turin, going down 2-0 against the defending champions.
Defeat left Semplici’s side only off the bottom of the Serie A standings on goal difference with five defeats from their first six outings. It’s been a tough opening schedule for the Ferrara club, although they could easily have been beaten by more against Juve if it wasn’t for the heroics of goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
Semplici said, “Obviously, we need to improve, but many of these players are in their first Serie A campaign. We are struggling a little on counter-attacks and have lost some of the balance we had last season, but we are working on it and need a little patience.” Spal will hope for a response on Saturday against Parma.
Near neighbours Parma left it late on Monday night but super-sub Roberto Inglese notched a winner with two minutes to play to seal a 3-2 success against Torino. It was the Ducali’s second successive victory to move Roberto D’Aversa’s outfit into the top half of the early Serie A table.
Goals fancied for the derby
Spal have struggled to re-find last term’s form. The hosts occupy a bottom-two berth for Expected Goals (xG), xG from open play and shots in the box ratio across the opening six rounds of action, although the Biancazzurri have already had to face Juventus, Lazio and Atalanta.
Unsurprisingly, Semplici’s men rank rock-bottom for opportunities conceded and that should encourage a Parma team that’s results reflect their general dominance in the early exchanges. However, the Ducali have tasted top honours in only six road trips since the start of last season, making them fair outsiders.
With little appeal in either club at the Stadio Paolo Mazza, it makes sense to direct attention towards the goals markets where Over 2.5 Goals is available at an appealing 2.03 on Saturday evening. This selection has landed in 27/43 (63%) of the duos respective home/away games since the beginning of 2018/19.
Thirteen (30%) fixtures crossed the Over 3.5 Goals barrier and that 43-game sample features only nine combined clean sheets, with a goals per-game average standing at 2.87. With consistent long-term trends under the current management pointing towards a goal-heavy game, I’m happy to take the 2.030.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 Goals at 2.030
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.