Form Labs Weekender


Roma v Lazio - Sunday 11:30, BT Sport

Serie A has the pick of the games around Europe this weekend, with a Rome derby as well as a high profile clash at the San Siro between Inter and Napoli. How important this match is in terms of league standings will have a lot to do with how Juventus have got on at Atalanta on Friday – a win for Juve would all but put them over the line but anything less gives Roma half a chance since they host the Bianconeri in a fortnight. For Lazio, they will hope for a favour from Inter later on Sunday evening to give them a chance of reaching the podium and Champions League qualification. Given Inter’s recent form that might seem unlikely, but playing ahead of that Lazio must at least attempt to do their job.

So both teams should be looking for all three points and after these two sides scored 10 goals between them last weekend (Genoa were the only team throughout the league to fail to score and they were at Juventus) that points to an attacking game. Lazio have won seven of their last 11 games with their only defeat coming against Napoli while Roma have won nine of their last 11, as they too were only beaten by Napoli.

Lazio have scored at least twice in five of their last six on the road but the highest placed opponent they’ve been to in that time was Cagliari. In fact their record this season at the current top nine is a relatively mediocre W1-D2-L3 as they’ve conceded at least twice in five of those six games.

Similarly, Roma have failed to beat either of the two highest placed teams to visit them – Atalanta and Napoli – but they have scored in each of their last 28 at home. They’ve also won 17 of the last 19 here and they’ve got a superb recent record in the derby. Roma are unbeaten in the last eight league meetings with their neighbours and have won the last four. However, their most recent clashes came in the Coppa Italia, when Lazio won the first leg 2-0 in March and then led twice before losing the second leg 3-2 – still enough to progress.

Goals at both ends look the likeliest outcome here and both sides come into this clash at close to full strength. Although Lazio edged through in the Cup it was Roma who dominated possession and shots in both legs. Despite Lazio’s progress in the past couple of years Roma remain the better side and 1.9 is a reasonable price for them to take all three points. However, they both carry lots of attacking threat and ever since Luciano Spalletti took over Roma’s games have seen an abundance of goals. Half his 52 matches have had Over 3.5 and given the form of both sides that looks worth backing at 2.15. However, for our best bet we’re going to back Roma to win with both teams to score at 3.1.

Nice v PSG - Sunday 20:00

Nice have enjoyed a remarkable season, and for a long time looked like making the title race a genuine three way battle. Even as they’ve fallen away in the second half of the campaign they’ve still proven incredibly hard to beat but they’ll be properly put to the test here against a PSG side, that while they look like losing their title aren’t giving up without a fight.

PSG have dropped only four points in their last 16 matches as they’ve scored 38 times and conceded just eight. That includes a current streak of eight straight wins and they’ve also won each of their last eight on the road. Seven of those eight away wins saw them ahead at half-time as they’ve found their shooting boots: in their first 10 away games under Unai Emery they scored more than once just three times and more than twice only once, but since then they’ve scored two or more on six consecutive occasions and three-plus four times. You can add a 5-0 win over Monaco in the cup semi-final in midweek as further evidence of their form.

Nice are unbeaten in 22 home matches and Monaco are the only side to beat them anywhere in their last 22 home or away. However, they’ve flirted with defeat regularly in 2017 as they’ve conceded the opener in 10 of their last 14 matches including each of their last six. It’s not too surprising that they’ve found life harder in recent weeks as the key individuals of Wylan Cyprien and Alassane Plea both saw their seasons ended prematurely.

Nice are already assured of finishing at least third and their only chance of catching PSG for second is to win here so they should look to attack. However, the players may already have one eye on the beach while for PSG they know they have to keep fighting to take the title race down to the final day. Such is their form, and Nice’s relative struggles of late, we expect a comfortable away win with a PSG/PSG HT/FT at 2.4 our best bet.

Weekend Team News Analysis

Angers v Lyon
Alexandre Lacazette (FW), Nabil Fekir (FW), Emmanuel Mammana (CB), Jeremy Morel (LB), Rachid Ghezzal (RW), Lyon

Lacazette has scored 22 times this season and he’s also played the second most key passes for Lyon, behind only Fekir. Lyon have lost nine of the 14 matches Lacazette has missed since the start of last season while their PPG has also dropped significantly when any of the above have been absent. Angers have kept four clean sheets in their last six home matches and with Lyon missing lots of firepower the home win to nil is a very tempting 7.0.

Torino v Sampdoria
Luis Muriel (FW), Sampdoria

Muriel is Sampdoria’s top scorer and has also provided their most assists. In the 10 matches he’s missed this season they’ve won only once and picked up just six points. Torino have attracted attention this season for their free-scoring nature. They aren't usually so tight at the back but with goal-shy Sampdoria missing their main man the 4.2 on a rare home win to nil is worth a few quid.

Crotone v Milan
Suso (RW) and Mattia De Sciglio (RB), Milan

Milan have lost their most creative player in Suso for this match - he has three times as many assists as any other Milan player this season and has also taken their most shots. This season they’ve scored just six times in the five matches he’s missed despite just one of those coming against a top-half side. Meanwhile, their average goals scored have fallen from 1.8 in De Sciglio’s 21 appearances to just 1.1 in the 12 he’s missed. Crotone are at full strength have momentum following three wins in their last four and their motivation is far higher. They've been decent at the back all season and the win to nil is a massive 8.5.

We've got three home underdogs going for wins to nil above - combine all three for a massive 117/1!


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