Some fans aren’t looking for anything logical, like a decent league finish, or a hard-fought three points. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some fans just want to watch a load of flares burn.
So almost said Alfred Pennyworth, when attempting to explain the intensity of the rivalry involved in derbies like the pair coming up this weekend to the Batman.
The result of the match is important, but not quite as important as the ‘interaction’ with opposing supporters involved when Galatasaray play Fenerbahce and Partizan face Red Star.
However, for the distant observer looking to make a little money from their voyeuristic perusal of these hate-filled hell-raisers, we’ve picked out some savvy bets.
Back under 2.5 goals in Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade @ 17/20
These two behemoths of Serbian football were both founded in 1945, Partizan by the Yugoslav People’s Army and Red Star by the Yugoslavian Communist Party.
Tensions have been maintained since for all sorts of political reasons, and security staff who were working at Partizan’s stadium during Serbia and Albania’s recent international clash might be facing an equally eventful weekend.
In betting terms, there’s only one way to go for this clash, as the furore that surrounds the pitch has done a good job of limiting the action on it in recent years.
Just three of their past 17 meetings have seen three or more goals, while three of Partizan’s last five matches and five of Red Star’s previous six have also gone under the 2.5 strikes mark.
Back Galatasaray to beat Fenerbahce @ 23/20
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the welcome opposition receive at either stadium, the side that has crossed the Bosphorus has been unable to eke out a win in any of the pair’s past eight meetings.
The home side has won each of their last four league encounters, with three cup games also going the way of the team on familiar turf, even if penalties and extra time have been needed in two of those.
Fenerbahce have been unable to score on either of their past two trips to their fierce local rivals, and with both teams making inauspicious starts to the Super Lig season, backing the home favourites looks the best policy.