October’s first Sunday is absolutely loaded with televised football. In case the three Premier League fixtures don’t sate you, we’ve looked at afternoon fare in France, Italy and Spain and combined the clashes into a treble which pays out at odds greater than 13/1:
Mario Balotelli’s detractors found humour in where the striker ended up after being frozen out at Liverpool, with Jamie Carragher scoffing “I wish him well in getting the Ballon d’Or at Nice”, but it is the 26-year-old laughing now his side are ahead of champions Paris St-Germain with a game in hand.
Lucien Favre’s men have won three out of four in front of their fans in Ligue 1 and five out of seven in total, remaining unbeaten, and consequently seem great value at close to evens to dismiss Lorient, who are a smidgeon above the relegation zone in 17th and yet to earn a single away point.
The head-to-head statistics tell you everything that you need to know: seven meetings have yielded six home wins and five of those were achieved regardless of the visitors populating the scoresheet too. The four at San Siro ended 2-1, 2-1, 1-2 and 2-1, with the Rossoneri 15/2 to repeat that margin.
Vincenzo Montella’s men are on their strongest run since he took charge in the summer, stacking up three successive clean sheets, but Sassuolo – who finished higher last term – have never failed to fire away to the giants and have also netted in all six 2016/17 road trips, despite losing the latest three.
Malaga’s status as favourites to win this showdown is a slight surprise because, while Athletic Bilbao are averaging two points per game and occupying a top-six spot, Juande Ramos’ men are picking up less than one an outing, and are close to the relegation zone owing to a tally of five from six.
The Basque guests’ travelling record isn’t beyond reproach though even with them prevailing twice in a row in La Liga, so the more statistically-sound option is to back them to break the deadlock, as Malaga conceded first in their most recent five encounters, not scoring at all three times in four.