- Football - Italy - Serie A
The Derby della Lanterna, or more commonly known as the Genoa derby, is one of the fiercest rivalries in European football. Although Genoa and Sampdoria rarely feature in the title race in recent years, matches between the sides remain hotly-contested. Perhaps it is a battle for turf since both clubs share their homeground at the Marassi stadium, similar to Roma-Lazio at the Olimpico.
To give you an idea of just how fierce this rivalry is – a total of 62 yellow and 7 reds were dished out in the 7 derbies following Genoa’s promotion in 2007/08. Not too shabby if you compare this to the Rome derby’s 49-9 over the same period.
Derbies are traditionally tight affairs. This is no exception. The current head-to-head record stands at 29-32-21 in Sampdoria’s favour. If you work these numbers out, it approximates to the current betting odds – fairly even, designated home side Genoa marginal favourites with nothing to play for while Sampdoria need points in relegation fight.
In any other match, I can agree with this rationale. However, the derby factor completely puts this match in a different light.
Granted, Genoa have nothing to play for – no title, no European football or relegation but they can capped off their 2010/11 season by denying Sampdoria valuable points in their fight for Serie A survival. Seeing their bitter rivals go down to Serie B is enough motivation for Genoa to go for the win on Sunday. This sentiment were echoed by the Genoa fans earlier in the week when “Serie B! Even Padre Pio cannot save you” was spray-painted on the walls of the Sampdoria club shop! As such, I feel the odds for Genoa should be in the $2. 25 (or $1. 62 DNB) mark – as it was on average over the last seasons.
I am further convinced by the fact that Genoa have been the superior side all season. The table says it all – 7 places, 9 points and 10 goals ahead of their neighbours. It is no secret things went sour for Sampdoria following Antonio Cassano’s fall-out with the club president and his subsequent departure. It got even worse when Giampaolo Pazzini was sold to Inter in January. Now, we are talking about a strike partnership that accounted for more than 55% of the team’s goals last season!
Last but least, Genoa go into this encounter is better form – 3/1/3 in last 7 compared to Sampdoria’s 1/2/4. If you break it down to Home-vs-Away records, the difference is even more stark – 5/1/1 vs 1/2/4! Also, Genoa have had the better of H2Hs since their promotion – 4/1/2 so psychologically, it’s advantage to the red half of the city.
All in all, I think this derby should be treated like any other in previous seasons i. e. both will play to win. The odds should reflect Genoa, the designated home team here, have been playing the better football all season. Any price that puts Genoa's motivation and superiority into question, as is the case with Genoa (0) $1. 95 is value.
|06/05/2011 17:26, read 3956 times