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Football derby day previews from Football Form Labs

With the formlines getting stronger each week, the quality of data from Football Form Labs gets better. There are a couple of big Sunday derbies in Europe this weekend, so let's remove the emotion and take a look at the cold hard facts.

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ANALYSIS – Fiery Italians Produce Dirty Derbies

Out of the Big 5 leagues, Serie A comes second to La Liga, for the worst disciplinary record. In the past 10 years, there have been 4.46 yellows per game and 0.30 sending offs, accumulating 52.2 booking points. So if regular Serie A matches are this fiery, how dirty must their derbies be?

Well it turns out very. In the three biggest Serie A derby matches (Milan, Genoa , and Rome Derbies), there have been, on average, 84.7 booking points per derby (50 derbies in last 10 years). In comparison, the average Premier League derby saw 42.7 booking points – less than one extra caution more than the average Premier League game. English derbies seem a bit timid in comparison.

The most ill-tempered Italian derby in recent years has been Genoa v Sampdoria particularly when played at Genoa’s ground, Stadio Luigi Ferraris. A recent encounter in the 2009/10 season, reached a staggering 200 booking points, involving four red cards, and ten bookings. This isn’t an anomaly either. The season before, the derby there produced 175 points. In the last five meetings at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, every game has generated over 100 booking points and involved at least eight bookings and one red card.

This weekend sees the Capital derby, as Roma play Lazio at Stadio Olimpico. This, like the Genoa derby, produces a tremendous amount of ill-discipline. In the last 10 years, none of the 20 Rome derbies have had fewer than 50 booking points. Moreover, in the last five seasons, the 10 derbies have averaged 111 booking points. Nine of these 10 games have seen a red card, and half have seen more than one player take an early shower. So when these teams meet on Sunday another dirty derby should be expected.

To see the full analysis, and analysis on derbies in the Premier League please go to the Strategies tab within Form Labs.


Premier League: Man City v Man Utd

The first Manchester derby of the season looks set to be an important battle, with city bragging rights the difference between first and second in the past two seasons. It’ll also be the first derby for both managers and while David Moyes hasn’t enjoyed much success at the other big clubs, his record over City is superb. Since 2007/08, Moyes’ Everton won nine of 12 league meetings with City, losing only twice.

Man City have won three of the four league meetings between these teams in the past two seasons but they’ve not had huge success in the home fixture. They’ve W1-D1-L3 at home in the past five seasons and three times they failed to score. Their home record, as a whole, however, has been excellent in recent years. Since 2010/11 they’ve won five of nine home games against top-four finishers.

Man Utd lost at Anfield in their last away game, but while they didn’t create much they were rarely threatened after conceding an early goal. The champions have lost just two of their last 20 road games, and have W3-D3-L3 at top-four finishers in the past three seasons. On the balance of things, City look a touch too short and, with David Silva a major doubt, the value looks to be with the away side. Since joining City, they’ve won 71% of matches with Silva compared to just half the games he’s missed and United look underrated at 2.06 on the Asian handicap +0.25.

We wouldn’t expect a particularly open game, however. Since 2004/05, all 18 Everton/Man City matches had fewer than four goals, with 13 having -2.5 strikes. Moreover, this fixture has had fewer than two goals in four of the past five seasons. City have had -2.5 goals in six of their nine home games against top-four finishers in the past three seasons and neither team has looked particularly fluid domestically under their new managers. Silva’s likely absence again leads to an expectation of fewer goals with 39% of the matches he’s missed since 2011/12 having -1.5 goals and 56% having -2.5 strikes. If this game is anything like the Liverpool/Man Utd game a few weeks ago the Under 2.5 goals price of 2.05 will look crazy come 6pm Sunday.

Wayne Rooney has looked particularly sharp in United’s last two games and having scored in eight of his 17 starts in Manchester derbies he looks decent value to add to his tally. Six of the eight derbies he scored in, he netted the first goal of the match, and with the expectation of a low scoring game 9.0 looks a massive price to be the first scorer.

Serie A: Roma v Lazio

We’re only three games into the Serie A season but Roma fans should be feeling optimistic after a 100% start. Lazio have also begun well with two wins in their opening three games and now they face their biggest game of the season.

This derby doesn’t tend to be one for the faint-hearted. Since 2008/09, nine of the 10 league meetings have seen a red card, and half have seen more than one man walk. This creates an obvious problem for predicting the match, but it should be an interesting one nonetheless.

Despite a few disappointing years, Roma have lost only two of their 16 home games against top-half teams since 2011/12, winning nine times. Lazio, meanwhile, tend to struggle on the road, as they’ve lost seven of their last 10 away matches, and 10 of their last 15 away to top-half teams. Lazio have had the better of the derby in the past two seasons, but a large part of that is down to Roma receiving red cards in the first 50 minutes in three of the four games. Roma made some exciting signings this summer, and Rudi Garcia has proven to be an excellent manager at Lille. Providing they keep 11 men on the pitch for most the 90 minutes Roma look an excellent price at 2.15.

When Roma appointed Zedek Zeman at the start of last season the inevitable result was a lot of goals. Garcia, however, is far more measured and their opening wins have been built on a strong defence. Furthermore, Roma’s last seven matches have seen just one first-half goal. Half the last 10 league derbies have had fewer than three goals, and the first meeting of the season tends to be the tighter affair. Three of these five games have been goalless at the break and one of the exceptions was a classic Zeman five-goal thriller. Seven of Lazio’s last 12 trips to top-half teams have had fewer than three goals, as they’ve failed to score seven times, with six defeats to nil. It’s been a high-scoring start to the Serie A season but Under 2.5 goals looks the way to go here at evens.

Using Football Form Labs you can identify thousands of betting opportunities every week across over 40 different leagues.

PLAYER ANALYSIS (data provided on Friday, before a couple of these matches)

Using Form Lab Black’s player analysis tool we look at a couple of significant players who will be missing this weekend and see what that might mean.

N.B. Appearances mentioned below relate to starting and completing an hour unless otherwise specified.

Liverpool v Southampton

Philippe Coutinho, Midfielder, Liverpool

Coutinho has missed just five games since joining Liverpool last winter. With him they’ve had an impressive W10-D3-L1 record. Without, however, they are yet to win, drawing four of the matches he’s missed.

Atalanta v Fiorentina

Luca Cigarini, Midfielder, Atalanta

Cigarini is suspended for Atalanta and since the start of last season they’ve lost eight of the 13 matches he’s missed. Moreover, when you discount matches against teams that were relegated from that sample their record reads W1-D1-L8.

Yeovil v QPR

Bryon Webster, Defender, Yeovil

Webster has missed just six games since the start of last season and Yeovil have conceded 40% more goals per game without him. Four of the six matches had +2.5 goals and their loss rate rose from just 36% with him to 50% without.


  1. "The most ill-tempered Italian derby in recent years has been Genoa v Sampdoria particularly when played at Genoa's ground, Stadio Luigi Ferraris"

    Oh dear...


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