Bologna vs Lazio by JerryDrake

Pick based on Asian handicap. Not familiar with handicaps? Read our Asian handicap betting guide
Every match in Italy is a "must-win-game" for all trainers. When a team wins, his trainer is supposed to become the next coach of the Italian National team. When his team loses, he will soon be fired and be unemployed. On Saturday night Bologna will have his new coach, Ballardini, who has substituted former Juventus player Stefano Pioli. On the other bench will sit Lazio new trainer Edi Reja, who has already lead his team to an important win against Inter, 1-0 at home last Monday.


The main difference between Ballardini's and Reja's situations is the fact that Ballardini has only had a few days available to train with his players while Reja took charge of Lazio one week ago. Because of this Ballardini will have to improvise the best possible starting eleven while waiting for the arrival of new players in the next weeks. He hopes that Bologna will sign a striker like Floccari (playing now with Lazio) or even Gilardino (playing now with Genoa).


Edi Reja comes from a North-Eastern region in Italy called Friuli Venezia-Giulia, a region known for its good wine and grappa (ever heard about Nonino?), and the same region of origin of famous trainers like Fabio Capello (now coach of the Russian National team), Dino Zoff (former coach of Juventus and Lazio), Nereo Rocco, Cesare Maldini and 1982 World Cup winner Enzo Bearzot. People from Friuli are famous for their tenacity and for their hard working spirit. With this, I do not mean that Reja will now ensure 10 wins in a row for Lazio but, and this is the most important thing to me as tipster, he will surely claim the highest motivation from his players.


If some players were used to play a great game and have a rest for the following two-three games with Reja this should not be the case. No matter if Lazio will play in the Italian Cup in a couple of days or if they feel tired, each of them will now have to fight for their place in the starting eleven. This new situation for Lazio players is crucial this year as some players like Hernanes, Candreva and Klose will want to play at the World Cup. And in order to be called up by their National coaches they will need to play as much as possible in their own clubs. Actually we have seen in the last months how Hernanes regressed his skills and form. He was a regular in the Brazilian line-ups at the Confederations Cup and, if he keeps playing like he has been playing since months he risks to lose "his" World Cup and watch it on TV.


Also Reja wishes to have new players in his team such as Paolo Cannavaro and Fabio Quagliarella. But until then he will get the best from the ones he has in his squad. The one who will have to lead his team mates will be Hernanes. With him at his best form Lazio reached positive results in the last Serie A tournaments while without his light Lazio experienced negative periods. The defense has made some mistakes against Inter but I am sure that Reja had the time to adjust the defensive lines in these days. Even with those mistakes made by the defense the new goalkeeper Berisha (who substitutes Marchetti) has been able to give a high degree of security to his team.


So, even though a draw is not to be excluded, I see value on Lazio "Asian Handicap" (Draw No Bet). Lazio should be motivated with the come back of his Friulian trainer Reja. But if my tip will be wrong, I will find a good excuse: Ballardini was born in Ravenna, 26 Kilometers away from Fusignano, the birth place of Arrigo Sacchi.


Probable line-ups


Bologna: Curci, Antonsson, Natali, Cherubin, Garics, Pazienza, Khrin, Kone, Morleo, Diamanti, Bianchi (or Acquafresca). Trainer: Ballardini


Lazio: Berisha, Cavanda, Biava, Dias, Lulic, Candreva, Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes, Felipe Anderson, Klose. Trainer: Reja


Out: Mantovani, Della Rocca, Sorensen (Bologna), Marchetti, Radu, Cana, Mauri (Lazio).

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Pick Bookmaker Odds Stake Result
Lazio 0:0 AH Pinnacle 1.75 7 0-0 PUSH (Stake return)
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