17th of February, 9/1 Champions League Special
It was a cracking effort last night so I’m going to have another go at one of these ‘shot on target’ specials. They’re great fun to follow, you can load my bet by clicking here.
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Check out my research behind each pick:
I think if you’d picked Morata to be the UCL top scorer you’d have been laughed off the internet but as we head in to these later rounds he leads the charts.
* Morata’s 6 goals so far in the UCL make him an almost guarantee to join Ronaldo in attack here, especially in the absence of Paulo Dybala
* Aside from those two mentioned he averages the highest number of shots on Juve’s team at 1.7
* Unlike other players who I’ve picked, Morata is someone who hangs on the last man and will need chances worked to him
* Juve are the shortest odds of any side to get a win in this round and with Porto missing some players I expect them to do exactly that
* Morata should get chances and with a lot of focus likely to go in to marking Ronaldo, Morata will be lurking on that last man and working to pick up scraps in the box
* He’s also excellent in the air, only Juve’s centre backs win more aerial balls than Morata, he wins more than twice as many per game as RonaldoAlthough a bit of a target for slander, Morata has been brilliant in the Champions League this season. It’d be senseless in including Ronaldo at 1.14 so I’m going with the Spaniard.
As I mentioned, Juve are the favourites for this game and with their ability to defend and grind out results, I’m avoiding taking a Porto player. So, I’ve gone with Italian winger Chiesa to also hit the target.
* It’s tricky to predict how Juve set up but I think Chiesa is the most likely to play
* He’ll likely start on the right hand side and will be tasked with getting in to positions to support Ronaldo and Morata
* I was keen to take a right sided player for Juve here with Porto having issues down that side
* Zaidu Sanusi is injured at left back which means Frenchman Malang Sarr is going to play out there, he’s more comfortable at centre back so could be an easy target
* Chiesa is pacey and direct, he played himself in to this Juve side after a goal off the bench against Sampdoria, he’s featured much more regularly since then
* He played the big games against Roma and Napoli so I’m confident he starts here
* In terms of shots at goal, he averages 1.6 a game which puts him only behind Morata and Ronaldo in tonight’s side
* I expect a tough night for Porto and Sarr could face real problems in an unnatural roleLooks a solid selection for this game, little value in Ronaldo and Dybala is out injured. If Chiesa plays he should have ample opportunity to get shots off.
Starting in Seville in what is a very intriguing clash. Although small in stature I think Sevilla’s new signing has a big part to play here.
* Gomez has settled in well to a bang in form side, he netted on his La Liga debut 10 days ago and has started both games since
* He was a part of the magical Atalanta side that have been lighting up Serie A and Europe in the last couple of years
* He’ll likely start on the left of a front 3 here, a similar role to where he often found himself for the Bergamo side
* This season in that exceptionally attacking Atalanta team he lead the charts for shots
* He averaged 2.9 shots per game this season in Italy and scored 4 times in 9 league starts
* He likes to drop deep and run at players as well as taking on shots from range
* With Meunier absent at right back for Dortmund amongst others, Emre Can may have to fill in at right back
* Although defensively capable he may struggle to keep tabs on such an experienced and talented player in an unfamiliar position
Sevilla are favourites for this game with good reason, I think people underestimate their quality and the addition of Gomez will only further their performances.
Cracking value here for the Englishman who’ll be hoping to have a big say in this tie.* Marcos Acuna has been superb at left back this season for Sevilla, he’s likely to miss out tonight through injury
* That means Dutch centre back Karin Rekik will have to fill in at left back, although capable he’s far from a natural in this role
* He’s not as nimble or skilled on the ball as Acuna and Sancho will be well aware of this
* And as brilliant as Papu Gomez is I can’t see him offering much help defensively, meaning Sancho could see a lot of the ball and really get going
* Only Erling Haaland averages more shots per game than Sancho, who rattles off an average of 2.1 per game
* Sevilla are difficult to break down so for me there’s more sense in backing a winger than a centre forward, especially one who’s willing to drive at players and shoot from distance
* I think Haaland could find it tough to get much space this evening and he’s very short odds
I’m confident the Englishman can produce the goods tonight, even against a sturdy defence Dortmund still have the ability to create shooting chances.