The Champions League is back tonight and I’ve stuck my £5 free bet on something tasty.
I’m expecting some cracking end to end matches here, £5 on this double for a bit of fun could return over £380. Remember to keep your stakes sensible.
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AC Milan vs Liverpool
Both teams to score
Liverpool head to Milan tonight with the opportunity to claim maximum points from a champions league group stage. A record only managed by 6 teams in history. There’s undoubtedly going to be rotation given that they’re already guaranteed to top the group, but I’ve no doubt that there’s enough ability and hunger in those that’ll come in for them to get a goal.
Klopp has confirmed they will rotate so expect to see the likes of Origi, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tsimikas getting some minutes. Jota missed training on Monday along with Thiago and Henderson, so they’ll be absent. Many places are still predicting that Mo Salah will start, with Minamino coming in for Mane.
Milan won’t be at full strength either, they’ve got a mounting injury list including starters such as Simon Kjaer, Rafa Leao & Davide Calabria.
There’s no option apart from scoring here for AC. They have to win this game to have a chance of qualifying. Any one of them, Atleti and Porto could still go through alongside the reds and The Rossoneri will be desperate to take that opportunity and continue their recent revival to the Milan of old.
The reverse fixture finished 3-2 to The Reds and was an absolute cracker. Hopefully we get something similar here to land the first element of the double.
1+ card each team
This selection landed in the previous tie with a late card from James Milner. I expect this to be a pretty high pressure game with so much on the line for the hosts, they’ll be pumped up by the home support. They average 2.13 cards per game and they’ve definitely got the nack of winding up their opponents, with teams taking on Milan averaging 2.56 cards.
Liverpool’s card stats aren’t the most incredible but they do average 1.27 cards per game. Their opponents average 2.13 cards against them too. Plenty of these players will have something to prove this evening and they’ll want to go the extra yard, make that tackle, make that interception and prove they should be regularly playing in this side. With the hostile environment of the San Siro I don’t think 1 card is much of a stretch.
2+ corners each team in each half
Liverpool are an absolute beast for corners, they average 7.67 corners per game, that jumps to a massive 8.25 when playing on the road. They’ve had 8 or more corners in 75% of their away games this season which is pretty crazy. Their focus on attacking fullbacks and using the space out wide is a perfect recipe for corners. There’ll be rotation in those areas tonight but still expect the likes of Tsimikas to bomb on, he’s actually got a cracking delivery too.
Milan are decent for corners too, especially at home where they take an average of 5.50 per game. Theoretically we could need just 4 corners from them, a feat they’ve managed in 88% of matches. At the San Siro this season. They’ll look to take advantage of any Liveroool rotation that they’ll perceive as weak points. Zlatan looks set to start in attack so expect them to look to put plenty of balls in towards the big Swede.
Real Madrid vs Inter
Both teams to score
It’s a shootout for top spot in Group D at the Bernabau this evening. Madrid lead the way on 12 points, so avoiding defeat would seal them top spot whilst only a win will do for Inter. Both sides are already guaranteed to progress but both will what top spot to secure a more favourable draw in the first knockout round.
Madrid are a decent side defensively but are prone to errors, both Shakhtar and Sheriff have managed to score against them in this Champions League group. They’ve also been breached numerous times of late in the league; Sevilla, Granada, Elche & Vallecano have all scored against them in the past month.
Inter are goal crazy domestically, their games have averaged 3.38 goals this season with 62% of them seeing both teams score. Offensively they’re exceptional but that style of play leaves gaps in defence which has been exploited by many a side much weaker than Madrid.
Madrid’s BTTS record domestically is also very high, the highest in La Liga at 69% they also average more goals than anyone in Spain’s top flight at 3.25. They’ve failed to score twice all season. Inter are yet to fail to score this season domestically. Yes the reverse fixture finished 1-0 but I don’t expect the same here. Inter had a massive xG of 2.02 in that match and failed to score, on another day they could well have won the match.
Each team 1+ card
This selection landed in the first leg with Denzel Dumfries and David Alaba both finding their way in to the referees notebook.
Inter average 2 cards per game, whilst their opponents average 2.81 when playing against them. Their side is full of prime candidates for a booking, the midfield 3 all fly in to tackles – Barella, Brozovic & Vidal especially. Vidal is ex Barcelona too and will be fired up for this, wouldn’t be surprised to see him do something rash.
Madrid average 1.69 cards per game with their opponents attaining an average of 2.31 per match. They’re the masters of professional fouls and gamesmanship, they always have been. With them likely needing to fend off inter at various points, I think they’ll outperform their average and get a few bookings here. The likes of Valverde, Vazquez and Militao would be my prime candidates.
2+ corners each team in each half
Madrid are strong on the corners front, they average 5.44 per game and with the home crowd behind them they’ll put the pressure on. With tricky wingers and fullbacks who love to get forward, Madrid always look to exploit the space in between centre backs and full backs. They attack the byline, something that could be very effective against Inter given the system they use.
As for Inter, they operate with wing backs as their source of creativity in wide areas. With a flat 3 across the back and the midfield. We saw at the Euros now effective Denzel Dumfries is in that system. Again, Inter are brilliant for corners, they take an average of 6.06 per game and have only failed to get under 4 in 1 game this season.
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