Leipzig vs Man City
I wonder how many times I’ll end up writing about Haaland in my research this season? A lot more, probably.
Haaland is averaging 3.68 shots per 90 minutes in the Premier League with 1.84 hitting the target. It comes as no surprise that he has the highest rate of accuracy in the Man City squad.
In terms of the Champions League, Haaland is averaging a huge 5.36 shots P/90 with his on target rate per 90 minutes being 2.86. Well above the 2+ mark we’re needing for tonight’s bet builder.
Haaland has played four times in the Champions League this season and he’s put in some frightening performances. He had seven shots with three on target against Sevilla and he only played 69 minutes.
Against Copenhagen, he only played the first half yet managed to have four shots with all four of them hitting the target.
Konrad Laimer is the Leipzig man I’m singling out for fouls. The 25-year-old Austrian has been a part of the Red Bull machine since joining Red Bull Salzburg’s academy back in 2007. However, he’s spent the last five years of his career with Leipzig in Germany.
Laimer’s Bundesliga foul stats make for good reading. He’s averaging 2.21 fouls committed per 90 minutes in the German top flight, and he’s committed two or more fouls in six of his last ten appearances in the league.
Laimer is averaging 1.11 fouls P/90 in the Champions League, which isn’t that bad actually, but it’s an unfair statistic to look into given the fact that he’s only made one appearance in Europe so far this season.
Inter Milan vs FC Porto
Martinez is Inter’s top scorer this season, netting 13 times in the league. He averages 1.62 SOT/90 domestically, he’s had 13 more than any other Inter player and a massive 28 shots more than any of his team mates.
Martinez encompasses everything it means to be a modern day striker. Quick, strong, adept on both feet but also a threat in the air. He’s the key attacking threat for Inter and will be key to breaking the deadlock here.
He’s also a candidate from the penalty spot, although Lukaku may pip him to those responsibilities. Martinez was given a rest at the weekend, coming on for the final 25 minutes against Udinese at the San Siro, his side ran out 3-1 winners and he helped himself to a goal despite his short cameo.
In those 25 minutes he incredibly managed 4 shots, 2 on target. He’s been brilliant for shots bets recently, he’s rattled off 23 shots, 11 on target across his last 4 league appearances. Across those games, that works out at 3.52 SOT/90.
Pepe. What a man. 39 years of age; still going, still an absolute bas***d.
Pepe surprisingly isn’t the most prolific fouler. But this game, the scenario, the pressure, the atmosphere – it absolutely stinks of some top class sh**housery from the big man.
Porto played Inter’s neighbours AC last season in the groups, Pepe committed 3 fouls in those meetings, 2 when he visited the San Siro. What’s interesting here is this came when Pepe was matched up against Giroud and then later on, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He’ll have to keep tabs on Martinez, who is Inter’s most fouled player (2.21 drawn P/90). But also, he’ll be faced by the physical presence of Lukaku. I can already see the scenario where Pepe is penalised for climbing on the big Belgian or trying to assert himself physically on either of the Nerrazurri’s strikers.
Another great thing about centre backs for fouls is their presence in the other box. Porto may rely on set pieces to get a result here and Pepe will be forward for every single one. He could easily be pulled up for a push or a climb on whoever is marking him, a scenario we saw when backing someone like Maguire for a foul during the World Cup.