THE ULTRA Tues: Champions League Preview

THE ULTRA Tues: Champions League Preview

Reading Time: 10 mins

TUESDAY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Tuesday’s games between RB LEIPZIG v MANCHESTER CITY, AC MILAN v LIVERPOOL and REAL MADRID v INTER MILAN with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended stats.


RB LEIPZIG V MANCHESTER CITY

5.45pm It’s the final Matchday of the Champions League Group stages this week and we have some excellent fixtures to look forward to. We have some massive games, and we also have some games where the Group winner has been decided but that also makes the game very interesting from a betting point of view on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. This is an example of that, with Manchester City already certain of first place in Group A but RB Leipzig come into the fixture sitting in third on the same number of points as Club Brugge who play PSG this evening. PSG are certain of second place, so there’s a chance they may opt to rest some of their stars, as well as Manchester City here, and there’s a lot of play for between RB Leipzig and Club Brugge to go to the Europe League. RB Leipzig haven’t been having a good season, and perhaps a run in the Europa League will be good for them. We’ve had a very busy schedule in the Premier League recently, and you’d have to expect Pep Guardiola to make some changes here.

City are trading slightly odds against here given the likely changes to the XI, and the interesting question here is will the second XI be good enough to beat this Leipzig side? Leipzig have a much better goal difference compared to Club Brugge so all they need is PSG to beat them and PSG also have home advantage. Although it’s not in their nature, it would be wise if Leipzig set up quite negatively here and aimed for a draw. With a lot of chances to the City XI they might start slower than usual. Leipzig suffered another defeat in the Bundesliga on Friday night, losing 3-1 away to Union Berlin while conceding an xG of 3.78. We landed a nice lay on Leipzig, but I didn’t expect Union Berlin to hammer them – I thought Union could grind out a draw or a close win. There’s no getting away from the fact that Leipzig have been poor this season, and although the City bet is tempting at the odds, I feel the value play here is over 2.5 goals at 1.53. It might be in Leipzig’s interests to be negative here, but they always play such an open game I can’t see them changing. While City have been scoring lately, they have also been conceding goals and we could see a crazy end-to-end game here with lots of goals.

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.53 with BETDAQ Exchange.

You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQRblMci

MATCH STATS

● RB Leipzig lost their only previous meeting with Manchester City, conceding six goals in a 6-3 defeat at the Etihad Stadium back in September. This remains the only time they’ve conceded more than five times in a game in European competition.
● Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 14 games against German opponents in the UEFA Champions League (W13 D1), in a run which began in November 2014 with a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich. They have won the last nine such fixtures in a row, scoring 28 goals and only conceding nine times in return.
● After winning three of their first four games against against English opponents in the UEFA Champions League (L1), all of which came during 2020, RB Leipzig have since lost each of their last three such fixtures – twice against Liverpool and in this season’s reverse fixture against Manchester City.
● Manchester City are unbeaten in their last six away games against German sides in the UEFA Champions League (W5 D1), winning each of the last four in a row and all since 2018-19. All four of those victories have come against different opponents, beating TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (2-1), FC Schalke 04 (3-2), Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-0) and Borussia Dortmund (2-1).
● RB Leipzig are winless in their last three home games in the UEFA Champions League (D1 L2), after being unbeaten in six home games beforehand (W5 D1). If they fail to win this fixture, it will be the first time they haven’t won a home game during the group stage of a European campaign (between the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League).
● Manchester City (3.2) and RB Leipzig (2.4) both rank within the top four teams for expected goals per game in the UEFA Champions League this season, with Pep Guardiola’s side ranking first overall. Between the two sides, they have scored 30 goals in the competition this term (Manchester City 17 and RB Leipzig 13).
● Only Chelsea have registered more pressed sequences (120) than RB Leipzig (110) in the UEFA Champions League this season. This highlights the German side’s high pressing approach, showing the number of sequences starting in the opposition’s defensive third where they have three or fewer passes and the sequence ends in their own half.
● Christopher Nkunku has been involved in 10 sequences resulting in open play goals for RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League this season – only Ajax player Sébastien Haller has been involved in more for his team in the competition through five matchdays (12).
● No Manchester City player has created more chances (11) or made more assists (3) than João Cancelo in the UEFA Champions League this season. Indeed, Cancelo has been involved in more open play sequences resulting in shots than any other defender in the competition in 2021-22 (43).
● RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick against Manchester City earlier in this season’s UEFA Champions League, becoming only the second player to do so against the Citizens in the competition (after Lionel Messi in October 2016). Despite facing them just once, only four players have ever netted more against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League – Lionel Messi (7), Seydou Doumbia (5), Moussa Dembele (4) and Maxwel Cornet (4).


AC MILAN V LIVERPOOL

8pm Although Liverpool are certain of top spot in Group B, we have a fascinating situation in this Group heading into the final Matchday. As it stands, Porto sit in second on five points with AC Milan and Atletico Madrid both locked together on four points. Atletico Madrid have to travel to take on Porto tonight, and with Liverpool’s busy schedule over the Christmas period coming up in the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp could give AC Milan an early Christmas present with his team selection here. I just can’t see Klopp naming a strong XI here – he is always going on about busy fixture lists and resting players – it makes no sense to play their stars here. That will be music to AC Milan’s ears who will feel they have an excellent chance of getting through at the last moment. Although Porto are one point ahead of them, they ace a very difficult game with Atletico Madrid and although Atletico haven’t been at their best this season, Porto are unlikely to win. We actually have the most open market of the evening in that game.

In this game, AC Milan are trading 2.2 at the time of writing and that looks good value for a small investment here. I’m keen to keep stakes small here as I can see a lot of market moves around the teams news – that will definitely be an angle to watch out for from a trading point of view. If Liverpool had to win this game, we would see very different prices, but AC Milan are having a good season and they come into the game in good form. They actually went top of Serie A at the weekend with an impressive win over Salernitana and Napoli losing to Atalanta. Although they haven’t been doing anything flashy lately, they have been grinding out results – their win at Atletico Madrid is a classic example. I’m happy to keep an open mind on this bet given the team news, but a small bet on AC Milan is my play here.

The Ultra Says:
One point win AC Milan to beat Liverpool at 2.2 with BETDAQ Exchange.

You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQMilLiv

MATCH STATS

● This will be the fourth meeting between AC Milan and Liverpool, with all four coming in the UEFA Champions League. Both teams have won one game apiece in the previous three, while their draw came in the 2005 final which Liverpool went onto win on penalties.
● The previous three meetings between AC Milan and Liverpool have seen a total of 14 goals scored (including extra time), with both sides scoring seven each. The Reds won 3-2 in this season’s reverse fixture at Anfield back in September.
● AC Milan will be looking for their first victory against an English side in European competition since February 2012, when they won 4-0 against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. The Rossoneri are winless in their last six clashes with English opposition, losing five of those games (D1).
● English teams have won five of their last six away games against AC Milan in European competition (L1), with Arsenal in February 2012 the only team to fail to win in this run. All six of these games have taken place in the Round of 16 between the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
● AC Milan have only won one of their last nine home games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (D5 L3), with that being a 2-0 victory over Celtic in September 2013. The Rossoneri are winless in their last four in the group stage in the competition on home soil, although three of those have ended level (L1).
● Liverpool have won all five of their games in the UEFA Champions League this season and could become the first English team to record a 100% record in the group stage of a single campaign in the competition (including second group stages). They will also be looking to win six consecutive games in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.
● AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has scored eight career goals against Liverpool across all competitions. Since the start of the 2012-13 season when he joined Arsenal, the only opponents he has scored more goals against at club level are Aston Villa (10) and Newcastle United (9).
● Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored six goals in five UEFA Champions League appearances in 2021-22, with their 2-0 win over Atlético Madrid being the only game he has failed to score in this term. The Egyptian has only netted more in a single UEFA Champions League campaign once in his career (10 in 2017-18).
● No AC Milan player has been directly involved in more shots than Theo Hernández in the UEFA Champions League this season (9 – three shots, six chances created). The Frenchman has also made 50 progressive carries in the competition this term (moving the ball 5+ metres upfield), more than any other Milan player.
● Since the start of the 2018-19 season – his first at Liverpool – Alisson has kept 14 clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League, with only Manuel Neuer (16) managing more in this period. The Brazilian will be looking to keep three consecutive clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in his career.


REAL MADRID V INTER MILAN

8pm We finish the evening with a clash between two European giants to decide the winner of Group D. Real Madrid come into this game with a two point advantage after they managed to beat Inter Milan 1-0 and then Inter also had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk. This Group has saw its fair share of shock results, with Real Madrid losing to Sheriff Tiraspol in one of the biggest Champions League shocks in quite a while! That two point advantage does give Real a little edge here though as they can settle for a draw to top the Group. If we do have a draw heading into the final 15 minutes or so, there’s only going to be one team chasing the game. Although we’re going to have some massive teams in the runners-up pot, you don’t really want to be in that pot with them – you’re far more likely to get an easier tie being in the winners pot. With the likes of PSG certain of second, one of these teams and one of Chelsea or Juventus, we’re going to have some blockbuster Last 16 ties.

Both these sides had great wins at the weekend, with Inter Milan beating Jose Mourinho’s Roma 3-0 and Real Madrid bossing Real Sociedad to win 2-0. Both of those games came away from home, and both sides come into the game on a winning run. Although Real beat Inter 1-0 in this Group earlier in the year, they were actually very lucky to do so. Inter created an xG of 2.62 but just couldn’t find the net. Although it was a smooth success for Real at the weekend, they have been conceding quite a few chances recently. They were very lucky to beat Athletic Bilbao last week, conceding an xG of 2.84 in a 1-0 win and although they arrive into this fixture on a winning run their performances haven’t exactly been impressive. If you look at the xG figures, you will certainly feel Real are there for the taking if Inter perform to their best. Inter have been creating a lot of chances lately, and given all the errors Real are making at the back, the 2.18 looks far too short on Real here. The pressure from Inter should make this a very close game, and it’s hard to see Real stopping Inter from scoring. I would have the odds a lot closer together, and wouldn’t be surprise if Inter actually won here.

The Ultra Says:
Three points lay (liability) Real Madrid to beat Inter Milan at 2.18 with BETDAQ Exchange.

You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQRmaInt

MATCH STATS

● Real Madrid have won each of their last three games against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League, with all of them coming since the start of last season. Among 18 total meetings to date, this is their longest winning run against the Italian side in European competition.
● Inter Milan’s last 11 meetings with Spanish opponents in European competition have produced just one win for the Nerazzurri (2-0 v Getafe in the UEFA Europa League in August 2020), drawing once and losing nine of these 11 games, including each of the last four.
● Real Madrid have won seven of the eight games when they have hosted Inter Milan in European competition (L1). Since losing to them in March 1967 in the European Cup, they have won each of the last five in a row and scored at least two goals in each (17 in total).
● Inter Milan’s last away victory against a Spanish opponent in European competition came back in October 2004, with a 5-1 win over Valencia. Since then, the Nerazzurri are winless in their last seven such games, suffering six defeats (D1) and most recently against Real Madrid in November 2020.
● Real Madrid have scored 999 goals in 454 games in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (excluding qualifiers). Their average of 2.2 goals per game is the highest of any team across the two competitions, among those to have played 50+ games.
● Regardless of the result, Inter Milan have qualified for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 10 seasons, last doing so in 2011-12 when they were eliminated by Marseille in the Round of 16.
● In this season’s UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid have enjoyed 40 build-up attacks – sequences of 10+ passes ending with either a shot or touch in their opponents’ box – the most of any side, whilst four of those have ended in a goal, another competition high so far.
● Inter Milan pair Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martínez have created nine chances between them in the UEFA Champions League this season – only Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo (11) have produced more as a duo.
● Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric (99) could make his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance in this game. The Croatian would be the 10th different player to make his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance while playing for Real Madrid (after Raúl, Roberto Carlos, David Beckham, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos & Marcelo); the most for any team in the competition.
● In no other UEFA Champions League campaign has Karim Benzema scored more often during the group stages than the five he has this season – all which have come in his last four appearances. The Frenchman has never scored in five successive appearances in the competition, whilst with 64 goals to his name for Real Madrid, he’s also now only two goals behind Raúl (66).


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