Atletico Madrid v Man City
Having been in a rich vein of form, Atleti have now lost back-to-back games by a 1-0 scoreline, with Kevin de Bruyne’s goal giving City the win last week and a penalty by Mallorca’s Verdat Muriqi enough to take the points for his relegation threatened side. That defeat put an end to Atleti’s six-game winning streak in La Liga, and it came at the worst possible time with Guardiola’s impressive City outfit heading to the Wanda Metropolitano to see if they can finish the job.
City come into this having played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with domestic rivals Liverpool at the weekend, a game which could have gone either way in an open and free-flowing contest, though we’d expect this one to play out quite differently. Atletico won’t ajust their game plan, meaning City need to be extremely cautious of committing too many forward and getting caught on the break, so this could be quite a dire affair in the scheme of things.
Atleti have a good home record (W10-D3-L2) in La Liga but have been prone to a slip-up on occasion with losses against Mallorca (17th) and Levante (19th). They have also lost to Liverpool and Milan in the earlier stages of this competition and Man City’s away record is a daunting prospect for Los Rojiblancos.
Indeed, City managed to beat Sporting Lisbon 5-0 in their away leg and they have gained 39 points from their 16 PL away games (2.43 PPG), the most away PPG out of any team in the top five leagues.
Even RB Salzburg who have dominated the Austrian League for 10+ years have 2.30 PPG from their away games whilst being 21 points clear of 2nd place, highlighting just how impressive they’ve been and another win here certainly isn’t off the cards.
MAN CITY TO WIN
Liverpool v Benfica
Liverpool have only lost one game of their Champions League campaign so far, a 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan, though they were already 2-0 up from the first leg so that had no impact on their progression. Liverpool are 3-1 up in this tie and it would need some sort of miracle on Benfica’s part for them to not make it through to the next round.
Benfica beat Belenenses by a 3-1 scoreline at the weekend, which is a result they should be getting against the side at the bottom of the table but it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggested. Belenenses went 1-0 up after just three minutes of action and looked in the game right up until the final whistle. Darwin Nunez's hattrick means that he has scored five goals in his last three matches (scoring at least one in all three).
Anfield is one of the hardest grounds to play at in the world, especially in European competition. They have only lost one game there since the start of April 2021 (W25-D7-L1). They won 16 of these games to nil which is just under 50%. It’s difficult to know which approach Liverpool are going to adopt for this clash but we are going to focus on Liverpool and +1.5 goals because this bet has come off 22 times in their last 33 games at Anfield and is currently being seriously undervalued.
LIVERPOOL TO WIN AND OVER 1.5 GOALS
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