CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Wednesday’s Group stage matches between MANCHESTER CITY v RB LEIPZIG, LIVERPOOL v AC MILAN and INTER MILAN v REAL MADRID all with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.
MANCHESTER CITY V RB LEIPZIG
8pm We have another excellent night in the Champions League on Wednesday with some top quality fixtures. I said on Tuesday I can’t remember a better Group stage, and when you look at the markets on BETDAQ Betting Exchange for Wednesday you see some proper heavyweight clashes again! We start the evening with Manchester City hosting RB Leipzig as they start another run at the Champions League. There’s no doubt they will be involved in the latter stages again, and how dearly they would love to lift a Champions League title. Time is ticking for Guardiola, and one wonders how City will replace him if he left without them winning a Champions League. Because City have spent so much money, they almost need to win a Champions League soon – winning the Premier League is miles better than PSG in Ligue 1, but you get the sense the acid test is the Champions League for this Man City project.
They face an RB Leipzig side in decline here in my opinion. We landed a nice Max Bet on Bayern Munich to beat them at the weekend, and this should be a straightforward win for City too. As I said the weekend, no other league at the top level would see the raid that Bayern Munich were able to have on RB Leipzig. They were the top two sides in the Bundesliga, and Bayern have taken their top talent. City have started the season in superb form – even in their 1-0 loss to Spurs they were incredibly unlucky not to win the game, they were much the better side on xG figures. It’s tempting to go for a fancy bet on goals here as I feel City will win easily, but the 1.85 on City to cover the 1.5 goal handicap is too tempting to turn down. That looks cracking value.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Manchester City -1.5 goals to beat RB Leipzig at 1.85 with BETDAQ Exchange.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQMciRbl
● This will be the first meeting between Manchester City and RB Leipzig in European competition, while Pep Guardiola’s side won all four of their games against German opponents in the UEFA Champions League last season (two wins against both Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach).
● After winning their first two UEFA Champions League games against English opposition (both v Spurs in 2019-20), RB Leipzig have lost three of their last four such fixtures in the competition, including two defeats to Liverpool in 2020-21.
● Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in their last 17 games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (W13 D4), with their last such defeat coming in September 2018 versus Lyon. Since Guardiola took charge of Manchester City, they have only lost three of their 30 games in the group stage of the competition (W20 D7).
● Manchester City have won 49 of their 90 UEFA Champions League games so far (D16 L25) – they could become the second fastest team to 50 wins in the tournament’s history, with Real Madrid the quickest to 50 wins in 88 games, achieved in 2003.
● RB Leipzig have lost three of their previous four away games in the UEFA Champions League (W1), while failing to score in all three defeats; two of which came versus English opponents (0-5 v Manchester United and 0-2 v Liverpool).
● Of the 25 managers to have taken charge of at least 50 UEFA Champions League matches, Pep Guardiola has the best win percentage in the competition’s history (63% – 86/136).
● Ferran Torres has scored in four of his six games in the UEFA Champions League for Manchester City (four goals). The Spaniard has averaged a goal every 90 minutes for the Citizens in the competition, netting four goals in 360 minutes on the pitch.
● RB Leipzig forward André Silva has scored four goals and provided two assists in his eight appearances in the UEFA Champions League. This will be his first game in the competition for the German side, however, with his previous eight games in the competition coming while playing for FC Porto in 2016-17.
● In 28 UEFA Champions League starts for Leicester City and Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez has been involved in 22 goals (10 goals, 12 assists) – since the start of 2018-19, only Raheem Sterling (19) has been involved in more Champions League goals for the Citizens than Mahrez (6 goals, 10 assists).
● Angeliño – who made one UEFA Champions League appearance for Man City in November 2019 against Shakhtar Donetsk – has been involved in eight goals in 11 UEFA Champions League games for RB Leipzig (3 goals, 5 assists).
LIVERPOOL V AC MILAN
8pm Next we have a fantastic fixture with plenty of European history. Liverpool fans will remember the Champions League Final 2005 with fond memories and AC Milan fans will want to forget it. Unfortunately for AC Milan fans a lot has changed this then and their club has gone massively backwards. They had a good run at Serie A last season however and that was very promising – they finished the season very poorly but still finished second. They aren’t at the same level at Inter Milan, and to be honest they aren’t at the same level at Liverpool either. It is nice to see them back in the Champions League though – they last time they finished in the top four in Italy was 2013/12 which is remarkable – one season they even finished tenth.
Just like last season, AC Milan have started the season strongly. They recorded three wins from the first three games and they put in a very impressive performance against Lazio – winning 2-0 with an xG of 2.85. There is a bit of a gulf in class between the sides, but AC Milan arrive to Anfield in good shape. I still feel that won’t be enough however, as Liverpool have started their season in red-hot form. They might have been held to a 1-1 draw here against Chelsea prior to the International break, but they absolutely bossed the game – they finished with an xG of 3.35 to Chelsea’s 0.73. Their other xG figures this season have been 2.03, 2.75 and 4.57. They are back creating the chances when they lifted the Premier League title, and I’m actually surprised Chelsea are shorter in the Outright market for the title in England. For tonight however, this should be a Liverpool win and I would have them shorter than 1.5 – I’m happy to take the 1.53 and it is a confident bet.
The Ultra Says:
Four points win Liverpool to beat AC Milan at 1.53 with BETDAQ Exchange.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQLivMil
● Liverpool and AC Milan have only met on two previous occasions in European competition, with both of them coming in the final of the UEFA Champions League. The Reds won 3-2 on penalties in 2005, before losing 1-2 in normal time in 2007.
● After winning six of their first seven home games against Italian sides in European competition (L1), Liverpool have gone winless in the most recent two – drawing 1-1 with Napoli in 2019-20 and losing 0-2 to Atalanta in 2020-21, during the last two campaigns.
● AC Milan have only won one of their last 13 games against English opponents in European competition (D4 L8), with that lone victory coming against Arsenal in this competition in February 2012 (4-0). Interestingly, all but one of the 13 games in this run have come at the Round of 16 stage, either in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League.
● Since the start of the 2017-18 season, only two teams have won more games than Liverpool (25) in the UEFA Champions League – Bayern Munich (31) and Manchester City (30). Indeed, they are also the only two teams who have scored more goals than Liverpool (95) in the same period (Bayern 112, City 96).
● AC Milan have only won two of their last eight games in European competition (D4 L2), all of which came in the UEFA Europa League last season. This will be their first game in the UEFA Champions League since March 2014, when they were eliminated by Atlético de Madrid over two legs in the Round of last 16.
● Under Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool have only lost one of their 12 group stage games in the UEFA Champions League at Anfield (W9 D2) – 0-2 versus Atalanta last season. The Reds have averaged 2.5 goals per home game in the group stage since the German took charge (30 goals).
● Since the start of the 2017-18 season – Mohamed Salah’s first at Liverpool – the Egyptian (25 goals) is one of only four players to have scored 25+ goals in the UEFA Champions League, along with Robert Lewandowski (33), Cristiano Ronaldo (29) and Lionel Messi (26).
● Zlatan Ibrahimović has 48 UEFA Champions League goals to his name from 120 games, with nine of those coming for AC Milan between 2010 and 2012. Indeed, the Swede has scored for more teams in the UEFA Champions League than any other player (6 – PSG, Milan, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona).
● Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has scored 19 UEFA Champions League goals in 42 appearances and is looking to become the fourth African player to score 20 goals in the competition, after Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Mohamed Salah. He would also become the third player to score 20+ goals in the competition for the Reds, after Salah (25) and Steven Gerrard (21).
● Milan striker Olivier Giroud is averaging a goal or assist every 95 minutes in the UEFA Champions League (18 goals, 6 assists) and netted eight goals in 16 appearances in all competitions against Liverpool for Arsenal and Chelsea between 2012-13 and 2019-20, the most any player scored against the Reds between those seasons.
INTER MILAN V REAL MADRID
8pm Last but not least we have an absolute cracker to finish Wednesday night! Inter Milan host Real Madrid in a real European heavyweight clash! The sides last met in the Champions League towards the end of 2020 and Real Madrid actually won both games – they won 3-2 in Spain and then 2-0 in Italy. The 2-0 win in Italy was a very dominant display, that in fairness not many expected before kick off, but they recorded an xG figures of 2.13 and only conceded 0.26. Inter Milan are a top side, but it’s reasonable to say that there is a gulf in class between La Liga and Serie A. Perhaps those two results highlight that – I remember Inter were pretty short to win that game too. We have a more open market now and Inter sold their star striker during the summer to Chelsea, and I still feel the 2.54 is too short on Inter.
Both sides have started the season well as you would imagine. Inter were held in their last game by Sampdoria and perhaps more worrying was Sampdoria created a bigger xG. I would be a little worried about Inter this season looking at their opening three fixtures, but they are still the strongest side in Italy. Real have also had to settle for a draw in La Liga too, so they don’t have a 100% record either. Their performances have been much better however – they have finished with xG figures of 2.44, 2.16, 1.18 and 3.58. Those are some impressive numbers going forward, and they’ve had to play three games away too. It’s hard to see anything other than a very close game here between two fantastic sides, but I would have the sides closer together in the market so Inter are a good value lay for me at 2.54.
The Ultra Says:
Two points lay (liability) Inter Milan to beat Real Madrid at 2.54 with BETDAQ Exchange.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQIntRma
● This is the second consecutive UEFA Champions League campaign in which Inter Milan and Real Madrid have been drawn in the same group – the Spanish side won home and away against them in 2020-21, including a 2-0 victory at the San Siro.
● Inter Milan have lost four of their last five games against Real Madrid in European competition (W1), as many defeats as they suffered against Los Blancos in their first 12 meetings (W6 D2 L4).
● Real Madrid have only won one of their previous eight away games against Inter Milan in European competition (D2 L5), however that victory did come on their most recent trip – 2-0 in November 2020, in last season’s group stage.
● Inter Milan’s last victory against a Spanish team in the UEFA Champions League came back in April 2010, when they beat Barcelona 3-1 at the San Siro under José Mourinho (before going on to win the trophy in that 2009-10 season). Inter are winless in their seven games in the competition against Spanish sides since then, suffering defeats in six of them (D1).
● Real Madrid have won 12 of their last 13 games against Italian opponents in the UEFA Champions League (L1), with their only defeat in this run coming against Juventus in April 2018. Los Blancos have won each of the most recent six meetings with Italian sides, by an aggregate score of 14-3.
● Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has faced Carlo Ancelotti on two previous occasions in his managerial career – his Lazio team were beaten home and away by Ancelotti’s Napoli in the 2018-19 Serie A campaign, losing 2-1 in both games.
● Carlo Ancelotti managed Real Madrid in 25 UEFA Champions League games in 2013-14 and 2014-15, winning the tournament in 2013-14. His win percentage of 76% (P25 W19 D3 L3) is the best of any manager at a single club in the competition to have managed 20+ games with that club.
● Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric will be 36 years and six days old on the day of this game. Should he feature for his side, he’ll become only the second outfield player to appear for Real Madrid in the competition aged 36 or over, after Chendo in November 1997 (36y 46d v Rosenborg).
● This is set to be Karim Benzema’s 17th consecutive season featuring in the UEFA Champions League – the Frenchman needs one goal to go ahead of Raúl into outright fourth place in the all-time scorers in the competition, with the two players currently tied on 71. Benzema is one of only three players to have scored in 16 previous Champions League seasons, along with Ryan Giggs and Lionel Messi.
● Inter Milan’s 35-year-old striker Edin Dzeko was directly involved in a goal per game in his previous two seasons in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 13 goals and assisting five in 18 appearances across 2017-18 and 2018-19 for Roma. The only player older than Dzeko will be on the day of this match (35y 182d) to score for Inter in the competition is Javier Zanetti against Spurs in October 2010 (37y 71d).