WEDNESDAY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Wednesday’s games between JUVENTUS v VILLARREAL and LILLE v CHELSEA both with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.
JUVENTUS V VILLARREAL
8pm We have a final second leg ties in the Last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday night, and we have a fascinating night ahead on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. We have two big favourites tonight in Juventus and Chelsea to win over 90 minutes, but they will both have their fair shares of layers too. There will be a lot of debate tonight about their prices, what is good value and what is a layer, and we have two fascinating markets as they sit around the 1.97 mark. We start the evening with Juventus hosting Villarreal in what is the headlight fixture of the night. Chelsea won the first leg against Lille 2-0, while this tie is set up perfectly after a 1-1 draw in Spain. That was a very cagey affair, and although Villarreal created the better chances there wasn’t much in it. Juventus haven’t been at their best this season and they started off very slow. It took them a while to get used to life without Cristiano Ronaldo – I know the media always says he caused problems in the dressing room but you can’t knock his goal scoring record on the pitch and Juventus missed those goals at the start of the season.
They have good momentum now, and have broken back into the top four in Serie A in recent weeks. With Atalanta continuing to drop points, it now looks nailed on Juventus will finish in the top four for that all important Champions League spot next season. Villarreal have a slightly similar profile to Juventus in the sense that they started the season slowly and have gained some excellent momentum in the middle of the season. They haven’t been able to climb the table as high as Juventus, but then again you wouldn’t expect Villarreal to be a top four side in La Liga. I’d be a little worried about their performance level coming into this game – they were very poor away to Osasuna in their last away game when losing 1-0, and although they got back to winning ways at the weekend against Celta Vigo it wasn’t convincing – it could have gone either way. When you look at the xG figures of Juventus, I’m not overly impressed. I feel they will get the job done here, but I can’t make a case to back them at a shade of odds on. I feel we’ll have another very cagey affair here just like the first leg, and under 2.5 goals is a nice option at 1.8. If either side take the lead, they’ll want to defend their lead too – I can only see a very close game here where both sides have to grind for a result rather than do anything flashy.
The Ultra Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.8 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQJuvVil
● Juventus are now winless in each of their last seven first legged ties in the UEFA Champions League (D3 L4), going on to be eliminated from four of their last five knockout ties in the competition. However, their last progression from this stage came against Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid in 2018-19.
● Only on three of the previous 23 occasions have Juventus lost at home to Spanish opposition in the UEFA Champions League (W12 D8), keeping clean sheets in seven of their last nine such games. This will be Villareal’s first visit to Juventus in any competition, and only the second ever matchup following the first leg.
● Four of Villareal’s five last 16 UEFA Champions League matches have ended level (W1), with the Spanish outfit progressing on each of their two previous appearances at this stage, beating Rangers in 2005-06 and Panathinaikos in 2008-09.
● Villareal have won each of their last two away games in the UEFA Champions League, the same number of victories as they managed across the 15 such matches beforehand (D5 L8). However, they haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet on the road in the competition in 10 games since a 0-0 draw with Man Utd in 2008.
● Juventus have won each of their last six UEFA Champions League home games. Only once previously have they recorded more consecutive home victories in the competition, with their run of 10 games between 1996 and 1997 being the longest such run by an Italian side in the UEFA Champions League.
● Villareal boss Unai Emery has (including finals) progressed from/won 29 knockout ties in the UEFA Europa League, 14 more than any other manager, and lifted the trophy on four occasions. However, in the UEFA Champions League, the Spaniard has suffered elimination in all three of his knockout ties with Valencia and PSG (twice).
● Etienne Capoue has been directly involved in four goals in his last four UEFA Champions League appearances for Villarreal (two goals, two assists), after not recording any direct goal involvements in his first 11 games for the club in European competition.
● After only 32 seconds of the first leg, Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic became just the third player in UEFA Champions League history to score inside the first minute on their very first start in the competition, after Andreas Möller (for Borussia Dortmund v Juventus) and Ishak Belfodil (for Hoffenheim v Manchester City).
● Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma has generated 14 shots following a carry (moving 5+ metres with the ball) in the UEFA Champions League this season, with 11 of those being individual shots and three being chances created for a teammate. Ahead of the second leg fixtures, only Vinícius Júnior (17) and Lionel Messi (15) have had more this term.
● Juan Cuadrado is in line to make his 50th appearance for Juventus in the UEFA Champions League (currently on 49). He has made 11 assists for the club in the competition to date, which is the most by any player in the period since he first joined the club (in 2015).
LILLE V CHELSEA
8pm Next we have Lille hosting Chelsea, and this game is all about the Chelsea price at 1.96. Juventus are two ticks bigger at 1.98 tonight at the time of writing, and it’s a pretty good debate on which team you’d rather back. For me, it’s Chelsea – there’s a bigger gulf in class between the sides here compared to Juventus v Villarreal but that doesn’t mean I’m going to rush into backing the 1.96. Chelsea have a huge amunt going on off the pitch at the moment, and while the manager and the players will try to focus on matters on the pitch it’s hard to get away from what’s going on. I believe they have been given a budget for travelling to matches, and their UK bank account has been suspended too. Who knows what will happen next. Since all this news has come out, they have had a pretty easy fixture list since losing the Carabao Cup Final on penalties. They have had to play Luton Town in the FA Cup and then Burnley, Norwich and Newcastle in the Premier League. I know Newcastle have been on a good run lately, but they aren’t anywhere near the level of Chelsea. We might find out more about the current mindset of Chelsea in this game, but again they are levels above their opposition. Lille have made some progress in Ligue 1 in recent weeks, but they are still sitting in 6th.
It was a crazy season last season with games behind closed doors and such, but when you look at Lille now you could barely believe they lifted the French title last season ahead of PSG. Chelsea are an appealing bet at 1.96 based on how Lille have played this season, but given they lead the tie 2-0 after the first leg they won’t want an open game here. They will want this game to be as boring as possible and just get a result to get to the next round. With that in mind, I can see Tuchel setting Chelsea up quite negatively and that should work too because they have been solid at the back lately. I know they have been playing smaller sides in the Premier League, but they didn’t give Lille many chances in the first leg either. There’s a couple of ways we can play this – Both Teams Not To Score or Under 2.5 goals. I prefer the under 2.5 goals option as it allows for a 1-1 draw which Chelsea would be happy with too. I can’t see Chelsea chasing the game here late on given the situation, and they will want a very dull game without many chances. They can deliver that as Lille haven’t got the class to create enough to comeback from 2-0 down here, and under 2.5 goals is a nice play at 1.95.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.95 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/BDQLilChl
● Lille have lost each of their three UEFA Champions League matches with Chelsea – two group stage matches in 2019-20 and the first leg of this current last 16 tie, going down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, the French side haven’t lost more often in the competition against any other side, also losing three times versus both Man Utd and Valencia.
● After winning only one of their first eight UEFA Champions League away games against French sides (D2 L5), Chelsea have won each of their last two – 2-1 v Lille in 2019-20 and 2-1 v Rennes in 2020-21, although both of those came in the group stage.
● When winning the first leg of a UEFA Champions League knockout tie, Chelsea have gone on to progress from nine of the 11 ties, though their two failings when doing so did come when playing the second leg away from home – v Barcelona in 1999-00 (quarter-final) and Liverpool in 2006-07 (semi-final).
● Lille have been eliminated from each of their previous three European knockout ties when losing the first leg, the 2004-05 UEFA Cup last 16, the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League last 16, and last season, in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. In fact, the last Champions League side to progress against the holders after failing to score in the opening leg was Arsenal (v AC Milan) back in 2007-08, though the first leg did end level.
● Each of Chelsea’s last 11 wins in the UEFA Champions League have come with a clean sheet, 10 of which have come under Thomas Tuchel in just 14 matches (D2 L2). Indeed, Tuchel at Chelsea has equalled a joint record in the competition for the fewest games needed to record their 10th clean sheet at a club, alongside Fabio Capello (AC Milan), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid), and Louis Van Gaal (Ajax).
● Lille have won only four of their previous 22 home games in the UEFA Champions League (D11 L7), and just one of their last 14. However, they are looking to record back-to-back such wins in the competition for the very first time, having beaten RB Salzburg most recently in November.
● Since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the club, Chelsea have faced more shots than what they’ve attempted themselves in just three of their 14 UEFA Champions League matches, though two of those instances have come in their last two games, facing 15 in the first leg against Lille (9 taken). However, the Blues have recorded 10 clean sheets during this time, at least four more than any other side.
● Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is set to take charge of his 50th UEFA Champions League game. He’s won 31 of his 49 so far, with victory here setting a new record for most wins by a manager upon reaching a half-century of games in the competition (currently Zinedine Zidane, 31).
● Hakim Ziyech has been directly involved in 17 goals in his last 22 UEFA Champions League starts (8 goals, 9 assists), with the Moroccan involved in five goals in eight starts for Chelsea in the competition (3 goals, 2 assists), whipping in the assist for Kai Havertz’s opener in the first leg.
● Should he feature in France, César Azpilicueta will appear in his 74th major European game for Chelsea (Champions League, UEFA Cup/Europa League, Cup Winners’ Cup, Fairs Cup) moving him level with Didier Drogba, and leaving only Frank Lampard (115) and John Terry (121) with more such appearances to their name as outfielders in the club’s history.