CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The Ultra previews Wednesday’s quarter final second leg matches between ATLETICO MADRID v MANCHESTER CITY and LIVERPOOL v BENFICA both including a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.
ATLETICO MADRID V MANCHESTER CITY
8pm Manchester City and Liverpool are back in action on Wednesday night, but this time it’s in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid and Benfica! It should be another entertaining evening on BETDAQ Betting Exchange, and no doubt all eyes will be on Atletico Madrid v Manchester City as this looks the closer tie. That being said, Manchester City are still trading very short odds to qualify – it’s just Liverpool are trading 1.01! Everyone will be expecting City to get through here but Atletico basically carried out their plan in Manchester and weren’t unhappy with the 1-0 loss. With the lack of the away goal rule, it really seems to be a case of damage control in the first leg for away sides – I’d be in favour of actually bringing it back! Atletico put in a very disappointing performance at the weekend with a 1-0 loss away to Mallorca though – that came from nowhere given their recent form in La Liga. They played very poorly and didn’t deserve to win – I know they finished the City game with an xG of 0.0 which is remarkable really, you don’t see that often, but they were basically carrying out their plan. I would be more worried about only creating an xG of 0.64 against Mallorca who are battling relegation in La Liga but they were probably focusing on this game to be honest.
City played out a very entertaining 2-2 draw at the weekend against Liverpool. That was an intense game packed with drama, and mentally it would have taken a lot out of them. While it’s hard to see Atletico qualifying given they are a goal down, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them get a result over the 90 minutes. City and Guardiola will always tend to attack whatever the situation, but they have to sit back at some stage here in my opinion I think if we’re level (in the 90 minutes market) heading into the final 15 minutes then City won’t be going all out attack then. I feel the goals market speaks volumes here with under 2.5 goals trading odds on – I think the market expects City not to attack too much here. Although Atletico have been playing better than their results in La Liga this season, they haven’t been creating a huge amount of chances. City could boss this game and play out a pretty boring 1-0 – there’s no need for City to make this a very open game. While I feel like Atletico could get a draw in the 90 minutes market, I can’t see past under 2.5 goals at 1.89 as my best bet. I can see City controlling the game – perhaps scoring in the second half as Atletico chase the game, but I really feel they won’t let this game open up – they will just want to do a job here and get out without any drama which makes unders a good play.
The Ultra Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.89 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/AtlMci
● This season is the fourth time Atlético Madrid have lost the first leg of a UEFA Champions League knockout tie away from home – Diego Simeone’s side have progressed on two of the three previous occasions, however, eliminating Barcelona in 2015-16 (3-2 on aggregate) and Bayer Leverkusen in 2014-15 (1-1 on aggregate, progressing in a penalty shootout).
● This will be Manchester City’s first every away game against Atlético Madrid in European competition – the Citizens have won just three of their previous 11 away games against Spanish opponents (D1 L7), however one of those came on their most recent such trip under Pep Guardiola (2-1 v Real Madrid in February 2020).
● After a run of nine victories in 10 home games between November 2017 and October 2020, Atlético Madrid are winless in their last seven home games in the UEFA Champions League (D4 L3) – their last win in the competition on home soil came in October 2020 (3-2 v RB Salzburg).
● Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has faced Atletico Madrid away from home on six previous occasions as a manager (W3 D3), with the most recent of those being a 0-1 defeat in the UEFA Champions League while in charge of Bayern Munich in 2015-16. This will be Guardiola’s first away game at the Wanda Metropolitano.
● Atlético Madrid failed to attempt a shot in the first leg against Manchester City. Since 2003-04, the fewest shots recorded by a team across two legs of a UEFA Champions League knockout tie is four, by Shakhtar Donetsk against Bayern Munich in 2014-15. The only team to have failed to record a shot on target across two legs in this period was Deportivo La Coruña in the 2003-04 semi-finals against FC Porto.
● This will be Manchester City’s 100th game in the UEFA Champions League – the Citizens have won 55 of their first 99, which is already the most by an English side through a century of games in the competition. Overall, only Real Madrid have won more of their first 100 games in the UEFA Champions League (57).
● Atlético Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has scored 29 goals in his career in the UEFA Champions League – should he score in this game, he would overtake David Trezeguet (29) for the fourth-most goals by a French player in the competition, trailing only Karim Benzema (82, as of the first leg), Thierry Henry (50) and Kylian Mbappé (33).
● Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez has scored six goals across his last six away games in the UEFA Champions League. The Algerian has scored in three consecutive away games in the knockout stages of the competition; should he score in this match, only Cristiano Ronaldo will have scored in more such games consecutively (6 – 2013-2015).
● Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 67% of Atlético Madrid’s goals in the UEFA Champions League this season (6/9 – four goals, two assists); the highest ratio of any player for his team among the eight quarter-finalists in 2021-22.
● João Cancelo has been directly involved in five goals for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League this season (two goals, three assists); the joint-most by a full back in one of Pep Guardiola’s teams in a single campaign in the competition, along with Dani Alves in 2010-11 (also two goals, three assists).
LIVERPOOL V BENFICA
8pm We finish the Quarter-Finals with Liverpool hosting Benfica, and to be honest this seems to be a formality. As I said above, Liverpool are trading 1.01 to qualify after winning the first leg 3-1 away from home. They absolutely bossed the first leg and were much the better side – now with home advantage it’s hard to see how Benfica can turn things around here. It would be one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history. Even in the 90 minutes market, Liverpool are trading as short as 1.3 to win here. I would keep an eye on the team news here – Jurgen Klopp has been known to throw in a surprise or two, he probably won’t be given Liverpool had a tough game against Manchester City at the weekend and then play them again in the FA Cup Semi-Final this weekend he could choose to rest one of his stars. That’s unlikely, but it is worth considering given the gulf in class between the sides here and the fact Liverpool already have a two goal advantage. Although this should be one way traffic for Liverpool, you have to say the general feeling of this tie will be to just get through the 90 minutes without any drama at all. In that sense, I don’t expect Liverpool to run riot here and score lots of goals. Indeed, when they had a two goal advantage over Inter Milan after the first leg, they actually lost the second leg 1-0. They didn’t deserve to lose and Inter Milan had a red card that changed the game, but they were happy enough to just play out the 90 minutes.
Although I fully accept that there’s a big gulf in class between the sides here, and we saw just how much better Liverpool were in the first leg. I still feel I’m happy to avoid the 1.3 on Liverpool – I feel there are a lot of better 1.3 shots out there to include in BETDAQ Multiples – especially at the weekend when sides need to win. Liverpool don’t need to win here, they just need to get through the 90 minutes. That makes the goal markets and the handicap markets interesting, because I can see Liverpool being happy enough to sit back here and not chase the game. Benfica have to do all the running, and while that will give Liverpool a lot of opportunities, I feel under 3.5 goals is worth backing here at 1.84. I was going to take a chance with under 2.5 goals at 3.0+ but under 3.5 goals looks very nice value at the odds. The market is really expecting an open game here and we could well have one given the Benfica tactics, but I just feel Liverpool won’t go toe-to-toe with them. They will want a quiet game, and they also have a very important game at the weekend too – they just need a boring result tonight!
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Under 3.5 goals at 1.84 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/LivBen
● Liverpool won 3-1 in the first leg in Lisbon – the Reds have gone on to win the competition in the previous two occasions in which they have won both legs in a European Cup/UEFA Champions League knockout stage tie against Benfica, doing so in 1977-78 and 1983-84.
● Only two teams have ever won by more than one goal away to Liverpool in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, however one of those instances was by Benfica (2-0 in 2005-06 in the Round of 16) – the other being Chelsea’s 3-1 win there in the 2008-09 quarter-finals.
● Liverpool have won each of their last five games against Portuguese sides in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 16 goals and only conceding three times. Overall, they’re unbeaten in nine games against Portuguese in the competition since Benfica won at Anfield in March 2006 (W7 D2).
● Liverpool have progressed from each of their last 12 ties in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages after winning the first leg, with their last – and only – elimination in this scenario coming in the 2001-02 quarter-finals against Bayer Leverkusen (1-0 in first leg, 2-4 in the second leg).
● Benfica have only won one of their last nine away games in the UEFA Champions League (D3 L5), although that victory did come in the last round as they eliminated Ajax (1-0 last month). They have only won consecutive away games in the competition once previously, doing so in September-October 2011 under Jorge Jesus.
● Liverpool are looking to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the third time under Jürgen Klopp, which is as many times as the Reds had managed to do so in the competition prior to Klopp taking charge (2004-05, 2006-07 and 2007-08, all under Rafa Benítez).
● Mohamed Salah has scored 14 goals in 23 appearances for Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League – his next home goal will see him overtake Steven Gerrard (14) for the most goals scored by a Liverpool player at Anfield in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
● Darwin Núñez has scored five goals in nine UEFA Champions League appearances for Benfica this season, while no player has ever netted more for the Portuguese side in a single season in the competition (Nuno Gomes with five in 1998-99).
● Since the start of the 2017-18 season – Liverpool’s first under Jürgen Klopp in the UEFA Champions League – only Robert Lewandowski (54) has been involved in more goal-ending sequences of play than Mohamed Salah (46) in the competition.
● Among players with 500 minutes played in the UEFA Champions League this season, Benfica’s Rafa has the highest average carry distance of any winger in the competition. The Portuguese has made 94 carries (moving 5+ metres with the ball) in total, covering an average of 13.9 metres per carry.