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Champions League Betting Preview: Real Madrid, Salzburg and more

Champions League Betting Preview: Real Madrid, Salzburg and more

2019-12-10 
| by Tomiwa | Posted in Betting Tips, Betting Previews

Tomiwa picks out four key battles ahead of the final round of Champions League fixtures, predicting that Inter can open old wounds against Valverde's Barcelona...

 

Fabinho's absence could mean high-scoring game in Salzburg

Barcelona v Inter Milan
Liverpool (4.00)   X (4.25)  RB Salzburg (1.80)
Tuesday, 6:55 PM

RB Salzburg's high-intensity football focuses on quick vertical play, with attacks orchestrated though the middle of the pitch in a diamond 4-4-2 that looks to give strikers the ball as quickly as possible. It was principally counter-attacks led by Hwang Hee-Chan, probing directly through the heart of the Liverpool midfield, that saw them score three times at Anfield earlier this season.

With Liverpool needing to avoid defeat Jurgen Klopp might decide to be more conservative than usual, and yet without Fabinho in midfield, it is likely Hee-Chan will once again get on the ball and drive into the final third. It will be chaotic, and high scoring. On home soil, Salzburg have scored an incredible 41 goals in nine games in Austria and eight in two in the Champions League, including two in an end-to-end 3-2 defeat to Napoli.
However, as against Napoli, Salzburg's lack of competition domestically means they will once again be too open as well as superb going forward. The Austrian club's constantly overlapping full-backs can provide Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah with numerous opportunities to repeat their first-half performance in the reverse fixture.
Get GG & Ov 3.5 at 1.97 here 

 

Low-scoring, possession-based Lille perfect opponents for Lampard

Lille v Chelsea
Chelsea (1.24)  X (6.50)  Lille (13.00)
Tuesday, 9:00 PM

Chelsea need a win to secure qualification in Group H but will feel very confident despite the pressure. Not only are Lille bottom with just one point from five matches, the French side are also flawed in ways that will benefit Frank Lampard's tactical system. This should be a relatively easy home win that blows away the cobwebs after some worrisome unexciting Premier League performances of late.

Lille are still a possessive side that struggle to create chances, sitting 11th in Ligue 1 for shots (12.5) - and things are only getting worse; they have scored just three times in their last six matches in all competitions. 
At the other end, Chelsea's own creativity issues should be solved against a side that will want to play an expansive game. Lille come to Stamford Bridge to play, meaning they will leave spaces through the middle for Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic to build up a head of steam. Deep-lying opponents have found a way to disrupt Lampard's rhythms. Lille will not follow that template.
Get Chelsea to win and Over 1.5 goals at 1.34 here

 

Luka Jovic could prove the difference 

Real Madrid v Club Brugge

 Club Brugge (3.05)  X (3.70)  Real Madrid (2.25)
Tuesday, 9:00 PM


Real Madrid striker, Luka Jovic has had few opportunities to prove himself since joining the Galacticos and Tomiwa believes that he'll make the most of his likely opportunity against Club Brugge...
It's been a tough start to life at Real Madrid for Luka Jovic. Signed in the summer for €60m, starts have been hard to come by at a time when the evergreen Karim Benzema has been in fine form.
This is a game that has more significance for Club Brugge than it does for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League and are unable to win Group A ahead of PSG. Club Brugge are third and face the threat of losing the Europa League spot they occupy to Galatasaray.

It's likely that Real Madrid will take this opportunity to rotate their side ahead of a tough run of La Liga fixtures before Christmas in which they'll play Valencia, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. Nacho and Gareth Bale are back from injury, while the likes of Luka Modric, Isco and Luka Jovic were all on the bench for the 2-0 win against Espanyol at the weekend and could all get a start.

Club Brugge's three points in the group stages have all been earned from draws, with one of them coming away at Real Madrid in a match that finished 2-2. Madrid's form has improved since then, but Brugge are playing pretty well themselves and are unbeaten in five matches.

So far Jovic has only scored one goal for Madrid, but this looks like the perfect opportunity for him to play a full game and build some momentum. Jovic scored ten Europa League goals for Eintracht Frankfurt in 14 appearances last season as they reached the semi-final and he is 2.75 to open his Champions League account.
Get Jovic to score here

 

Antonio Conte will grind out a win

Barcelona v Inter

Inter (1.65)  X (4.25)  Barcelona (5.00)
Tuesday, 8:00 PM

Antonio Conte is more than happy to concede possession to those who crave it, stubbornly holding ground and engaging in an organised, timed press to squeeze out space in the final third before launching rapid counter-attacks. His 3-5-2 at Inter is getting superb results thanks to the form of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku, and against Barcelona's clumsy back four these two will be able to break successfully.

More importantly, Inter's back five will know just how to compress the space in order to deny in-form Lionel Messi from running the game, just as Atletico Madrid (almost) did in a 1-0 defeat at the start of the month. Messi is less effective on the road (and may not start) while Barcelona are generally less fluid, and so Inter's compact defensive blockade should frustrate the visitors throughout.

Barca have only won half their away games this season, while Inter have only been beaten once at home (2-1 to Juventus). The only real danger for Inter is if the game wears on at 0-0 and they need to open up to score an all-important winner - at which point substitute Messi will start to find pockets.

Get Inter to win and under 3.5 at 2.73 here

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