Citizens and Meringues Struggle to Shut out Top Teams

Manchester City and Real Madrid go head-to-head in the Champions League.

Manchester City and Real Madrid go head-to-head in the Champions League.

Betting is not necessarily about reinventing the wheel and there is no shame in punting on the blatantly obvious when the aim of the game is to empty the wallets of bookmakers.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are the UEFA Champions League semi-finalists that have the most in common which each other – both the Citizens and the Meringues are great at putting the ball into the back of their opponent’s net but they are bad at keeping clean sheets of their own.

Writing before Tottenham hosted West Bromwich in Monday’s final match of the English Premier League round, Manchester City is the division’s top overall scorer with 66 goals and its top home scorer with 45 goals – the Citizens have scored 12 goals more than at Etihad Stadium than Spurs have scored at White Hart Lane. And Manchester City is the home side for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg clash.

Real Madrid has scored 104 goals in its 35 Spanish Primera Division matches, including 67 in its 18 home games – those are numbers with which not even Barcelona can live. Real Madrid warmed up for its UEFA Champions League assignment with a 3-2 Spanish Primera Division win at Vallecano, while Manchester City thrashed Stoke 4-0 in the English Premier League to remain on course for a finish in the top four.

Both teams have scored in 11 of Manchester City’s 18 English Premier League home matches, including in five of its six games against sides in the top eight. Both teams have scored in three of Manchester City’s five UEFA Champions League home matches and seven of its 10 games irrespective of venue. Both teams have scored in 13 of Real Madrid’s 17 Spanish Primera Division away matches, with the Meringues failing to shut out any of the nine top-10 sides that it has met on its travels. Admittedly, Real Madrid has kept a lot of clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League but Manchester City is the best team that it has faced in the event and those Spanish Primera Division statistics are compelling.

Backing both sides to score when Manchester City hosts Real Madrid at Etihad Stadium is the best bet on the midweek card because 888Sport and Unibet‘s odds of -164 are generous. There is enough data to support one’s case that Manchester City and Real Madrid skew towards both teams to score whenever they line up versus decent sides at home and on the road respectively.

One highlighted the good value in supporting Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League market in one of last week’s articles and one is interested in betting on under two and a half goals when the Mattressers welcome Bayern Munchen to the Vicente Calderon for Wednesday’s semi-final first leg.

Under two and a half goals is a standing dish in Atletico Madrid’s Spanish Primera Division games, with 21 of its 35 league matches not exceeding that line. Atletico Madrid has kept 22 clean sheets in its 35 Spanish Primera Division and there is no doubt whatsoever that the Mattressers defence is the finest in club football. Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone’s priority will be to keep Bayern Munchen to nil in Spain, so much so that one is sure that he would take a 0-0 home draw if one was to offer it to him before kick off.

Bayern Munchen has scored an impressive 74 goals in its 31 German Bundesliga games but, thanks to its strong defence, only 12 of its divisional matches have gone over two and a half goals. Furthermore, eight of Bayern’s 16 away games in the German Bundesliga have gone under two and a half goals.

Marathonbet is offering odds of -149 about Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munchen’s first UEFA Champions League encounter going under two and a half goals and one thinks that is an attractive wagering proposition. None of Atletico’s 11 Spanish Primera Division matches against sides in the top seven has featured more than three goals, while Bayern’s two most demanding German Bundesliga away games both ended 0-0.

Finally, Sevilla’s away record in all competition is such that Shakhtar Donetsk appeals as a draw-no-bet wager at odds of +105  with William Hill for Thursday’s first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final tie. Sevilla is 4-11-12 in its 27 road matches regardless of tournament, with its four wins being over Betis, Logrones and Mirandes in the Spanish Copa del Rey and Athletic in the UEFA Europa League. So, Sevilla has not won outside of Spain, one of its away victories was in a derby and two of its road victims are below top class.

Sevilla is superior to Shakhtar Donetsk using a collateral form line involving Real Madrid but the former’s away form is abysmal and the latter’s home numbers are respectable.

Tips Summary

Manchester City v Real Madrid – Both Teams to Score
Tuesday 26th April, 19:45 GMT
Odds:  -164

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich – Under 2.5 Goals
Wednesday 27th April, 19:45 GMT
Odds:  -149

Shakhtar Donestk Draw No Bet
Thursday 28th April, 19:45 GMT
Odds:  +105