Betting on cards is the most appealing way to approach the UEFA Champions League semi-final second legs because of the rule changes that the governing body made two years ago.
Sick of seeing players scrubbed out of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals for an accumulation of yellow cards, the powers that be decreed that, from the 2014-2015 season onwards, only red cards would result in the stars of the game missing title deciders. With Atletico Madrid and Monaco having to scale Everest-like mountains to eliminate Real Madrid and Juventus respectively, there is potential for players representing the Mattressers and the Red and Whites to lose their tempers and receive yellow cards. And particularly in the case of Juventus, which is not home and hosed versus Monaco because of the away goals rule offers a glimmer of hope to the Red and Whites, players representing the UEFA Champions League favourites know that they can take a yellow card for their team without missing the final.
One cannot believe that SkyBet is offering odds of +137 about Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin being shown a card in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg as his side attempts to recover from losing 0-3 at Real Madrid last week. Godin is an old-fashioned central defender who hates to see fleet-footed attackers get goalside of him and, with Atletico having to chase the tie from the first minute of its home leg, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid colleagues are going to have space to exploit on the break. Godin has collected 10 yellow cards and one red card in his 31 Spanish Primera Division appearances to mark out him as Atletico’s baddest boy. One thinks that Godin should be odds on to find his way into Cuneyt Cakir’s notebook.
Bjorn Kuipers will referee Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg between Juventus and Monaco and one likes the idea of backing the Dutch official to show a card to Juve wing back Dani Alves at odds of +275 with 32Red.
Alves has featured in 17 Italian Serie A matches – 14 starts and three appearances off the bench – for Juventus and he has managed to receive four yellow cards, which is a high strike rate for a wing back playing for the league’s top team. Monaco’s UEFA Champions League plight is not as bleak as that of Atletico Madrid because the Red and Whites have scored in almost all of their games across all competitions and the away goals rule is their best friend this week.
One is confident that Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri will drill the importance of not conceding the first goal to his players because a 1-0 Monaco lead would bring alive the UEFA Champions League semi-final tie. Monaco must play with width to test Juventus and Alves, who lines up on the right wing for the Old Lady, is one of the home stars behind whom the Red and Whites must get to create opportunities. A cynical, attack-ending foul is all that it will take for Alves, who has form in this specific area, to earn himself a caution.
Punting on the raw results of the two UEFA Champions League semi-final second legs is fraught with danger. If one had to have a bet on them one would back Real Madrid to defeat Atletico Madrid and the Juventus-Monaco games to end all square but one is not suggesting either punt; play your cards right and bet on Godin and Alves transgressing.
Diego Godin to receive a card in the match
Wednesday 10th May, 19:45 GMT
Danny Alves to receive a card in the match
Tuesday 9th May, 19:45 GMT