Statistically Strong Case for Atletico Corners in UCL

Atletico warm up for a Champions League clash with Bayern with a home match against Deportivo.

Atletico warm up for a Champions League clash with Bayern with a home match against Deportivo.

Atletico Madrid post strong corner numbers on home ground, whether in European or domestic competition. This Wednesday night they face a Champions League quarter final against a Leicester side whose corner count falls some way short.

The Foxes unbeaten run under Craig Shakespeare came to an end at Everton on Sunday, as predicted here on SBO, but the sight of Mahrez starting on the bench at Goodison was probably an indication of how important Wednesday night’s game is for the Foxes. They’ve been superb in their first ever Champions League campaign, and knocked out Sevilla in the previous round. Those who remember the first leg in Seville, will remind themselves that Leicester were pegged back for the majority of the 90 minutes before Jamie Vardy’s late away goal changed the complexion of the tie. Craig Shakespeare would accept a similar outcome here, but while it is certain that Atletico will dominate the game, an away goal is by no means assured.

Remember you can claim a £50 FREE BET with Bet365 on Atletico Madrid v Leicester here.

In the other quarter finals, Juventus face Barcelona and Bayern Munich host Real Madrid in two real heavy-weight encounters. The corner markets are also revealing for these two fixtures. Neither Juve or Barca tend to score highly on the corner count, while Bayern and Real are completely the opposite, with both posting impressive numbers.

The aim of the statistics section is to highlight bets that have a higher probability of being successful than their odds might imply, and this week wagering on the corners markets could prove to be a profitable strategy.

Atletico Madrid v Leicester

Atleti have played four Champions League ties at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, averaging 7.5 corners across those games and conceding an average of 3.3 corners per game. That’s in quite stark contrast to their away Champions League numbers, where they have recorded an average of 3.5 corners for and against. This is arguably due to their style of play, which tends to see them shut up shop away from home, but much more on the attacking foot in front of their own fans.

This theory is backed up by their Spanish Primera Division numbers. In 15 domestic matches at home they’ve averaged 7.2 corners, while giving up just 3.2 corners to the opposition. Away from home it’s 4.3 corners won and 5.6 corners conceded. However, it’s the home numbers we are concerned with in the context of Wednesday night’s game.

Leicester run low on corners, but also tend to give up more to their opposition. In 16 home Premier League games the Foxes have secured an average of just 5.4 corners, while allowing their opponents 5.8 corner kicks. Away from home it’s a similar story, with 4.8 corners won and 5.7 conceded. These numbers are exaggerated in their Champions League ties, where on the road they’ve managed an average of just 2.5 corners per game, while giving up 5.3 to their opposition.

The overall profile suggests that Leicester post a poor return on corners particularly in away games, while Atletico post stronger numbers – especially on home soil. Bet365 are offering  -125  for the Madrid side to have most corners with a -3.5 deficit and that is a handicap which Atletico can cover.

Juventus v Barcelona

Followers of Juventus and Barcelona will be familiar with their possession based styles of football, and it will come as little surprise that few corners follow.

Juventus’ four home games in the Champions League have garnered just 6.8 corners in total per match, an average of 4.3 per game to the Old Lady and 2.5 per game to her opponent. Barcelona’s four away ties in the elite competition have seen them average 5.3 corners per game, with their opposition averaging just 2.5 corner kicks. Overall total corners in Barcelona’s away UCL matches come in at an average of 7.8 per match.

These low figures are generally backed up in domestic football, with only Barcelona’s home games in isolation exceeding an average of 10.2 corners per game. Given the tense nature of this first leg, and both teams penchant for a low corner count, a bet on under 10 corners at -120  with Bet365 should be the order of the day.

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

In stark contrast, a bet on over 10 corners at +100  with Bet365 is the play when Bayern host Real Madrid. Along with the Dortmund-Monaco tie 24 hours earlier, this match has the potential to explode into an end-to-end thriller. Both sides are exquisite going forward, and it would be a big surprise if there are not a few goals over the course of 90 minutes.

Such an end-to-end match, if it transpires, should also lend itself to a high corner count. Bayern Munich have averaged more than 7 corners per game across their home and away Champions League ties, while Real Madrid have averaged 6.3 corner kicks both home and away in their European campaign. Neither side have given up many corners to their respective opposition, but that is hardly a surprise considering the extent to which they to dominate inferior teams. Rarely would they come up against such quality opposition, and if both continue with high corner numbers, we should see a match with 12-plus figures.

Tips Summary

Atletico Madrid -3.5 Asian Corner Handicap
Wednesday 12th April, 19:45 BST
Odds:  -125

Juventus v Barcelona – Under 10 corners
Tuesday 11th April, 19:45 BST
Odds:  -120

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid – Over 10 corners
Wednesday 12th April, 19:45 BST
Odds:  +100