Inter Milan v Liverpool: Reds the value in San Siro

Liverpool travel to Inter Milan for a mouthwatering Champions League last-16 first leg showdown from the San Siro. Mark O'Haire shares his favourite fancy.

Inter surrender top spot in Serie A

Inter Milan surrendered their position at the top of Serie A following a hard-earned 1-1 draw against fellow title contenders Napoli on Saturday night. The Nerazzurri fell behind early on to Lorenzo Insigne's penalty, while goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and the woodwork ensured the visitors remained in the game at half-time at the San Paolo.

Edin Dzeko pounced on a lucky ricochet within 30 seconds of the restart to bag a fortuitous equaliser. Inter appeared much more assured in the second period and were good value for their share of the spoils thereafter. The stalemate saw city rivals Milan retake pole position in the Scudetto race, although Inter trail by a solitary point with a game in-hand.

The hosts will be able call upon Alessandro Bastoni again after suspension, but Nicolo Barello is banned and Hirving Lozano, Axel Tuanzebe, Joaquin Correa, Robin Gosens and Matias Vecino are all out or rated major doubts through injury. Alexis Sanchez could be in-line for a surprise start in the Nerazzurri side with Lautaro Martinez struggling for form.

Liverpool avoid Burnley banana skin

Liverpool chief Jurgen Klopp said he was pleased to see his side overcome testing conditions and difficult opponents as the Reds won 1-0 at bottom-of-the-table Burnley on Sunday. Fabinho scored the game's only goal just before half-time as the Merseysiders' earned a fourth consecutive Premier League victory to move nine points behind leaders Man City.

Burnley had several good first-half chances before Fabinho struck. However, opportunities were relatively scarce in a scrappy second half, although substitute Diogo Jota should have added a late second following a quick Liverpool break. Nevertheless, Klopp was happy to avoid a potential upset, saying: "Everything was set up to be a banana skin for us."

Klopp added: "The balls in the air were so tricky to defend because the wind came from all directions. We played the circumstances rather than suffered from them. We made our shirts dirty. I am really happy because I know how difficult it is to come here."

Sadio Mane returned to the starting XI at Turf Moor and Liverpool therefore have no injury or suspension concerns heading to Milan on Wednesday.

Reds fair favourites at San Siro

Inter Milan and Liverpool have only met four times previously in this competition with the Reds running out victorious in three of those four encounters. The duo's last head-to-heads arrived at the same stage of the 2007/08 Champions League with Rafa Benitez's side triumphing 2-0 at Anfield before picking up a 1-0 success at San Siro in the second leg.

Inter Milan 3.70 have built their domestic title defence on an ability to beat the league's lesser lights. The Nerazzurri have proven almost flawless against sides in seventh and below but have fallen short against top-six rivals, succeeding just twice in nine against the Serie A elite (W2-D5-L2). Simone Inzaghi's side were also beaten home and away by Real Madrid.

Liverpool 2.12 have been turned over once in 20 outings since November's international break (15-D4-L1) and progressed from a challenging Champions League pool with an impeccable W6-D0-L0 record. Jurgen Klopp's charges overcame Milan home and away, as well as Atletico Madrid and Porto, scoring multiple goals in all six group games.

Merseysides make Asian Handicap appeal

Over 2.5 Goals is a 1.76 shot at San Siro and it's easy to see why punters might be keen to get involved. Liverpool's aforementioned matches with Milan this season ended 3-2 and 2-1, whilst four of the Reds' six group games produced three or more goals. Meanwhile, eight of Inter Milan's nine clashes with top-six Serie A sides have seen both sides scoring.

But Inter came up short in both fixtures with Real Madrid and have displayed an inferiority complex in the big matches that matter over the past 18 months.

With that in mind, a more appealing play is to support Liverpool in the Asian Handicap market - Liverpool 0 & -0.5 is available to support at 1.83 and gives us a degree of protection against the draw.

Should the Merseysiders take top honours in Italy, we'll be paid out at 1.83. However, if the game ends all-square, we'll only lose half of our stake as only an Inter Milan victory sees our full stake lost. There's a reasonable chasm between the Premier League and Serie A right now and the Reds have the ability to expose those fault lines on Wednesday night.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment