Chelsea take on Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout tie, with the Blues holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are 5/4 to win on the night and 1 / 4 to qualify, with Atletico 12/5 to win and 11/4 to qualify. The draw is 11/5.
Chelsea have conceded only two goals in 12 games in all competitions under Tuchel, with 11 of those 12 games seeing under three goals scored at either end.
Both sides struggled to break the other down in the first leg, with only a wondrous Olivier Giroud overhead kick the difference between the teams.
While Atletico will have to show more attacking ambition, it’s certainly difficult to envisage a goal-fest between two managers who prioritise defence over attack. As such, I’ll back Under 4 Goals.
With the amount at stake and Daniele Orsato officiating, I’m expecting cards to be brandished. The Italian referee averages 4.24 cards per game in his 33 Champions League matches, with this increasing to 5.44 in his nine knockout ties.
Only once in those nine matches did he show less than 40 booking points, while he has shown both teams at least one card each in 16 of his last 18 club matches, so I’m going to back a card for each team and 4+ cards overall. This landed in the first leg, with each side receiving two yellow cards.
Under 4 Goals for Both Teams Combined, Over 0 Cards for Chelsea, Over 0 Cards for Atletico, Over 3 Cards for Both Teams Combined @ 4/5 (bet365).
13 of Orsato’s last 18 club matches have seen both teams receive two or more cards each, so given this landed in the first leg, I’m surprised to be receiving odds of 23/20 for this. Adding both teams to score fewer than three goals boosts it to 6/4.
Nine of Orsato’s last 18 club matches have also seen both teams receive three or more cards each, with four of the Italian’s nine CL knockout games seeing 70+ booking points shown, so 9/2 is a decent longshot for both teams to receive 3+ cards each.
In terms of player cards, they’re understandably pretty skinny across the board, so it’ll probably be a case of picking a double and a treble and hoping for lady luck to be on your side.
Mason Mount and Jorginho are both suspended having picked up three yellow cards in this season’s competition, so Ngolo Kante is likely to partner Matteo Kovacic in midfield. Both are best priced with Unibet at 3/1 to receive a booking.
Stefan Savic was booked in the first leg and has received 12 yellow cards in 24 La Liga matches this season, so 13/5 (Sky Bet) seems a good price for him to be carded, especially as he will struggle with Timo Werner’s pace in that channel should Atletico push their defensive line up. Koke has received eight in 24 and can be backed at the same price with the same bookmaker.
Elsewhere, there’s a few shots on target prices I like with Betfair, with Kai Havertz (5/6), Marcos Alonso (9/5) and Marcos Llorente (EVS) having 1+ each making a nice 11/1 treble.
Havertz had four against Leeds at the weekend but may not start, while Alonso had one in the first leg and has had four across his last three league starts. With Yannick Carrasco fit again, Llorente should return to a more central position, where he has had one shot on target in each of his last two league starts.