Champions League Tuesday Preview: Spurs to come unstuck in Turin
The Champions League returns on Tuesday, with Manchester City and Tottenham in action. Manchester City travel to Basel, and Tottenham travel to Juventus, so Infogol’s Analyst has previewed both matches, using expected goal data to generate the best bets.
Basel vs Manchester City – TUE 1945
Basel come up against another Manchester team, having played Manchester United in the group stage. They deservedly qualified from the group stage after four good wins, the highlight being a 1-0 win over Manchester United in Switzerland. They ended the group campaign with a negative expected goal difference (-0.4 xG), so there is definitely room for improvement in their performances. They won two of their three home games, and do have a very good home record in Europe. Not many people are giving Basel a chance in this tie, but they can limit Manchester City and cause them problem.
Since Manchester City qualified from the group, and the draw was made, they have been installed as favourites with the bookmakers, and rightly so. They are walking away with the Premier League this season, and have reached a very high level with their performances. Similarly, they got through their Champions League group stage with ease, averaging 2 xG per game in the process.
Pep Guardiola’s team impressed once again in their comfortable win over Leicester at the weekend, which was a good warm up for this game. They may have one eye on their Carabao Cup final at the weekend, but are expected to be too strong.
Manchester City are expected to win this, but may be restricted to few goals by a dogged Basel team.
Selection – Under 2.5 goals @ 29/20
Juventus vs Tottenham – TUE 1945
Tottenham’s reward for winning their group ahead of Real Madrid and Dortmund was to draw last year’s runners-up Juventus. The Old Lady were far from convincing in their group campaign, winning just three of their group games, but deservedly qualified. They had the second best defensive record in the group campaign according to expected goals, conceding just 4.4 xG in six matches - the sort of thing that we associate with Massimo Allegri’s side. They will continue to be difficult to break down, which is a good feature of a team when it comes to knock-out football.
Tottenham surprised everyone by finishing top of their group, finishing above last season’s winners Real Madrid. They were fortunate to do so though, as based on the chances created and conceded in their matches, they were far inferior to Real Madrid. They generated just 9.8 xG in their six matches, scoring 15, showing just how fortunate they were. From their six games, they ended with a goal difference of 11, but an expected goal difference of just 1.3 xG, so if they are to go further in this competition they need to improve their process, as they can’t keep relying on luck.
They have been very impressive domestically though, picking up seven points from matches against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, which sets them up perfectly for this game.
They may have their work cut out in Turin though, and are expected to struggle to create chances against Juventus, with the home side taking a first leg lead.
Selection – Juventus to win 1/1