The Champions League finally gets back underway on Friday and Jake Osgathorpe uses expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of every last 16 match...
"Though they are La Liga champions, and rightly so, they are someway off City’s level from an underlying number perspective, and the model fancies City to win the second leg (61%)."
Juve expected to struggle to break Lyon down
Juventus (0) vs (1) Lyon
Serie A champions Juventus face a tricky task on Friday, as they seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit against a Lyon side who impressed defensively in the first leg (xG: LYO 1.1 - 1.1 JUV).
That was the case also against PSG in the Coupe de la Ligue final last week, holding the French champions to a goalless draw, and Les Gones have allowed less than 1.2 xGA in five of their seven Champions League games this season.
Juventus have flattered to deceive this season domestically (4th xG table) and in Europe, having won the xG battle in only two of their seven Champions League games, with the only two matches in which they have created more than 1.1 xGF coming against Lokomotiv Moscow.
The Old Lady have struggled to create 'big' chances in attack, though they do undoubtedly have incredible individual talent, so are fancied to edge to a second leg win (60%), though goals aren't expected (48% BTTS) - 1-0.
Back the 1-0 @ 7/17.8
City to win the second leg
Manchester City (2) vs (1) Real Madrid
Manchester City won the first leg at the Bernabeu 2-1 thanks to a fantastic display (xG: RMA 1.14 - 3.14 MCI), and that lead coupled with two away goals means they have a 91.3% chance of progressing according to our model.
City are an underlying number juggernaut, posting ridiculous figures across the Premier League (2.7 xGF, 1.1 xGA pg) and Champions League (2.9 xGF, 0.8 xGA pg), and that attacking process should see them create and score here against a Sergio Ramos-less Real Madrid.
All of the talk surrounding this second leg is how Real Madrid are a 'different team' to the one that faced City in the first leg, mainly due to their pragmatic approach post-break. Unfortunately, they have to score at least twice here, so are likely to leave themselves exposed as they search for goals.
Though they are La Liga champions, and rightly so, they are someway off City's level from an underlying number perspective, and the model fancies City to win the second leg (61%) in another a high-scoring game between these sides (77% O2.5, 71% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 8/19.2
Barca to unconvincingly edge into QF's
Barcelona (1) vs (1) Napoli
Barcelona have the upper hand heading into the 2nd leg with Napoli following a 1-1 draw in Naples, and the model calculates they have a 73.3% chance of pressing home their advantage.
Quique Setien's side were unfortunate not to win in Naples (xG: 0.7 - 1.5 BAR), in what was one of their better away European performances of recent memory, but the way they finished the La Liga season is a cause for concern.
Barca have looked especially vulnerable defensively in Europe's premier competition, allowing 1.4 xGA per game in the Champions League, and we know Napoli have the ability to create chances, having averaged 2.0 xGF per game in the UCL.
Gennaro Gattuso's Coppa Italia winners have to score at least once here, and we think they will notch, though aren't expected to keep a clean sheet in a high-scoring game (69% O2.5, 64% BTTS). Barcelona's added star quality should get them over the line though (61% BAR win) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ 8/19.0
Rusty Bayern to ease to win
Bayern Munich (3) vs (0) Chelsea
Bayern Munich have this tie pretty much wrapped up after a blistering 3-0 win in London (xG: CHE 1.2 - 3.1 BMU), with Infogol giving Chelsea just a 0.2% chance of progressing.
Bayern won the Bundesliga at a canter in the end after some early turbulence, with their xG process quite simply ridiculous (2.7 xGF, 1.2 xGA pg), and even more so in their seven UCL matches (3.3 xGF, 0.7 xGA pg).
They could be slightly off their usual pace given such a long lay-off compared to many teams in this competition, but their quality should be able to exploit a depleted Chelsea side who lost key players to injury in the FA Cup final.
Chelsea were completely out-played by this superior side in the first leg, and this shouldn't be any different in Germany, in what may prove to be a casual warm-up game for the hosts. Bayern are expected to win the game (71%), with goals likely (63% O2.5) - 3-0.
Back the 3-0 @ 11/112.0
For more information on Infogol, visit infogol.net
Infogol's 19/20 Correct Score P+L
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Juventus (0) vs (1) Lyon: Back the 1-0 @ 7/17.8
Manchester City (2) vs (1) Real Madrid: Back the 2-1 @ 8/19.2
Barcelona (1) vs (1) Napoli: Back the 2-1 @ 8/19.0
Bayern Munich (3) vs (0) Chelsea: Back the 3-0 @ 11/112.0