UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich: Back Konrad Laimer to be carded at 5/2

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel
Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel

It's all to play for between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and Sky Sports' Lewis Jones previews the heavyweight clash and tips up a player to be carded at 5/23.50...


Real Madrid v Bayern Munich
Wednesday May 8, 20:00
Live on TNT Sports

Real look short to qualify - are you brave enough?

This is going to be fantastic fun. But it's a betting heat I'm struggling to solve.

As a punter/tipster that puts so much weight on the strength of data, usually in the form of the expected goals model, Real Madrid give me the shivers when it comes to making an educated betting picks on their matches in the Champions League. They are the data defiers.

Just take a look at their knockout matches this season. In the five games, they have lost the aggregate expected goals battle 6.4 vs 7.6 but still remain the favourites to win the competition.

The first leg in Munich sang to that script. Thomas Tuchel summed it up by saying: "They turned two chances into two goals."

He was right. Bayern were the better side and should be heading to Spain with a lead.

I do think this is where Tuchel comes alive. When the stakes are high in one-off encounters where strategy and marginal gains come to the fore.

He set Bayern up really well in that first leg - and despite somehow losing the expected goals battle but Bayern came out on top in the match momentum data, which registers things like final third entries, passes in the final third, touches in the box rather than just the shot data.

But this is Real Madrid. All logic is telling me they're too short to qualify at 1.51/2 on the Betfair Exchange based on the underlying performance metrics that have been produced in this competition but there is an aura that surrounds them that makes them so hard to oppose.

With my brain frazzled, I'm heading elsewhere for a bet rather than tie myself in knots with the outright market but if you do fancy Bayern to qualify, fill your boots at 3.002/1.

Laimer at risk of being overrun

Konrad Laimer has become an important player for Tuchel in the Champions League. His discipline playing in front of Eric Dier and Matthijs de Ligt has given Bayern such a strong base to work from in matches where they've had to take a step back and relinquish more possession than usual.

He's doing a fine job in that destroyer role at the base of the midfield and will need to play the game of his life at the Bernabeu to stop what probably is the best counter attacking team in world football.

When this game becomes stretched after the first goal - and it will at some point - Laimer is going to be exposed with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Jnr running at him in central areas. Between them those three players have won 5.7 fouls per 90 in the Champions League over the past two seasons. Lamier is going to be busy.

He made four fouls in the first leg, got carded against Arsenal and in such a high stakes game where cynical fouling will be rife, his 5/23.50 price to be carded looks a great bet.

Back Konrad Laimer to be carded @ 5/23.50

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