The Europa League is at the quarter final stage, and with some big clashes, Jake Osgathorpe uses expected goals (xG) to assess the likely winners and scorelines of every match...
"Sevilla were hugely impressive in their last 16 tie with Roma, simply blowing the tiring Italians away in what was a sensational display (xG: SEV 2.3 – 0.5 ROM) and yet another clean sheet – their sixth in their last seven games."
Inter to progress to semis
Inter Milan vs Bayer Leverkusen
Inter Milan were far from at their best in the last round against Getafe, but their extra quality dragged them through, with Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen scoring either side of a penalty miss from the Spaniards (xG: INT 1.82 - 2.35 GET).
Creating good chances regularly is something we have become accustomed to with Inter this season, averaging 1.8 xGF per game in Serie A, and we should see more of the same here.
Bayer Leverkusen comfortably beat Rangers 4-1 on aggregate after a dominant second leg (xG: B04 1.87 - 0.37 RAN), but this is a much sterner test against a much better side.
Peter Bosz's side have impressed offensively throughout 19/20, with some excellent attacking players in their ranks, but question marks remain defensively, with Bayer allowing an average of 1.6 xGA per game in the Bundesliga.
That could well be their undoing in this game, as although Inter did look a little tired against Getafe, they have the quality to expose Bayer's defensive issues. Antonio Conte's side are fancied to win (52%) in a high-scoring game (61% O2.5, 61% BTTS) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ [10.0]
Comfortable evening for United
Manchester United vs Copenhagen
A rotated Manchester United side beat LASK Linz 2-1 at Old Trafford to round off a 7-1 aggregate win in what was a comfortable tie for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
That rotation opportunity could prove crucial in their bid to win the Europa League, with key players getting some much-need rest ahead of what could prove to be a busy few weeks.
Throughout the Europa League campaign United have been excellent from an underlying number perspective, averaging 2.1 xGF and 0.8 xGA per game, with that impressive defensive figure the most eye-catching.
Copenhagen pulled off an upset in the last round, as they turned around a 1-0 deficit against Turkish champion Basaksehir to win 3-1 on aggregate, and rightly so after a stellar second leg display (xG: COP 2.04 - 0.68 BAS).
That strong attacking display looks to be a one off though, as looking through their whole campaign, the Danes have created an average of just 0.8 xGF per game - not good.
They could well fail to trouble United on the evening, with the model calculating just a 33% chance of BTTS, while United are 57% favourites to win the game in 90 minutes - 2-0.
Back the 2-0 @ [6.8]
Shakhtar to edge into SF
Shakhtar vs Basel
Shakhtar were excellent against Wolfsburg, rightly progressing to this stage after a dominant second leg display (xG: SHA 2.5 - 0.6 WOL) in which they created plenty of good chances.
As I discussed in this weeks Football...Only Bettor, the Ukrainian's should be taken seriously, as when this stage of the competition is usually played (FEB/MAR), they are on a winter break or just coming back from one. They are fresh and firing right now having just won the Ukrainian Premier League.
Since dropping from the Champions League, they have knocked out both Benfica and Wolfsburg, two decent scalps, with chances at both ends the norm when they take to the field (1.8 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg).
Basel had their tie with Frankfurt pretty much won after a strong first leg performance in Germany, winning 3-0, but still went and beat the Germans again in the second leg 1-0.
Their aggregate xG over that tie was impressive (2 Leg xG: BAS 4.4 - 1.9 FRA), and they shouldn't be underestimated here, though they have shown defensive vulnerabilities according to expected goals (1.3 xGA pg) even if they have gone unpunished (0.4 goals against pg in UEL).
Goals are expected in this one (60% O2.5, 61% BTTS), though Shakhtar are fancied to prevail and reach the semi-finals (43%) - 2-1.
Back the 2-1 @ [9.6]
Goalless between two strong defences
Wolves vs Sevilla
Wolves hung on against Olympiakos to win 1-0 in the second leg and 2-1 on aggregate, rightly qualifying for the quarter finals after winning the aggregate xG (2 Leg xG: WOL 3.0 - 2.3 OLY).
Their European journey began way back in July of last year, but boy have they excellent in the competition, boasting impressive underlying numbers (1.7 xGF, 0.9 xGA pg).
Defence has been their greatest strength throughout this campaign, and that is a good thing heading into a single game knockout tournament, as it means they can stay in matches by limiting their opponents.
Sevilla were hugely impressive in their last 16 tie with Roma, simply blowing the tiring Italians away in what was a sensational display (xG: SEV 2.3 - 0.5 ROM) and yet another clean sheet - their sixth in their last seven games.
Julen Lopetegui's side have been excellent on both fronts this season, finishing the season fourth and level on points with Atletico Madrid in La Liga, while posting fantastic underlying numbers in the Europa League (2.2 xGF, 0.7 xGA pg).
These two staunch backlines should mean we see little in the way of goalmouth action, with the model calculating its more likely than not that we don't see BTTS (44%), while Wolves can avoid defeat (61% WOL or draw) in this cagey affair - 0-0.
Back the 0-0 @ [8.6]
For more information on Infogol, visit infogol.net
Infogol's 19/20 Correct Score P+L
Inter Milan vs Bayer Leverkusen: Back the 2-1 @ [10.0]
Manchester United vs Copenhagen: Back the 2-0 @ [6.8]
Shakhtar vs Basel: Back the 2-1 @ [9.6]
Wolves vs Sevilla: Back the 0-0 @ [8.6]