Michael Lintorn advises on in-play tactics worth trying in Man United v Liverpool, Atletico Madrid v Villarreal and AC Milan v Napoli
"Six of Napoli's past 11 Serie A games finishing as score draws. They have a knack of sniffing out a draw from unlikely circumstances."
Man United v Liverpool
Live on Sky Sports 1
Match Odds: Man United 1.845/6, Liverpool 4.77/2, The Draw 4.03/1
It is in contrast to Man United that the extent to which Liverpool have dropped the ball becomes fully apparent. In April, they were about to end their 24-year wait for the title the very season after Sir Alex Ferguson retired, with their nemeses stuck in seventh. Now, the Reds are the ones labouring in mid-table, while the more devilish Reds reacquaint themselves with Chelsea and Man City.
Man United won ten in 11 at home to Liverpool before 2013/14's aberration, so it doesn't look great for Brendan Rodgers' Europa League contemplators. However, the standout trend for this column is that the team who scored first in each of the duo's last four Premier League collisions at Old Trafford went on to grab the second too, flagging up an in-play approach to adopt for the Next Goal market.
Atletico Madrid v Villarreal
Live on Sky Sports 5
Match Odds: Atletico Madrid 1.674/6, Villarreal 6.411/2, The Draw 4.03/1
It isn't often that a run of six La Liga wins in seven flies under the radar, but that is what happens when Atletico Madrid are forced to compete with Real Madrid's remarkable all-competition run of 19 consecutive victories for airtime. It is probably a blessing for the title holders though, whose title candidacy has at least two supporters on Betting.Betfair.
Their latest opponents Villarreal are masters of the over-2.5-goal ambush. Across their previous six La Liga games, there were only five goals scored in the first hour, yet four of those went on to deliver three or more. The trick therefore is to back over 2.5 goals when there are 30 minutes remaining, which has the potential to be hugely profitable if there has been one goal or less by then.
AC Milan v Napoli
Live on BT Sport 1
Match Odds: AC Milan 2.829/5, Napoli 2.747/4, The Draw 3.412/5
Neither AC Milan nor Napoli are conducting the Serie A campaign that they desired. The Rossoneri are doing slightly worse with Pippo Inzaghi than they were under the harshly-discarded Clarence Seedorf, with the sole positive being that Inter are struggling even more, while Napoli's scudetto ambitions have been crushed by an early 11-point deficit to champions Juventus.
At least Rafael Benitez's men are having fun though, with their matches the third-most goal-crammed in Serie A and six of their past 11 league games finishing as score draws.
In fact, they have a knack of sniffing out a draw from unlikely circumstances: twice after sprinting into two-goal leads within 30 minutes, once when 0-2 down with 24 minutes left, twice when trailing with five minutes to play and once having just assumed a 2-1 injury-time advantage. So don't be afraid to take a big-price punt of the draw if either side go two up, or there is a one-goal lead late on.