Weekend Football Tips: AC Milan to leave it late again

AC Milan need Mario Balotelli to turn it on consistently

Michael Lintorn's scour for in-play gold focuses on AC Milan's 81st-minute awakenings and Man United's path to under 2.5 goals...

"The one art that AC Milan have mastered even when everything else has gone wrong is the late rally. Nine of their 27 goals across the last 17 Serie A matchdays arrived in the final 10 minutes."

This Sunday, three of Europe's biggest 2013/14 underachievers are in action within a few hours of each other: Lyon (ninth in Ligue 1), Man United (seventh in the Premier League) and AC Milan (11th in Serie A). To eliminate all strain from your day of rest, we've investigated the in-play opportunities that those encounters offer...

Sunday 13:00, Reims v Lyon, BT Sport 2

Reims are one of several teams to have exploited the fact that Lyon are no longer French football's big bad wolf to dart past them in Ligue 1, currently chilling four points higher in seventh. Key to their unlikely success has been making any lead count, winning eight of ten matches in which they scored first and drawing the other two, one of those with title-hungry Monaco. Third-placed Lille were their latest victims last week, vanquished 2-1 at home. Lyon have conceded the opener in seven of their nine away league games. If the trend is maintained, tuck into Reims, whose pre-match price is 3.39/4.


Sunday 16:00, Chelsea v Man United, Sky Sports 1

The head-to-head statistics between these two scream under 2.5 goals at 1.9420/21. Their past three meetings, including August's goalless sleep-inviter, met the criteria, as have Man United's last five clashes with Chelsea sides led by Jose Mourinho. Five of the champions' six jousts with top-five clubs this term featured a goal or fewer. If you expect more of the same, but wish to at least double your money, one strategy is to hope for an early strike and then steam into unders. Man United have been involved in six games with a goal in the first half hour that still ended with under 2.5 goals, the deadlock being broken within six minutes in three of those.


Sunday 19:45, AC Milan v Verona, BT Sport 1

Despite the objectionable form that has seen AC Milan win just two of their last 11 Serie A fixtures - and five in 19 all season - they are 1.4840/85 favourites to beat top-six side Verona in Clarence Seedorf's dugout debut. The one art that they have mastered even when everything else has gone wrong is the late rally. Nine of their 27 goals across the last 17 Serie A matchdays arrived in the final 10 minutes, and they have twice salvaged a point when trailing by two goals with three minutes to play. There have been five instances in total in this league campaign that they have recovered a deficit, hinting that things could be even worse.

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