Bet of the Day

Wednesday Football Tips: Back a 7/1 saver in Europa League final

Musso
Musso can makes saves for Atalanta in Dublin

Paul Higham is playing a couple of the more lesse-known markets for the Europa League final, backing both goalkeepers to shine as Bayer Leverkusen face Atalanta in Dublin...


Atalanta v Bayer Leverkusen
Wednesday 22 May, 20:00 kick-off
Live on TNT Sports

We all know about Xabi Alonso's incredible Bayer Leverkusen anf their unbeaten run this season, which has just this Europa League final in Dublin and the German Cup final left for a clean sweep.

Atalanta will be tricky opposition under the excellent coach Gian Piero Gasperini even in their first ever European final, and the way both sides play it should be an entertianing affair in Dublin.

You can read all about Atalanta's stats and betting angles in our View From Italy here.

And we've also got Bayer Leverkusen's stats and betting advice in our View From Germany.

Given it's the big game though we've just got to have a swing at it here in our Bet Builder colum, and I'm taking a look at a couple of underplayed but hopefully fruitful markets.

Leg 1: Leverkusen keeper 3+ saves

It's a system we're used to seeing across Europe at times as Alonso uses Matej Kovar as Leverkusen's 'cup keeper' so he'll have the gloves in Dublin.

And he's usually busier than regular number one Lukas Hradecky, as he's had to make 51 saves in just 17 games this season - so we'll back the Leverkusen keeper to make 3+ saves in the final at 1/12.00.

Kovar has made 3+ saves nine times in his 17 games this season, and Atlanta certainly aren't scared of having goal attempts so this looks a decent shout.

Leg 2: Atalanta keeper 4+ saves

Just to make the point - Atalanta also have two keepers with Juan Musso starting all but one Europa League game. As with the Bayer bet though it's whoever is in goal on the night we're backing.

And Bayer make keepers work more often than not, with opposing keepers making six, five and 12(!) saves in the last three games, so we'll back Atalanta's keeper to make 4+ saves at 1/12.00.

The German's simply have more firepower and will likely be the aggressors, which is why this bet has landed in 32 games this season.

Bayer also have the fifth-most shots on target in the top five European leagues, just one less than Bayern in Germany, and playing fewer games than Real Madrid, Man City and Liverpool.

And as another marker, Musso made four saves in both legs against Liverpool, even by then an under-performing Liverpool, so there should be similar volume tonight and he's proven he can get himself in the way.

German Bundesliga - Top 5 Shots On Target

Team Played Shots On target Av/Game
Bayern München 34 242 7.1
Leverkusen 34 241 7.1
Leipzig 34 223 6.6
Stuttgart 34 219 6.4
Dortmund 34 191 5.6
Hoffenheim 34 166 4.9
M'gladbach 34 155 4.6
Bochum 34 153 4.5
Wolfsburg 34 151 4.4
Köln 34 151 4.4
Frankfurt 34 145 4.3
Freiburg 34 144 4.2
Mainz 05 34 144 4.2
Union Berlin 34 136 4
Augsburg 34 133 3.9
Bremen 34 133 3.9
Heidenheim 34 119 3.5
Darmstadt 98 34 115 3.4
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Leg 3: Granit Xhaka to be fouled 2+ times

'Get on Xhaka for fouls' you'd likely say at first glance, and you couldn't really argue as the former Arsenal man has given away plenty - making the 7/42.75 on him to give away 2+ fouls look pretty attractive.

That's landed 11 times this season, but only once in his last 17 games, and he's not given away a foul at all in his last four, so although the pressure of a final could well see him give a few away, we're heading in the opposite direction and backing Xhaka to be fouled 2+ times at 10/111.91.

This has come off in 17 games this season, including two of the last three Europa League games - while Atalanta have two players in the top 10 for fouls in Serie A this season and six players in their squad with over 50 fouls to their names.

So we'll take Xhaka to be on the receiving end this time.


Now read all of our Europa League final previews & tips


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COLUMN P/L FOR 23/24

Staked: 262pts
Returned: 288.86pts
P/L: +26.86pts

2022/23 P/L: +68.69pts

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