Football

Champions League Last 16: Footie Trading Preview 21st Feb 2022

FOOTBALL TRADING BETFAIR

After a cracking opening week on the Champions League Last 16, we are back with more markets to get stuck into on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last week couldn’t have gone much better, to be honest. I’m keen to see what the tactics will be from the away sides this week too. Getting rid of the away goal rule has changed a lot, and I’ll be adding a new section to the Football Course soon when we’ve seen all the games. The fixtures this week…

Tuesday:

  • Chelsea v Lille
  • Villarreal v Juventus

Wednesday:

  • Atletico Madrid v Manchester United
  • Benfica v Ajax

Clearly, there is an obvious fixture to focus on Wednesday night, and Tuesday might be a little more equal. The UK will focus on the Chelsea game but they are heavy odds on favourites and the Villarreal v Juventus game might be more interesting. Don’t forget there is three Premier League games on Wednesday too, and they can pull liquidity away.

I’ll share my thoughts on each game now. Hopefully, we get another blinding trade like the Inter Milan v Liverpool game last week. The unders/over price flipped as expected, and it was an easy as you like to bag £300. It looks like we could get a few cagey games this week too.

Tuesday 8pm – Chelsea v Lille & Villarreal v Juventus

I’m a fan of the early unders trade here. The main issue I see is possibly trying to trade both games at the same time, that’s definitely not ideal. I’ll be keen to watch both markets and try to pick where the biggest opportunity is at the time, but let me break down the logic.

If I was trading the Chelsea v Lille game, I would have lower stakes than Villarreal v Juventus. This is just because of the gulf in class between the sides to be honest. Chelsea is trading 1.34 and are expected to win easily, but I expect to see Lille putting eleven men behind the ball from the start, wasting time and just being cagey in general. Chelsea will take a while to break them down, as they haven’t exactly been firing in front of goal lately. Their xG figures highlight that. They have had a lot of low scoring games lately. They have been grinding out wins and not creating impressive xG numbers. I can see Lille making life tough, and with over 2.5 goals starting odds on this can flip quickly in my opinion.

Onto Villarreal v Juventus, and this game looks made for an early unders trade. Last week highlighted the fact that most top sides will be negative away from home now. The away goals rule was an incentive to score and now that’s gone. PSG were the better side last week, but how negative were Real Madrid? They nearly pulled it off too. A draw here would be ideal for Juventus, and I’d expect classic Italian tactics to get it. Unders is trading 1.7 and this can move quickly. Villarreal will have to do the pressing in my opinion and their average goal time is 28 minutes in La Liga this season. Most of their goals come in the final 15 minutes of each half, and I’ll be well out of the market by the 30th minute mark. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a 0-0 here and maybe the 9.6 on 0-0 Correct Score is also worth a small trade – very limited stakes on that one because there’s no coming back. At least with under/over 2.5 goals you can accept a loss.

Let’s see how these games start, but I feel it screams a slow starter on paper. I’m open to both games, and the issue will be trying to watch/trade both. Don’t dive in too quickly, lt the opportunity come to you.

Wednesday 8pm – Atletico Madrid v Manchester Untied & Benfica v Ajax

Atletico v United is gonna pull most of the liquidity here, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Benfica v Ajax get a little lost tonight. There’s three Premier League games on too and Benfica v Ajax is hardly a big appeal to casual UK football fan. I will still keep it open in a tab and an eye on Infogol in-running stats. It might be easy to think Ajax will win here but don’t under-estimate Benfica – they beat Barcelona with home advantage and created a good xG figure too so it wasn’t a fluke. Plus they picked up a draw away to Barcelona too. Barcelona have been poor this season but there’s some backbone to this Benfica side. I can see this being a tricky game for Ajax. With them starting the game around 1.9 I’ll be looking to see is there an opportunity to lay them if we have a quiet start or Benfica start better than the market expects. This one will be all about momentum trade and picking moments when the market wants to push out Ajax. Happy to keep stakes small on this one though.

Atletico v United will be the focus for Wednesday night. It’s a shame nothing really stands out here because there will be a lot of casual money in this market. Can you trust United these days? For me they have been far too random lately to have a strong opinion on what type of performance we’ll get. They played a mental game against Leeds at the weekend, but then they could just as easily finish with an xG of under 1 here too. You can say the same about Atletico as well. They aren’t having a good season when you look at the La Liga table but their xG figures have been decent. These two are too unreliable to target an unders trade, despite the fact we could easily have a cagey start. Two big sides, United not going to chase the game early, Atletico not exactly creating chance for fun – it does line up for a low scoring game but I just can’t trust either side. When you feel like that, it’s easy to get into a position doubt yourself and close it, costing money. Do that a few times and it becomes a decent red. Sometimes the games to avoid are just as good as the games to focus on. I will have this one open the whole game to see if anything pops up, but it will have to be a big opportunity!

We landed the best option last week with Inter v Liverpool, this week the best option is an early under 2.5 goals trade on Villarreal v Juventus – exit by 25/30minutes – let’s see if we can make it two from two! Wednesday night this week is a lot more guess work and stakes will be heavily limited that night.

Related: Champions League Last 16: Footie Trading Preview 15th Feb 2022

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