Thursday, 7.45pm, BT Sport 2
AC Milan will welcome Juventus to the San Siro on Thursday night for the first leg of their Coppa Italia clash. Since re-signing for the Rossoneri, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has seen his side lose just once in the eight games he’s played, scoring three times over those matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo though has been incredible for the Old Lady, scoring 20 goals in the league and another three in cup competitions. We’ve had a look through the markets to find the Three Best Bets for this intriguing encounter.
Cristiano Ronaldo at 10/11 is the favourite here and yes, his form has been insanely good and there’s no real reason not to go for him, other than the price of 6/4 for Zlatan screams value. It’s probably so high because Zlatan has only scored one goal against the Old Lady over nine matches against them. Of course, he played 70 times for Juventus but left the club when they were relegated to Serie B in 2006.
Milan have played eight matches since Ibrahimovic resigned for the club, they’ve won four, drawn three (winning one in Extra Time) and lost one, last weekend’s Milan derby where he scored one and set up Milan’s other goal. We’re giving him the nod here because he’s been so good since resigning and with almost all of the play going through him up front he’s going to be Milan’s best chance of scoring.
Milan have averaged 1.0 goals per game at home in the league this season, conceding 1.18. However, since Zlatan has come back into the team, this average has risen to 2.20 and they’ve conceded 1.0.
Juventus on their travels in the league have averaged 1.42 goals scored and have conceded 1.08. We feel like pointing out here that this is a bit of a contrarian bet, over the five most recent meetings between the pair at the San Siro this bet would have lost four out of five times.
We’re going against the crowd here because, really, this is Milan’s only shot at landing any silverware this season and indeed, could face city rivals Inter in the final should they get past Napoli in the other semifinal. Add to this their higher goal-scoring average since the return of Ibra and Juventus leaky defence of late (six goals conceded in their four most recent away matches) and we’d be confident of this one landing here.
For all of Milan’s chances of scoring though it’s hard to see them winning and seeing Juventus at Evens again, screams value. Juventus are rarely anything close the Evens, this season away from home they’ve been priced at Evens or above only seven times in all competitions.
They’ve won four, drawn one and lost two. In their five most recent meetings at the San Siro Juventus have won four and we think that trend will continue so we’re backing them.
*All odds correct at time of publication