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The biggest game is European football is upon us, as Manchester City look to complete a historic treble against three-time European champions Inter Milan.
To celebrate the occasion, we’ve done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of the best offers for the Champions League Final clash in Istanbul this Saturday night (alongside the research for why we think they are a good bet – click the drop down links below to read more), so feel free to take advantage of the boosts below, and if you aren’t signed up, you can register an account in order to get in on the action.
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🎯 Kevin De Bruyne to have 1+ shot on target on Sky Bet (90 mins only)
Kevin De Bruyne is a big game player, he showed this in his previous 3 knockout games for City. In the FA Cup final, KDB registered an assist as well as a shot on target. In the previous 2 games in this competition, he managed 2 assists in the second leg after a first-leg masterclass at the Bernebau capped off with a screamer as one of his 3 shots on target. Inter fans will know all too much about De Bruyne’s quality after he knocked them out of Europe courtesy of a brace back in his Wolfsburg days.
In 4 of Inter’s last 5 league games, they’ve lost the SOT battle, allowing at least 5. City should maintain their width to cause the two outside centre backs to drift wide. Therefore, the physical Brozovic will have to double up on Haaland to force De Bruyne and Gundogan to shoot from a distance. A player of the Belgian’s quality should not be this good value for a SOT @ evens on Sky Bet.
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🏆 Man City to win, Erling Haaland to have 1+ shot on target and over 9 corners on William Hill (90 mins only)
Manchester City may have taken their foot off the gas in the Premier League once their title was confirmed, drawing away to Brighton and losing to Brentford in the final week of the season, but their imperious form before these dead rubbers was simply sensational. Before the Brentford game, Pep Guardiola’s men last tasted defeat on February 5, away at Spurs, and after that won 12 games in a row on their way to the title and notching 25 games unbeaten in all competitions.
The treble is so close, and despite some struggles in this competition, it does look like everything is falling into place for City after years of European heartbreak. Inter’s 5-man defence will make it tough for City, but the likely omission of Marcelo Brozovic means the Italian side will effectively line up without a naturally defensive-minded midfielder, something City’s intricate passing moves will look to exploit.
Quite frankly, if City perform anywhere near the level of their last European tie, the 4-0 second leg rout of Real Madrid, it is hard to see any side in Europe being able to live with them. Nothing is guaranteed, but a Manchester City win feels incredibly likely.
Now onto the shots on target angle in this boost. The last time Erling Haaland started a game for Manchester City and did not manage a shot on target was April 22, in the 3-0 FA Cup Semi-Final win over Sheffield United.
The Norwegian has had an exceptional season, scoring over a goal per game in per 90 terms, all the while averaging 3.94 shots per 90. That is certainly high, but it is by no means an outrageous number, with the efficiency of City’s number 9 being perhaps his best quality. Haaland’s 98 shots on target in all competitions this season have come from just 190 shots, meaning the 22-year-old striker gets 51.6% of his shots on target.
Though Inter’s three centre-backs will focus on keeping him out of the game as much as possible, all it takes is one slight lapse in concentration to allow Haaland to get in, and we know once he is in that position, he rarely fluffs his lines. Haaland’s last five games in Europe have seen him score seven goals, taking 22 shots, 16 of which were on target. He may not have found the net against Madrid, but he forced Courtois into making five saves across the two legs, and it would be a huge surprise if he was unable to get a shot on target in this one.
Across 12 Champions League ties for both sides, City average exactly 9 corners per game, whilst Inter have seen 10.2 corners per 90 across the entire tournament.
Of course, the level of opposition generally goes up in the knockout stages, and City’s corner per game rate has increased significantly. Across their six knockout ties, they have hit the over 9 corners line on four occasions, and they average 10.16 per 90. Meanwhile, Inter’s run to the final has actually been relatively straightforward compared to City’s run against Bayern and Real Madrid, therefore it may be more instructive to look at their group stage games, where they faced Barcelona and Bayern.
In these four group games, they averaged 12.5 corners per game, with the two games against Bayern seeing 17 corners on average. Inter consistently notch at least four corners per 90 in Europe this year, and if they can repeat this, then City need to hit six corners for this pick to land, something which has happened in 9 of their 12 Champions League ties in 2022/23.
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🏆 Erling Haaland & Kevin De Bruyne to have 1+ shot on target each & Denzel Dumfries to commit 2+ fouls (90 mins only)
In a side who are massive favourites and taking into account the tactical styles of each team, everything points Haaland hitting the target at least once, if not many more. Inter manager, Inzaghi, tends to favour a more conservative brand of football influenced by the Catenaccio style associated with Italy. A multitude of Italian sides operate with a back 3 as an evolution of Italian tactics. However, a low block will afford space to the depths of talent City have through the middle. Haaland has had a SOT in his last 15 Prem and UCL starts, and this should cruise to 16.
Another player who should exploit the space afforded to him is Kevin De Bruyne. For all all the dominance City should have in this game, I can see Inter staying resilient with a solidified back 3, trying to hold City to long range efforts. De Bruyne is second to none in the world from outside the box, as he showed at the Bernebau. The Belgian has had 6 SOT’s in 8 UCL starts this season and is renowned for being a big game player. Last season he managed 2 goal contributions, and a SOT in both legs when City bowed out to Real Madrid before scoring 4 in a pivotal Premier League match versus Wolves. Expect City to lean heavily on their star midfielder come Saturday night.
It’s rare that one of the favourites for fouls is lined up against Jack Grealish and with Denzel Dumfries averaging 1.26, this feels inevitable. Grealish himself averages 3.42 fouls drawn per game, well over 1 more than anyone else involved. Dumfries has committed 2+ fouls in 3 of his last 5 UCL games, still making 1 in the other 2 games. The Dutchman is one of the few players who should attempt to break the shackles off the Inter low block and if he is caught in possession might be forced to take his man down. One angle to watch is Grealish averaging 1.18 fouls per game and Dumfries drawing 1.59 per game which could lead to quite an aggressive battle down their side of the pitch.
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🎯 Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne & Jack Grealish to have 1+ shot on target each (90 mins only)
The last time Erling Haaland started a game for Manchester City and did not manage a shot on target was April 22, in the 3-0 FA Cup Semi-Final win over Sheffield United.
The Norwegian has had an exceptional season, scoring over a goal per game in per 90 terms, all the while averaging 3.94 shots per 90. That is certainly high, but it is by no means an outrageous number, with the efficiency of City’s number 9 being perhaps his best quality.
Haaland’s 98 shots on target in all competitions this season have come from just 190 shots, meaning the 22-year-old striker gets 51.6% of his shots on target. Though Inter’s three centre-backs will focus on keeping him out of the game as much as possible, all it takes is one slight lapse in concentration to allow Haaland to get in, and we know once he is in that position, he rarely fluffs his lines. Haaland’s last five games in Europe have seen him score seven goals, taking 22 shots, 16 of which were on target. He may not have found the net against Madrid, but he forced Courtois into making five saves across the two legs, and it would be a huge surprise if he was unable to get a shot on target in this one.
Whilst perhaps not as his absolute best, De Bruyne has still been integral to this final stretch of the mammoth 2022/23 season. In his last five starts in which he played 60+ minutes, City’s number 17 has 8 goals and assists combined and has taken 11 shots, of which 6 of those were on target.
Faced with a stubborn Inter side, and an expert at picking up space on the edge of the box, there will surely be opportunities for the Belgian from outside the area. He has scored two huge goals from beyond 18 yards against Arsenal and Real Madrid in the last month, showcasing his precision and power in the strike. As shown by the goal at the Bernabéu, the fact that Inter will likely have plenty of bodies between the ball and the goal is not enough to prevent City’s talisman forcing a save or finding the back of the net.
Having overperformed his xG, scoring 13 goals when an average player would have scored just 7, only a half-chance is needed for De Bruyne to find his mark and for this selection to land. With a disappointing showing in his previous Champions League final appearance, he will be desperate to leave his mark on this one.
City’s wingers will be crucial here, though not necessarily in the traditional way, they will be tasked with picking holes in between Inter’s wide centre-backs and their wing-backs and making runs into the space. With Denzel Dumfries as a right wing-back, there will certainly be space left in behind for Grealish to exploit if the right pass comes.
Inter’s toughest tests in this competition have come in the group stage, and across four games against Barcelona and Bayern, left-wingers managed four shots on target, suggesting Inter’s structure leaves space for those in these areas to get shots off.
If the ball is worked through the defensive line on the other side, Grealish will dart into the box for the cut-back, and a shot on target could easily come from here, alternatively Inter’s defenders may be dragged towards the goal by the gravity of Haaland, allowing Grealish to pick up space on the edge of the box centrally via a cut-back, or a dribble, giving him time and space to pick his spot in the goal.
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