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|Liverpool – Total Goals||Odds|
Back Liverpool to score over 1.5 goals. The Reds have been brilliant going forward across multiple competitions this season, and AC Milan could struggle to keep their attack at bay.
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Only Manchester City and Bayern Munich are available at shorter odds to win the Champions League this season than Liverpool. It is easy to forget now, but Jurgen Klopp’s side began the campaign having to fend off doubts about their capacity to challenge for the major trophies. A quiet summer saw the Reds sign just a single player – Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, who was never likely to go straight into the starting XI. After their difficult season last time out, many felt Liverpool had not done enough to get back on top at home or abroad.
No honors are handed out in December and plenty can change between now and May, but Liverpool must be incredibly satisfied with how the first part of their season has played out. In the Premier League they are locked in what could be a thrilling three-way race for the title, along with Manchester City and Chelsea. In the Champions League, they are one of only three teams (Bayern Munich and Ajax are the others) to boast a 100 per cent record going into matchday six.
Bayern and Ajax have both scored more goals and conceded fewer than Liverpool, but it could be argued that the Reds have been the most impressive performers in Europe’s premier competition thus far.
They were drawn into this year’s group of death alongside AC Milan, Porto and Atletico Madrid; progression to the knockout phase was not a given. But Liverpool have been rampant and could finish the Champions League group stage with 18 points for the first time ever. That is a prize worth chasing ahead of this week’s trip to Italy, although even if they lose at the San Siro Liverpool’s status as one of the favorites to win the tournament will not be affected.
In Group D, Sheriff Tiraspol have taken six points from their first five games but have already been eliminated. AC Milan have four points in Group B but still have a chance of making it through to the round of 16. To do that, though, they must beat Liverpool on Wednesday night. Anything less than a victory at the San Siro will end in the Rossoneri’s elimination.
In some ways, Milan are a little fortunate to still be in with a chance of advancing. They lost each of their first three games, including a 3-2 defeat by Liverpool on matchday one in which they could easily have been three goals down after just 25 minutes having been played off the park. Milan then drew 1-1 with Porto before beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 last time out, but they would already be out had Liverpool not been so dominant against the other two teams in the group.
The underlying numbers do not make for particularly positive reading. Milan have an expected goals difference (that is, the difference between expected goals created and conceded) of -4.6, which is comfortably the worst in Group B. They have scored one goal or fewer in four of their five matches to date. Milan are a good team on their day and are going strong in Serie A, but they are not yet ready to go deep in the Champions League.
Milan do have one thing in their favor, though. Playing Liverpool last has proved to be a blessing, as Klopp will probably rest some of his key players ahead of the hectic festive fixture list in England.
Including their visit to the San Siro this week, the Reds will play nine games in four different competitions in the next 32 days. Wednesday’s match is the least consequential they will be involved in, so it stands to reason that Klopp will not name his strongest possible side.
That does not necessarily mean Milan will emerge victorious, however. Liverpool shuffled the pack against Porto on matchday five and ran out 2-0 winners. They have two winnable home games on the horizon against Aston Villa and Newcastle United, and the players that do come into the team on Wednesday will be keen to impress their manager with so many minutes up for grabs in the coming weeks.
Liverpool have been magnificent going forward so far this season. They are comfortably the Premier League’s highest scorers ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City, and are averaging three goals per game in the Champions League. Milan need to win and hope that Atletico Madrid do them a favor against Porto, but they could nevertheless struggle to handle Liverpool’s attack. Back the Reds to score over 1.5 goals – something they have done in each of their five previous European encounters this campaign.
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|AC Milan vs Liverpool Information|
|Teams||AC Milan vs Liverpool|
|Location||San Siro, Milan, Italy|
|Time||Tuesday, 7 December 2021, 15.00 PM EST|
|How to watch||Paramount+|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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