MILAN vs PORTO, Wednesday November 3rd, 8pm
Domestically, Milan and Porto both are unbeaten so far this season. Milan currently sit top of Serie A with an impressive 28 points from their opening 10 games and are very much in contention for their first Scudetto since the 2010/11 season. With Juventus seemingly a shadow of their former self and local rivals Inter struggling to find their stride since Antonio Conte’s exit (all things are relative), Milan may well go one better than they did last year.
In spite of their domestic form, Milan have struggled thus far in Europe; finding themselves bottom of Group B, having taken 0 points from their opening 3 games. Nonetheless, the ever-reliable Olivier Giroud is in fine goalscoring form thus far in 2021/22 with a goal every 106 minutes in the league. Although the goalscoring burden has largely been shared between Milan’s squad, one would assume that Giroud represents their likeliest scorer given that he ranks highest amongst Milan players to have played 200 minutes or more for both goals per 90 and expected goals (xG) per 90.
Porto, meanwhile, have long been a dominant force in Portuguese football and their start to this season has continued that trend, even if following Sporting’s recent resurgence, the destination of the Portuguese title-winner is now more of a crapshoot than in years gone by.
Luis Diaz has a penchant for the spectacular. In times of need he has often been Porto’s talisman, perfectly illustrated in the corresponding fixture against Milan on October 19th, when he drilled in a low shot from the edge of the box to secure a 1-0 victory for the Portuguese champions. This, coupled with his impressive return of 7 goals in 12 league and European appearances this season, means he could be well placed to reproduce his goalscoring touch at the San Siro on Wednesday night.
The first iteration of this fixture was a fiery affair; totalling 7 yellow cards. With Liverpool seemingly home and dry at the top of Group B, second place is still up for grabs and with Milan seeking revenge following defeat last time out, it’s entirely possible that Wednesday’s clash could feature more of the same.
Henceforth, either Giroud or Diaz to score AND over 5.5 cards must be worth a punt. Was 7/4 now 9/4.