Tottenham vs AC Milan Odds, Pick | Champions League Betting Preview (Mar. 8)
DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Antonio Conte.
Tottenham vs AC Milan Odds
AC Milan Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -138)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-125 / -106)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte returns to the sideline for Spurs on Wednesday in North London as they attempt to rescue their European lives. Spurs went out of the FA Cup last Wednesday and will go out of the Champions League unless they can beat AC Milan and overturn their 1-0 defeat at the San Siro from the reverse fixture.
Spurs had little to no attacking threat in that match, despite trailing for 83 minutes. They were dealing with a ton of injuries, but found little success when Milan sat deeper, gave them possession and dared them to break them down. Tottenham are healthier for this match, but the attack has still really struggled to consistently produce post-World Cup.
Tottenham did beat West Ham and Chelsea 2-0 each prior to the consecutive 1-0 defeats, but both of these attacks remain overvalued in the market, and the value lies with the under in this second leg with Milan protecting a lead.
Tottenham Face Uphill Battle to Produce Offensively
Tottenham will not have Eric Dier available as he is suspended for yellow card accumulation. They will welcome back Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to the first team as he returns from his suspension from the first leg. That likely means Clement Lenglet, Cristian Romero and Ben Davies are the Spurs’ back 3, which is a less mistake-prone group in possession.
Dier is excellent in the air and on set pieces, but his giveaways in possession often lead to good scoring chances for the opponent. Given Milan’s ability in transition and Spurs’ likely having a ton of possession, the loss of Dier doesn’t hurt the defense much here.
Spurs have been quite good defensively as a whole over the last month. They’ve conceded less than 1 xGA in three straight league matches against West Ham, Chelsea and Wolves. That becomes four if you include the FA Cup away day at Sheffield United. The defense has mostly held up as a whole, and the midfield will be sturdier with Hojbjerg for this match, compared to last match when Spurs had to start Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr in his CL debut.
They are just seventh in open play xG created this season, and they rely so heavily on set pieces. Milan have a quality set piece defense. They’re also just not getting the same level of production from their star players this season.
AC Milan Happy to Settle in Away From Home
Milan are as healthy as they’ve been all season and that’s a major key for them defensively. Ismael Bennacer is their best ball winner in midfield and is an excellent shield of the defensive back line. Fikayo Tomori is an improving center back that didn’t play in the first leg but will for this one. Mike Maignan is also a plus shot-stopper and he didn’t play in the first matchup either, but he’s back in between the posts for Milan.
All of these players should bolster the Milan defense as manager Stefano Pioli comes to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium defending for a draw. Milan’s defense is top four in Serie A in box entries allowed, big scoring chances conceded and sixth in xG per set piece allowed.
Milan only managed 1.5 xG in the first leg despite the actual goal coming from a rebound and being an 0.7 xG finish. For the remainder of the match, they attempted just eight shots at home and totally ceded the ball away without really pressing.
Their second-best chance — a header from the edge of the six yard box — came from a set piece too. Rafael Leão is expected to start and he’s always dangerous in transition for them, but there’s not a ton of shots in this Milan team as a whole. Theo Hernandez is often a large part of the attack overlapping up the left side, but he may not have as much freedom to get forward given Milan are protecting a lead.
Tottenham vs AC Milan pick
Even if Spurs do score an early goal, Milan aren’t going to totally shift their tactics to be more defensive and cede possession to the hosts. This game will likely pick up right where it left off in the first leg — Spurs attacking with numbers and unable to break through the center of the pitch. Milan will force them out wide to Spurs’ wing backs and they’ll try to create from wide areas.
Tottenham could certainly turn this tie around, but I won’t be betting them to do so given their current attacking form and lacking production from the forwards. Instead, I’m betting against both attacks that have been overvalued in the market for months now.
If Spurs do turn it around and go up 2-0, the onus shifts to Milan to create against a set Spurs defense that’s protecting its penalty area. It’s also going to be a challenge for Milan to produce clear scoring chances given Spurs’ defensive strength in those settings. Milan’s goal came from a transition in the first meeting.
I’d bet the under 2.5 at -125 or better.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-125 or better)
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