Will Atletico live up to their favourites billing at the San Siro tonight?

Diego Costa celebrates his fourth Champions League goal vs Porto, will his goals lead Atlético to victory tonight?

Diego Costa celebrates his fourth Champions League goal vs Porto, will his goals lead Atlético to victory tonight?

Just like my preview of the Leverkusen v PSG game yesterday, there is a bigger game playing elsewhere in Europe’s top club football competition than at the San Siro tonight. The other game tonight sees the clash of Arsenal and Bayern Munich in North London for the second time in consecutive seasons, but I feel that, against just like last night, the AC Milan v Atlético Madrid clash tonight is equally intriguing and there is plenty of value to be found in this meeting of mid-table Italian giants versus the back in the title race Spanish side.

Atlético sit joint top of the Spanish La Primera Liga with Real Madrid and Barcelona, who AC Milan managed to secure a 1-1 draw with at the San Siro earlier this season in the Champions League group stage, sitting ahead of them, but can they go one better in Milan than Barca did and win at the San Siro?

Online bookmaker GR88.com certainly believe so as they favour an away win tonight and for Diego Simeone’s side to bring an advantage to the Estadio Vicente Calderón in three weeks time.

Milan v Atletico Odds:

AC Milan – 3.55

Draw – 3.05

Atlético Madrid – 2.10

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

This season has not been a good one for Milan as they are in a transitional phase right now, but even with this they are way off the pace. In Serie A they sit ninth in the league, a massive 31 points behind league leaders Juventus, and while they progressed in the Champions League they were not particularly impressive. They lost away at Barcelona, but drew three of the other five games only beating Scottish side Celtic home and away, with the fact that Ajax slipped up in Glasgow the only reason that the European giants are not in the Europa League at this stage of the season. However, after a run of five draws and one loss in their last six games at the San Siro in 2013, Milan do appear to have turned things around in front of their own fans with four wins and a draw in six matches this year, losing only to Udinese in the Quarter Finals of the Coppa Italia.

Despite this turnaround by the hosts in tonight’s Milan v Atletico are still struggling for goals with just four goals scored in their last four home matches and with Atlético having overcome a recent slump with a 3-0 beating of Real Valladolid I’m not convinced that Milan will be able to bring something to Spain in three weeks time. Atlético did lose three successive games, including home and away to their big city rivals Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey Semi Final tie with them suffering a shock 2-0 loss away at Almeria in the middle of those two games too. However, their match at the weekend saw their top scorer in Diego Costa get back to scoring goals, bagging his 26th goal in 32 games this season, and he will certainly be a threat and looking to add to his four Champions League goals already scored in this campaign.

I feel that the odds for this match are correct and I can see the hosts being beaten tonight, just like both home teams in the Leverkusen v PSG and Man City v Barcelona games last night. Not only do Atlético have the advantage offensively as they outscored Milan 15-8 in the group stages, they also conceded fewer goals at 3-5. They are challenging for their league title, while Milan are having a long, hard struggle of a season and the visitors to the San Siro this evening certainly offer fantastic value at better than evens odds. This is value I’m all over this evening.

Back Atlético Madrid to beat AC Milan this evening @ 2.10 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.


Mid-table Milan to Restore Pride Against Rampant Roma

Mario Balotelli has been crucial to Milan's resurgence after a slow start

Mario Balotelli has been crucial to Milan’s resurgence after a slow start

The last time AC Milan faced Roma at the San Siro it was a mild May evening and the 2012-13 Serie A season was drawing to a close. Milan were on the cusp of confirming a Champions League finish while Roma were set for an unremarkable top half place under caretaker manager, Aurelio Andreazzoli. A goalless draw was distinguished by two red cards and the unedifying sight of a stoppage for racist abuse aimed towards Milan’s Mario Balotelli. The fortunes of both clubs have diverged since but the result when they meet again is likely to be the same, with the spoils shared once more.

AC Milan v AS Roma betting odds

Milan to win – 2.26

Draw – 3.10

Roma to win – 3.05

(Odds provided by GEObet.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

The Rossoneri are enduring their worst start to a league campaign since 1981-2 when the team was relegated. History repeating itself is improbable but this is a disjointed side led by the beleaguered Massimiliano Allegri. Their first 13 games this season returned a meagre 14 points, drawing the ire of the hardcore in the Curva Sud.

Following a 1-1 home draw against Genoa last month, Milan’s Ultras blockaded the team bus’ exit from the San Siro in protest. The iconic Kaka and club stalwart Christian Abbiati eventually relented, engaging with the supporters to ease the situation. Adding to the soap opera there has been a public power struggle for the day to day running of the club between the owner’s daughter, Barbara Berlusconi and the current vice president Adriano Galliani. This resulted in the latter’s resignation which was duly rejected by Barbara’s father, Silvio.

Recovering from a sluggish start may well be Milan and Allegri’s forte, however, as it was the hallmark of their previous season. Those signs could be revealing themselves again. After six weeks without a win they managed a 3-1 victory away to Catania. From a one goal deficit the spine of the team finally showed some resolve. Goals from Riccardo Montolivo, Mario Balotelli and Kaká provided a comfortable win. The returning Brazilian who now has 99 goals from Milan has injected some desperately needed creativity, while the talismanic Balotelli rescued a 2-2 draw last weekend at newly promoted Livorno. Meanwhile there is optimism that the prodigiously talented Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio will feature more following injuries.

Reaching the glided Champions League places seems unlikely for Milan but there are loftier ambitions in the capital where Roma broke Italian football history to record 10 wins from their first 10 league games this season. The Giallorossi sold Erik Lamela, Dani Osvaldo and Marquinhos but their loss was mitigated by the club’s most important summer business, the appointment of the urbane Frenchman, Rudi Garcia as manager. Canny acquisitions followed in the form of Kevin Strootman, Gervinho and Mehdi Benatia. Quick, transitional football with a watertight defence has been their strength thus far. A vintage season from their all time top goalscorer Francesco Totti hasn’t hurt either.

At 37 years of age it is remarkable how reliant Roma remain on Totti for that touch of brilliance and invention in tight games- his absence through injury coincided with four consecutive draws, halting their astonishing start to the campaign. Il Capitano returned to the bench last weekend for a home tie versus Fiorentina where Mattia Destro, fresh from returning from injury himself, scored the winner and immediately raced to the bench, embracing Totti.

Despite remaining unbeaten, Roma are now second in the division with Juventus three points clear. A first Scudetto since 2001 may be a step too far for the Romans but with a stingy defence, a well balanced midfield and the attacking intent of Gervinho and Alessandro Florenzi, this is undoubtedly an exciting side.

Monday night sees ninth clash with second. The slowly recovering Milan are without a home win since beating Udinese in October. Coincidentally Roma have not won away since travelling to Udine in October. A draw seems the best bet with both teams to get on the scoresheet.

Betting Instinct tip – Milan 1-1 Roma is 7.00 with AllYouBet.ag

Jack Howlett avatarJACK HOWLETT spends most of his time following the ups and downs (mostly downs) of West Ham United. To find some solace he takes a keen interest in foreign leagues, especially Italy’s Serie A.