Sevilla vs Inter Milan | Friday 21st August 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Ahead of the Europa League final I will be looking at a few player prop bets that could appeal on Friday night. All bets are available at Pokerstars.
Diego Carlos 55+ passes (5/6 Pokerstars)
Firstly, I’ll take the 5/6 available on Sevilla centre-half Diego Carlos to attempt 55 or more passes. Sevilla actually averaged the third highest percentage of possession in La Liga this season with 56% and they’re happy to play out from the back with Ever Banega usually dropping deep to collect.
The excellent Banega averages way more passes than any of his colleagues but his lines also reflect that. Carlos and Jules Kounde split as Banega comes deep and that pushes the flying full backs Sergio Reguillon and Jesus Navas up the pitch and onto the touchline, it can mean when they want to be patient the two centre-halves and Banega can knock the ball about between them.
Inter conceded 63% of possession against Shakhtar Donetsk last time out and Antonio Conte knows his side can be destructive without seeing much of the ball.
It’s a classic Conte 5-3-2 out of possession in a mid to deep block, they aren’t aggressive pressers, they prefer to be in a rigid shape so the opposition can’t get through. They’ll happily let Sevilla knock the ball about at the back, especially in the heat of summer where players may struggle to be as sharp in their running. Both Shakhtar centre-halves saw this line land.
On Carlos, he has surpassed the 55 line in his last seven La Liga games and four of his six Europa League starts too, hitting around 70 in a large majority as well. He is second for attempted passes behind Banega yet some of his teammates have higher lines which doesn’t quite add up for me.
Fernando 2+ tackles (9/10 Pokerstars)
Secondly, I’ll focus on another Sevilla player, this time the former Manchester City defensive midfielder Fernando. He’s been chalked up at 9/10 to have two or more successful tackles and I do like that price.
Naturally, defensive midfielders are in the thick of it when it comes to tackles and Fernando is no different. He averages 1.8 tackles per-game in La Liga but that rises to 2.7 when in continental action. Take his ‘per 90’ figures and he averages 2.1 and 3.0 in respective competitions.
The Brazilian destroyer will have to cope with three Inter central midfielders who take it in turns to support the front two. Of late it has been Nico Barella progressing the ball, he averages 1.3 dribbles per-game, more than any other Inter player. Fernando racked up a massive five tackles vs Manchester United so his line of two looks too generous to turn down.
Lautaro Martinez 1+ tackles (19/20 Pokerstars)
I’ll stick in the tackles market for my next bet and it might sound a bit strange backing a striker but there’s some 19/20 for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez to have a single tackle. Often when Inter are out of possession the front two become the first line of defence and any bad touches or lapses in concentration Martinez and Romelu Lukaku are onto them.
However, when looking at the stats it’s the Argentine who seems to get more stuck in. He averaged a tackle per-game in the six games Inter played in the Champions League and 0.8 in the Europa league. He managed a tackle in his last four Serie A starts too, which may have seen Conte ask for a bit more from him in terms of winning the ball back. He managed two tackles in the semi-final as well.
Anthony Martial managed a tackle vs Sevilla, Raul Jimenez managed two in the quarter-finals. Nicolas Zaniolo and Henrikh Mykitaryan, who occupied similar positions to where Martinez operates off the ball, managed six tackles between them. Almost even-money just for a single tackle looks another corker to me.
Jules Kounde 1+ shot – 9/10 (Pokerstars)
Finally, it would be remiss of me to not look at Sevilla centre back Jules Kounde to attempt at least a single shot, which can be backed at 9/10. It’s much shorter elsewhere and I can see why.
Although Kounde isn’t the most towering defender, he is excellent in the air and is a constant threat from set-pieces. Sevilla love to play wide and it’s no surprise they rack up more corners than any other La Liga side.
That all means more opportunities for the Frenchman to try get on the end of. He’s had a shot in 14 of his last 17 domestic games and at least one shot in six of his eight Europa League games, including three in the game against Roma and two in the match against Cluj. Mind-boggling statistics for a centre-half.
Usually with defenders and shots it can be an anomaly, however with this landing with such regularity you can see Sevilla aim for him from set-pieces. You cannot turn down the almost even-money offering on a repeat given the overwhelming data in our favour.
Sevilla vs Inter Milan – Diego Carlos 55+ passes (5/6 Pokerstars)
Sevilla vs Inter Milan – Fernando 2+ tackles (9/10 Pokerstars)
Sevilla vs Inter Milan – Lautaro Martinez 1+ tackles (19/20 Pokerstars)
Sevilla vs Inter Milan – Jules Kounde 1+ shot (9/10 Pokerstars)