European Best Bets: Aggressive Atletico to bring out the battle in Barcelona

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THE European season continues its relentless quest for conclusion on Tuesday and Jack Wright (@bet_shop_boys ) is on-hand to preview his favourite three fancies.

Genoa vs Juventus | Tuesday 30th June 2020, 20:45 | Premier Sports

Juventus take the trip to Italy’s Liguria region in fine fettle. It’s been business as usual upon the restart of Serie A and the Old Lady go into this clash four points clear at the top of the table after winning both games upon returning to league action.

Genoa have remarkably been awarded two penalties in both of their games after the break, scoring three of them but gaining only one point – Juve themselves have had spot kicks in both comeback league fixtures.

Given that both sides have visited the spot on 23 occasions (Genoa 13, Juventus 10) from their combined 56 games I did cast my eye over the odds for referee Gianpaolo Calvarese giving a penalty in this one, but can’t bring myself to back that eventuality happening at the best priced 7/4, especially for a man who has only done so in four of his 12 league appointments this season.

Signore Calvarese is not one of the more card-happy Italian officials which also led me away from taking 40+ Booking Points for Il Grifone despite their collection of 41 cards (39 yellow, two red) in their Stadio Luigi Ferraris fixtures.

The Rossoblu now sit just one point above the dreaded relegation zone so a visit of the current Italian champions on a five league game winning streak, is not what they would have wanted with a record of losing 80% of matches in their own stadium where they have started as underdog.

Davide Nicola’s side having seen three or more goals in each of their last five Serie A fixtures, conceding at least three in three of their last four at home but will take encouragement from the fact they have scored at least two goals in their last three home matches against the Old Lady.

With Maurizio Sarri’s table-toppers having only failed to score on one league road trip this season (Fiorentina) and notching twice or more in their last five Serie A fixtures, goals should definitely be on the menu here.

In their respective 27 home and away league games this season the two sides combine for a healthy total of 19 occasions where both teams have scored (70%) however I want to keep on the side of a team that can easily blow away their hosts and make it a sixth clean sheet in eight league games.

Juventus to win and Over 2.5 Goals therefore looks value to me at 23/20 with Betway and so gets the vote.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid | Tuesday 30th June 2020, 21:00 | La Liga TV

Barcelona have dropped four points from their last three La Liga matches with draws at Celta Vigo and Sevilla firmly handing the title initiative to Clasico rivals Real Madrid who now hold a two-point advantage at the top.

Madrid’s city rivals Atletico could do their neighbours a massive favour by taking something away from the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, but their record against Lionel Messi et al is surprisingly horrendous! Diego Simeone’s side are 19 La Liga games without a victory against Barça, tasting defeat on 14 of those occasions.

Atleti come in to this one in good form however winning their last four league games, with a 93rd minute Joselu penalty last time out against Alaves the only time Jan Oblak has been beaten in that sequence.

Defending their unbeaten home record, Quique Setien’s hosts will see this as a must win to regain top spot but being all too aware the visitors will be fired up by their passionate manager to make it as difficult as possible for them. This therefore promises to be a highly competitive and feisty clash.

Having seen the Blaugrana on a couple of occasions since the enforced break it was interesting to note how many bookings they were picking up – especially when frustration started to peak. Illustrated perfectly in the home game to Leganes with FIVE yellows from the 83rd to 93rd minute, Barca have received cards after the 90th minute in three of their four fixtures post return.

Frustration could be there in spades against this Atleti side. Although averaging only 2.44 yellow cards per-home game, the Catalans have also seen red twice, bizarrely both coming in a 4-0 home win against Sevilla. They have seen three or more cards in exactly half of their 16 matches on home soil and collected more than their opposition in five of their last six there.

The visitors should ensure that run has a chance of continuing with six of their last seven La Liga games seeing five or more cards awarded. In the most recent four fixtures between the two sides, Barcelona have picked up 3, 4, 3, and 3 cards, the last three head-to-heads here saw the home side accumulate 12 yellows and two reds.

The man in the middle for this mouth-watering clash will be Alejandro José Hernández who isn’t afraid to reach into his pocket. Sixteen La Liga games this season have seen him produce 82 yellow and three reds at an average of 5.31 cards per-game. He's officiated Barcelona on two occasions, serving them up nine cautions.

In his one Europa League appointment, Senor Hernandez ended with eight names in his notebook whilst throwing a penalty award in for good measure too. He could be just the man we need so I am happy to play 30+ Barcelona Booking Points at 4/5 with Sky Bet.

Best Bets

Genoa vs Juventus – Juventus to win and Over 2.5 Goals (23/20 Betway)

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid – Barcelona 30+ Booking Points (4/5 Sky Bet)

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