Chelsea and Real Madrid are level after their first leg encounter. Tom Carnduff has two best bets at 18/1 and 22/1 for the second leg.
1pt Mason Mount to have 2+ shots on target from outside the area at 18/1 (Sky Bet)
1pt Toni Kroos and Mason Mount to be carded at 22/1 (bet365)
Chelsea's away goal followed by a clean sheet at the weekend puts them in a fairly strong position to progress to the Champions League final. They've been (largely) defensively sound under Thomas Tuchel's guidance - he's taken them to a level not possible under Frank Lampard.
A major European trophy would be a fine achievement for a coach who took over with the team sat ninth in the Premier League table. Not only has their form improved, the results they have seen are those of a title contender - perhaps they will be just that next season.
They're odds-on for a top-four finish and odds-on to progress here. In Real Madrid though, they face a team well-trained in knockout football. They brushed aside Liverpool and had little issue against Atalanta. If one team could hold confidence that they can go into an away second leg and win - it's Real.
It will be a remarkable turnaround at Stamford Bridge if Tuchel guides them to the final. Not only have they been winning, but they've beaten the likes of Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City during his short time at the club.
They have to be seen as having the advantage here given their away goal in the first leg. That can all change in a matter of seconds but the Blues will be confident giving some of their defensive showings. The fact that three of Real's last six have finished 0-0 will also give them added hope.
No goalscorer is an attractive option here with 17/2 the best price on offer on the Oddschecker grid. It's a better option to go with rather than 0-0 because it keeps the bet alive if an own goal settles the contest. It's one to keep in mind and we can't completely rule it out but there are a couple of bigger prices that have grabbed my attention.
Both of which involve MASON MOUNT. It should be noted that he did come off with a back injury against Fulham but there is hope he will feature here. UEFA have him involved in predicted line-ups and Tuchel highlighted how he took him off as a precaution rather than under orders from the medical team.
I'm willing to gamble on this game being somewhat tense and scrappy at times. The first involves shots from range, and I like the 18/1 available with Sky Bet on MOUNT TO HAVE 2+ SHOTS ON TARGET FROM OUTSIDE THE AREA. Mount does see plenty of efforts from range and a tight game could see players resort to trying to score however they can.
The midfielder had two shots in the first leg, and while both were blocked, they did come from the edge of the area. He had six shots in the recent win over West Ham, four of which were from outside the box and two of those were on target.
Mount had five in the win at Crystal Palace, two of those were from range, while two of his four shots in 45 minutes against West Brom were also from distance. We're not saying that those teams are on the same level as Real Madrid, of course, but it does highlight his ability to shoot from outside the area.
It's 2/1 that Mount has 1+ from outside the area, but I like the 18/1 on two or more considering the game we're set to see. Sky Bet have boosted a goal from outside the area at 22/1, which is worth looking at if you fancy a goal, but I'm willing to settle on the 18/1 SOT-based bet.
There is the potential for cards in this game if it a close contest. We could see a few late on if a team is still chasing the game and the referee, Daniele Orsato, has demonstrated that he can be strict when required at points this season. He dished out five yellows and a red in Chelsea's 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid.
There were six yellows in the first leg, five of which went to Real, and that opens up the market to some real value for the meeting at Stamford Bridge.
You could pick out a number of combinations here, but I'm happy to settle on the best price of 22/1 on TONI KROOS AND MASON MOUNT TO BE CARDED. You're not going to get drastically different prices with other bookmakers as all range from the 16s to 22s mark.
Kroos was one of those carded in the first leg and it's not a surprise when we take into account his fouls count. He averages a foul per game in both LaLiga and the Champions League this season but saw two in the 1-1 draw last week. That was his ninth card of the season in all competitions.
On the Chelsea side of things, Mount grabs your attention due to his ability in attack but he does commit fouls on a regular basis. That is more prominent in the Champions League, with three yellows in nine games there compared to two in 33 in the Premier League.
Those numbers should probably be higher though. Out of regular Chelsea starters, Mount sees the highest number of average fouls per game in the Premier League (1.4) while that number jumps up to 1.6 in the Champions League - only Cesar Azpilicueta has more in Europe.
Six of Mount's nine Champions League appearances this season have seen two or more fouls, while eight of Kroos' 11 have brought at least one. While both players represent good value as singles in the card market, combining them gives a great 22/1 with bet365.
As mentioned earlier in the preview, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see this become a low-scoring contest. No goalscorer is 17/2 while under 1.5 goals is available around the 2/1 mark. They are good prices, but I'm willing to gamble on the bigger odds on offer for KROOS and MOUNT to be involved across the 90 minutes.
Score prediction: Chelsea 0-0 Real Madrid (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Odds correct at 1515 BST (03/05/21)
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