Champions League: Inter Milan vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
|Inter Odds||-175 [BET NOW]|
|Borussia Monchengladbach Odds||+475 [BET NOW]|
|Draw Odds||+335 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3 (+105/-129) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access|
Borussia Monchengladbach make their return to the Champions League on Wednesday as the Foals visit Milan to take on Europa League runners-up Inter. Gladbach haven’t been in the Champions League since 2016-17, when they were knocked out following a difficult group.
Gladbach has been given a tough group again this year, and with Real Madrid as a renowned powerhouse in the group, Gladbach will need to take some points off Inter if they want to make it out of the group.
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Results wise, Gladbach hasn’t gotten off to a great start thus far in the Bundesliga, but they did face some difficult lineup challenges early on. They dropped their opening match against Borussia Dortmund, 3-0, but played without two of their best attackers in Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram.
Given their style of play, where they like to win the ball in the midfield and quickly break as opposed to building possession, players like Thuram, Plea and Lars Stindl are critical in their attack.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
That performance against Dortmund is throwing off their year long xG numbers, though, because Gladbach has been much better in its last three matches since Plea and Thuram have returned. Yes, they dropped points against Wolfsburg and Union Berlin, but they generated more than 1.5 xG in all three games, and are unfortunate to only have taken five points from those matches.
Gladbach are a team trending up following an excellent finish to last season that got them into the top four on the final day of the Bundesliga season. They’ve only scored one goal from 3.37 xG from open play, so I’m anticipating some positive regression for them in coming matches. Their underlying numbers dating back to last season suggest this team is primed to make a run at Dortmund for the Bundesliga top three.
Entering the season, Inter are seen as the team to dethrone Juventus from their 10th-straight Serie A title. Inter finished the restart period well, vaulting into second in the league on the final day, and made a run to the Europa League final. With better finishing on that day, they would have lifted the title. Inter’s attack is off to an excellent start to the season with 9.49 xG in four matches.
They’ve played open, expansive football, and out of manager Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2, generated plenty of pressure and chances from open play. However, they have leaked goals at the back, allowing at least 1.2 xGA in every match. I have my concerns tactically with this defense’s potential to get stretched wide by Jonas Hofmann, Patrick Herrmann and Thuram, which could open up this Inter defense yet again.
Monchengladbach vs. Inter Pick
I think Gladbach is one of the most underrated teams in all of Europe, and I am not quite buying into Inter as true Serie A favorites just yet given their slow start to the season.I make Inter -125 in this game once adjusting for league strength, and show value on the Foals to get a result here away from home.
I’ll take the goal as insurance and sprinkle a half-unit on Gladbach to pull the upset.
The Bet: Gladbach +1; Gladbach +475