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Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk Tips: In-form Lukaku to hit the target in Europa League Semi

Romelu Lukaku has 31 goals in all competitions this season and features in our 28/1 selection
Romelu Lukaku has 31 goals in all competitions this season and features in our 28/1 selection

Inter Milan face Shakhtar Donetsk this evening in the second of the Europa League semi-finals. Sevilla await the winners in the final after they knocked out Manchester United with a 2-1 victory last night which gives them a chance of lifting the trophy for the fourth time in seven years.

Having a look at the match result prices from the bookmakers for this evening and Inter have been made the odds-on favourites at 8/13 with William Hill. The draw can be backed at 10/3, with Betfair currently top priced at 9/2 for a Ukranian win. When it comes to who will lift the trophy in Friday’s final Inter are currently 7/5 in the Europa League winner market, with Shakhtar given just 12.5% implied chance of tasting success at odds of 7/1

Alexis Sanchez will miss the game due to a muscle injury he picked up in training, whilst Matias Vecino also remains sidelined for Inter with Antonio Conte expected to name the same lineup as he did last week against Leverkusen. Shakhtar should be at full strength for this clash with Davit Khocholava now available for selection after being suspended in the previous round. 

Inter Milan -1 Match Handicap - 1.5pts @ 7/4 Betfair Exchange

Moraes to score, Brozovic to be carded - 0.5pts @ 12/1 Betfair sportsbook

Lukaku 2+ shots on target, Barella & Antonio to be carded - 0.5pts @ 28/1 Paddy Power

 

For my first selection here I’m backing Inter Milan -1 on the match handicap, priced at 7/4 on the Betfair Exchange, meaning we will make money here if the Italian side wins by two goals or more. It’s been a superb season for Antonio Conte’s side with them finishing just one point behind Serie A winners Juventus and now with the chance to reach their first European final since winning the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010.

Inter have kept five clean sheets in their last six games with the only goal conceded in that time coming against Leverkusen in last week's quarter-final. They have Romelu Lukaku in the form of his life having scored an impressive 31 goals in all competitions this season. I was impressed with the way the Nerazzurri dispatched Leverkusen last week and I think they should have too much here for Shakhtar’s shaky defence to handle. They have scored two or more goals in all of their last five games and I don’t see them slowing down here. 

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Next up I’ve decided to have a small play on Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic to be carded and Shakhtar’s Junior Moraes to score at the boosted price of 12/1 with Betfair. Croatian Marcelo Brozovic has been booked ten times in total for Inter Milan this season and is averaging 1.7 fouls per game in this season’s Europa League. He looks a better priced prospect than some of his counterparts with 11/4 being offered as a single from Betfair.

Junior Moraes has been involved in seven goals in seven Europa League games for Shakhtar. He’s scored five goals and contributed two assists in the competition and all of those goals have actually been in the knockout phase of the tournament. He looks the biggest threat for the Ukranian side, and when you consider the same bet is 15/2 with bet365, it gives plenty of appeal to the 12/1 boosted price from the boys at Betfair.

Onto the longshot for this evening and at 28/1 I’ve opted for Romelu Lukaku to have two or more shots on target with both Nicolo Barella and Marcos Antonio to be carded. 

I’ve already touched on how big Romelu Lukaku is in the form of his life at the moment, the 27-year-old has been loving life since he swapped Manchester for Milan and has scored 31 goals in all competitions, with four of those coming in the Europa League. Furthermore, the Belgian scoring genius is actually averaging bang on two shots on target per game in this season’s Europa League, and with the deadly touch he’s possessing at the moment, I’m adding him into this Same Game Multi to have two or more shots on target.

I’ve selected a player from either side to be carded and the first of those is Shakhtar’s Marcos Antonio. The Brazilian was booked five times in 21 games in the Ukranian league this season before the coronavirus pandemic, and playing the defensive midfield role he’s one who likes to break up play. I feel he should be a tad shorter here in the market and looks a prime suspect to pick up a card for Shakhtar,

For Inter, I’ve opted for Nicolo Barella to find his way into referee Symon Marciniak’s notebook. Barella was booked no less than 11 times in just 23 starts in Serie A this season, an impressive strike rate for those who have been backing him to be cautioned this campaign. The Italian is averaging just under two fouls per game in the Europa League this season and he’s the one I want onside for a book for Conte’s side in this semi-final. Putting those three elements together pays 28/1 with Paddy Power. 

Good luck if you are following and please remember to always gamble responsibly. 

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