Betting preview: Liverpool vs AC Milan - Expect goals in Istanbul rematch

It might not match the drama of the Miracle of Istanbul, but drama tends to follow when Liverpool and AC Milan meet in the Champions League.

Two of European soccer's most iconic soccer clubs get their Champions League campaigns underway on Wednesday when Liverpool host AC Milan at Anfield.

It is, of course, impossible to think about this fixture without immediately thinking back to the iconic 2005 final in Istanbul in which Liverpool recovered a 3-0 deficit to eventually win on penalties.

When, where and how to watch

When: Wednesday, September 15, 8PM BST

Where: Anfield

How to watch: BT Sport 2

Liverpool vs AC Milan best bets

Rafael Leao to score the first goal at 9/1

Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 9/5

Liverpool to win 3-1 at 9/1

(All text odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change)

Liverpool are still reeling from the injury to young star Harvey Elliott. The 18-year-old suffered a serious ankle injury in the Reds' win at Leeds United on Sunday.

No date has been put on his return yet, although all the signs suggest his season is already over.

The tackle that led to the injury has been described by Elliott himself as a 'freak accident,' but it leaves Liverpool short of a player they had big plans for this season.

Elliott's emergence was a big factor in the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri being allowed to leave the club this summer, so it is certainly a blow.

It may not affect them in the short term, with captain Jordan Henderson likely to just slot back into the side in his absence.

Other than that, Liverpool are looking in pretty good shape, although Roberto Firmino remains an injury absentee.

Milan, meanwhile, welcome back former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud to their side following an enforced absence due to a brush with COVID-19.

Both teams have started their respective domestic campaigns superbly, so it's a difficult one to predict from a form-book standpoint.

That said, the Anfield crowd can be a real difference maker of European nights, and they have been starved of them for months, so the smart money is on the Premier League side to dominate.

Previous meetings

AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool (Champions League final - May 23, 2007)

It says everything about the pedigree of these two sides that their only two competitive meetings have been in the Champions League final.

On this occasion, Milan gained some badly needed revenge and exorcised their Istanbul demons by getting the better of Liverpool in Athens.

Filippo Inzaghi was the star man on the day as he bagged both goals for the Serie A side, with Dirk Kuyt getting a late consolation.

AC Milan 3-3P Liverpool (Champions League final, 24 May 2005)

For many, this was the Champions League final. It was certainly the most dramatic that we can think of.

It didn't look like it was going to be that way, either. In fact, it looked like Milan had it completely sewn up by half-time.

Paolo Maldini had Milan ahead from the very first minute, and Hernan Crespo added what looked like being a devastating double just before the break.

However, Liverpool were not ready to give it up, and they scored three goals in six second-half minutes to haul themselves back into the game. Steven Gerrard got the ball rolling, then Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso added the others.

Neither side could muster a winner, though, meaning penalties were required to separate the teams, allowing Jerzy Dudek to establish himself a Liverpool hero by saving Andriy Shevchenko's final kick.

Champions League head-to-head

Liverpool wins: 1

Draws: 0

Milan wins: 1

Liverpool goals: 4

Milan goals: 5

Liverpool rediscovered their groove?

It would be wrong to say that Liverpool had a poor 2020/21 season, because they didn't. Jurgen Klopp's men finished third in the Premier League and played some superb football.

By their standards, though, it was a disappointment. They surrendered their Premier League title without much of a fight and failed to make any real impact in the cup competitions.

In fairness, they probably didn't have a bad season, just an especially poorly-timed bad run that cost them on all fronts. It happens.

This season, though, they have started brightly and won three of their first four games. They also looked to have restored the relentless energy levels that defined their Premier League and Champions League winning teams of recent years.

It is possible that the pressure of having to defend a title has freed them up to pursue another, and it would surprise no one if they achieved it.

A new Milan emerging?

For fans of a certain age, Milan will always be a powerhouse of European football. For younger fans, they perhaps wonder what all the fuss is about.

There can be little doubt that Milan, from a reputation point of view, rely on former glories a little too much. They used to be one of the destination clubs in world football, attracting established star names. Those days are gone, but they are trying to do things differently now.

These days Milan have turned to youth, and they are doing it pretty well. There are still some big-name older players, such as the irrepressible Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oliver Giroud, but younger players have taken the mantle.

They have an attacking core of Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao, and Alexis Saelemaekers who are all 22 and have made a fine start to the season.

It makes them more a work-in-progress and emerging team than a powerhouse, but they will back themselves to hurt anyone given the chance.

Liverpool vs Milian goalscorer bets

The obvious threat for Liverpool is Mohamed Salah, and it always will be. The Egyptian hit 31 goals in all competitions last season and he already has three to his name in this campaign.

From a betting point of view, though, his striker partners Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane offer better value.

Jota can be backed at 4/1 to score the first goal, and Mane at around 9/2.

For Milan, the established names of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud are the names that stand out, although they probably are not where the smart money is.

The game is likely to settle into a pattern of Liverpool attacking and Milan counter-attacking, so if you fancy Milan to take the lead then the pacey duo of Rafal Leao and Brahim Diaz is where to look.

Leao has scored in both of his last two matches and is around 9/1 to open the scoring at Anfield, with Diaz priced at 10/1.

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