There’s money back with bwin if Diego Costa scores the first goal when Atletico Madrid host AC Milan in their Champions League last-16 second-leg clash.
With that cracking concession in mind and taking into account Los Colchoneros’ recent struggles to keep their season on track, backing Il Diavolo’s controversial striker Mario Balotelli to break the deadlock at 15/2 looks the way to play in the Spanish capital.
Punters registering with bwin.com today could use the £30 free bet they’re bequeathed on sign up to back Balo, which would turn into £225 in profit if the Azzurri hitman does the business.
Balotelli has scored 12 times in 22 starts for the Rossoneri this season and two of his last three goals have been openers.
The former Inter Milan prodigy has taken to life on the other side of the San Siro with relish, scoring 26 times in 41 appearances since signing from Manchester City last January.
‘Super Mario’ came off with a shoulder injury in the first leg against Atleti and missed Milan’s next two Serie A fixtures, but after a half hour run-out in the loss at Udinese last time out, Balotelli – who’s still only 23-years-old – will come out of the blocks flying in Madrid.
Atleti have conceded the opening goal in five of their last ten matches in all competitions.
Los Colchoneros’ breakthrough season is in danger of going down the plughole, as Diego Simeone’s side have lost four of their last eight fixtures after suffering defeat just once in their previous 36 outings.
They’ve failed to find the net in all of those reverses and also let Athletic Bilbao in for a first-half opener in their Copa del Rey clash at the end of January, before rescuing the tie in the second 45.
However, you’d be hard pushed to find a better money-back candidate than Costa, who’s scored a whopping 26 goals in 30 Champions League and La Liga appearances this term.
The Brazil-born newly-minted Spain international has been a huge plus for Simeone’s side following the loss of Radamel Falcao to Monaco last summer.
Included amongst the 25-year-old man mountain’s plethora of strikes are seven openers, with the most significant of those coming at the Bernabeu in Atleti’s shock 1-0 win at the home of illustrious neighbours Real Madrid in September.
It was Costa’s 83rd-minute strike at the San Siro that proved the difference between these teams, so you’re pretty well covered by backing Balotelli to fire first with this beast also in your corner.