Malaga - AC Milan Betting Preview: Why an early goal for the home side looks likely

With the hosts in a rich vein of form and the visitors struggling, our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes the home side will have no problem scoring in the first half
Five years ago this week Malaga were preparing for a Spanish second division game at Albacete, a match they would lose 2-1.

This evening the side from Andalusia take on seven-time continental champions AC Milan in Europe, capping off their remarkable turnaround from relegation regulars to international adventurers.

Despite Milan's pedigree at this level and Malaga's status as complete novices, Marathon Bet price the home side as favourites offering them at 27/25 (2.08) for the win while the Italians can be backed at 14/5 (3.80).

That Malaga are such clear favourites can be attributed in large part to their form in Europe so far, with their two games in the group stages seeing them claim two victories whilst keeping two clean sheets and scoring six goals in the process.

Domestically they have been strong too, sitting in third place in La Liga, having suffered just a solitary defeat. By contrast the Rossoneri have looked shaky having been held to a 0-0 at home by Anderlecht in their first match in the competition, before scraping a 3-2 win against Zenit in St Petersburg.

The less said about Milan's domestic form the better, five defeats in nine Serie A matches tells its own story.

If Malaga are riding high then and Milan are not far from rock bottom, a good start from the home side can be expected and the price of 89/100 (1.89) on the Spaniards to score in the first half is worthy of some serious consideration.

This bet has paid out in six of their last seven games, while Milan have conceded first half goals in each of their last three games

For a value bet try backing both teams to score in the first half at 63/20 (4.15) as Malaga, despite looking good up front, have had the odd defensive lapse recently and have conceded early goals in both of their last two matches.

Malaga to score in the first half at 89/100 (1.89) Marathonbet
Both teams to score in the first half at 63/20 (4.15) with Marathonbet

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.