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To say that things have changed quickly at Barcelona would be a major understatement. It’s only a fortnight ago that the Catalan giants began their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 win against PSV but in the time that’s passed they’ve dropped seven points in La Liga. Things would have been worse for Barcelona who were staring at two defeats in a row before Munir rescued a point late on against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou to at least give them some sort of boost before Wednesday night’s match against Tottenham.
Like Barcelona, Spurs’ season has shifted in momentum since their first Champions League match. Thankfully for Mauricio Pochettino, that shift has been a sharp upturn in fortunes. Two late goals against Inter Milan made it three defeats in a row for Tottenham but they put that disappointment in San Siro behind them with three wins (albeit one came via a penalty shootout).
Tottenham’s two league victories took them into the Premier League’s top four and Pochettino is hopeful that another famous win against one of Europe’s elite can similarly kickstart their Champions League campaign.
Barcelona 11/10 (Sportingbet)
Tottenham 12/5 (Betfred)
Draw 14/5 (Paddy Power)
(Please note odds are correct at time of article publishing)
The difference in form between Tottenham and Barcelona has impacted the odds in the Match Winner market. The away side remain the favourites across the board but they’ve been eased out with Sportingbet going top price at 11/10.
Last season’s wins over both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium show that this Tottenham side have the quality to give any team in Europe a game in a one off match. While they’re yet to reach the levels of last season, it looks as though Spurs are starting to click into gear which should ensure they give it a very good go against Barcelona.
The question is – can you turn down backing the joint-favourites for the Champions League at such a tempting price?
As we’ve seen in England with Manchester United’s form at the start of the season, any time a massive club goes through a rough patch it’s painted as a crisis. That’s what they’re feeling a Barcelona so the players are under no illusions that they must improve. Luis Suarez said as much on the weekend when he claimed his teammates need to do more than simply relying on the brilliance of Lionel Messi. We’re talking about a team with huge Champions League experience, who put PSV to the sword and whose pride is hurting. Yes, it’s dangerous to write this Tottenham side off but sometimes a price is just too tempting to ignore.
Draw 1-1 @ 13/2 (bet365)
Barcelona 2-1 @ 15/2 (Coral)
Barcelona 1-0 @ 10/1 (Ladbrokes)
Draw 2-2 @ 11/1 (Sportingbet)
Tottenham 2-1 @ 11/1 (bet365)
Barcelona 2-0 @ 12/1 (Sportingbet)
The importance of this match to both teams and the amount of attacking firepower on display should ensure that their are chances at both ends. This should be one of the more entertaining games of matchday two in the Champions League which means a bet on over 2.5 goals looks a pretty safe one at 8/15 with William Hill. Similarly, both teams to score should pay out at 1/2 with bet365.
For those comfortable taking a bit more of a risk, the Correct Score market is always an intriguing place to turn. As you can see above, the most popular options reflect a tight game but we like the look of the 14/1 that Coral are quoting on the Barcelona 3-1 selection. If the Liga side can put their recent woes behind them with a fast start, Spurs will need to take more risks at some stage which could open the game up for Barcelona’s world class forwards to do some serious damage.
Lionel Messi 11/4 (Paddy Power)
Harry Kane 4/1 (William Hill)
Luis Suarez 41/10 (Unibet)
Munir 5/1 (888Sport)
Fernando Llorente 7/1 (Unibet)
Ousmane Dembele 15/2 (William Hill)
Son Heung-min 8/1 (William Hill)
Philippe Coutinho 17/2 (888Sport)
Lionel Messi scored the 48th hat-trick of his career against PSV. When you score that many it almost becomes routine but this felt a little different. It felt like Messi was setting his stall out to do all he can to guide Barcelona to Champions League glory having watched Real Madrid win the tournament in each of the last three seasons.
Such is Messi’s standing in world football that even the Tottenham fans at Wembley will be looking forward to seeing him play. He can show everybody watching exactly how good he is by scoring the game’s first goal at 11/4 with Paddy Power.
Barcelona to win at 11/10 with Sportingbet
Barcelona 3-1 correct score at 14/1 with Coral
Lionel Messi to score first at 11/4 with Paddy Power