Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have entertained fans in each of their five UEFA Champions League meetings over the last three seasons and one wants to bet on the high-scoring trend continuing when they clash at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Barcelona took full advantage of Paris Saint-Germain issues to win last week’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg 3-1 in France, a result that sets up the second leg for end-to-end action in which PSG throws caution to the wind in its desperate quest to score at least three goals in normal time and Barca gets the chance to launch counter attacks.
One is confident that Paris Saint-Germain, which has Zlatan Ibrahimovic back from suspension, will not die wondering at the Camp Nou and even the concession of one Barcelona goal is not the end of the world for PSG because of how UEFA’s rules work. So one is keen to get on lots of goals.
Over two and a half goals is the most obvious betting play but bookmakers are trying their best to avoid laying that option, with Betfair Sportsbook’s odds of -200 being the highest available. The key to successful punting is value hunting and one thinks that backing both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to score, a bet that is trading at odds of -149 with several firms, including Boylesports, Ladbrokes and PaddyPower, is as likely to cop as two and a half goals is.
Only four of the five recent UEFA Champions League matches between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have gone over two and a half goals, whereas all five games have had both teams score. One cannot see Barcelona failing to score given how the UEFA Champions League match sets up for the home side, which just happens to have a front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez to terrorise David Luiz and friends on the break. And one thinks that Paris Saint-Germain is highly likely to get on the scoresheet, either relatively early to send a scare through Barcelona’s camp or fairly late on as a consolation. The key to the bet is believing that Paris Saint-Germain will score and the fact is that PSG’s 51 competitive games across all competitions have featured just four blanks for Laurent Blanc’s charges.
Porto strikes one as an accidental UEFA Champions League quarter-finalist and one cannot see it avoiding defeat in its last-eight second leg versus Bayern Munchen in Germany on Tuesday, with Pep Guardiola’s team representing the coupon’s banker bet at odds of -278 with numerous bookmakers, including Bet365 and BetVictor.
Bayern Munchen gifted Porto three preventable goals in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg and it should be able to name a stronger side than the one that took to the field in Portugal. Porto’s top scorer, Jackson Martinez, is doubtful and the away team find itself in an excellent but tricky position – does it defend its 3-1 lead and rely on limiting Bayern to fewer than two goals or does it go looking for a road goal or two of its own? One thinks that caution will get the better of Porto, which will make life really difficult if Bayern opens the scoring in Germany.
Finally, bookmakers are slow to chalk up odds about a red card in the UEFA Champions League derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on Wednesday but UEFA’s appointment of German referee Felix Brych means that one would be all over odds of around +100 . Brych has sent off one or more players in five of his last eight competitive matches, including Manchester City defender Gael Clichy in Barcelona’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over the Citizens in England. A calmer official than Brych, Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, cautioned five players in last week’s UEFA Champions League game at the Vicente Calderon when things threatened to get out of hand. One expects fireworks in the deciding leg.
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – Red card
22nd April 19:45 GMT
Where to Bet: PaddyPower
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