Arsenal v Barcelona

BTTS is Better Value Than Backing Barcelona

Arsenal v Barcelona

The away team is the favourite for each of this week’s four UEFA Champions League round of 16 first legs, with Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munchen and Manchester City rated as the most likely winners on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But one cannot get excited about the prospect of backing any of the four aforementioned UEFA Champions League road sides. Atletico Madrid has failed most of its toughest assignments, losing at home and away to Barcelona and collecting only two points from its five Spanish Primera Division games against fellow top-four teams. Barcelona is 25-7-0 across a range of competitions since it lost 1-2 at Sevilla in Spanish Primera Division in October but Barca have copped a couple of road hidings versus the league’s movers and shakers and clean sheets are not their forte, either. Bayern Munchen is eight points clear of Dortmund at the top of the German Bundesliga ladder but Bayern have earned just one point from their two most difficult away fixtures – they drew 0-0 at Leverkusen and they lost 1-3 at Monchengladbach. And Manchester City’s English Premier League form figures against the division’s other top-five sides read 0-2-4 with a goal difference of minus seven. Indeed, Manchester City has accrued just six English Premier League points from its 10 matches versus teams ranked in the top eight, posting one win – a 3-1 victory over sixth-placed Southampton in November.

Roughly speaking, bookmakers are offering similar odds about Barcelona winning its UEFA Champions League game at Arsenal on Tuesday and they are listing about both sides scoring. Both wagers may end up being winners but one prefers the latter, with bookies offering odds of -145 about neither Barcelona nor Arsenal keeping a clean sheet. Only three times in 44 competitive matches has Barcelona failed to score and two of those blanks occurred in tournaments other than the Spanish Primera Division and the UEFA Champions League. Barcelona has conceded at least one goal in five of its last six games across all competitions, with Spanish Primera Division cellar dweller Levante being Barca’s only recent host not to rustle the onion bag. With regards to Arsenal, both teams have scored in each of its four English Premier League games against fellow top-four sides so there are Gunners statistics that support one’s highlighted bet.

Juventus has won each of its last 11 home matches across a variety of competitions – the most recent six to nil as well – and yet it is available at odds of +205 with Marathonbet to beat Bayern Munchen on Tuesday. Bayern Munchen is a false favourite – in addition to not defeating either Leverkusen or Monchengladbach in the German Bundesliga it lost 0-2 at Arsenal in UEFA Champions League Group F. Bayern Munchen’s last seven UEFA Champions League road trips have resulted in losses to Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester City and Porto, a draw at Shakhtar Donetsk and wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos. On a straightforward collateral form line through Monchengladbach, Bayern Munchen is inferior to Juventus and, while it may a simplistic way to appraise the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A title holders, it does demonstrate that Juve are not receiving due respect from the bookmaking fraternity who have installed them at big odds.

Finally, sticking with Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League game between Juventus and Bayern Munchen and under two and a half goals is a live chance at odds of -149 with Marathon. Five of the six UEFA Champions League Group D matches featuring Juventus went under two and a half goals, including each of the three games played in Turin. Juventus has played 26 Italian Serie A matches and 14 of them have gone under two and a half goals, including eight of its 12 home games – that is a high percentage for a championship frontrunner.

Tips Summary

Arsenal v Barcelona BTTS
23rd February 19:45 GMT
Odds: -145

Juventus to beat Bayern
23rd February 19:45 GMT
Odds: +205

Juventus v Bayern Under 2.5 goals
23rd February 19:45 GMT
Odds: -149

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