The return of the Champions League has brightened up midweek no end, and the biggest tie of the round is played tonight in the Nou Camp. Pep Guardiola returns to his old stamping ground with his new-look Manchester City side, but he will surely have his work cut out to stop the Catalan’s incredible trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez.
It’s a truly mouth-watering match, and both sides have been imperious for the majority of this season. Barcelona registered a routine 4-0 victory over Deportivo at the weekend, but the 4-3 loss to Celta Vigo prior to the international break shows that they are not invincible. Since drawing 3-3 at Celtic in this competition, Man City have lost at Spurs and been held to a 1-1 draw by Everton in the Premier League. Before that though, they had won every competitive game of the season and were beginning to look like champions in waiting.
In the same group Celtic were humbled 7-0 by Barcelona in their match at the Nou Camp, but fared much better at home to Man City where they held the Premier League leaders to a 3-3 draw. The Hoops face the group’s other team Borussia Monchengladbach, who have suffered two defeats to Barca and City so far. It’s arguably Celtic’s most winnable game in the group, and one that players and fans will be fully charged up for.
Barcelona v Manchester City
Starting with Barcelona and Manchester City, and the chances of goals looks high. Over 3.5 goals is available at +107 with Marathonbet and that’s our recommended bet.
We know all about the Catalan’s imperious goal record, with MSN regularly filling their boots in any competition. The Spanish champions have notched an incredible 36 goals in their last ten matches – an average of 3.6 per game. They simply have one style of play, and it’s the all-out attacking game that they are famed for.
Man City demonstrated their defensive abilities in last year’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, when they eventually went down to a single goal over 180 minutes. That was under Manuel Pellegrini though, and this season’s City are a different proposition. Pep Guardiola has introduced his own brand of high pressing, attacking football, and it has paid dividends so far. The Citizens have scored 23 goals in their last ten games – an average of 2.3 per game.
Both teams have also shown defensive weakness this season too, with both only achieving four clean sheets in those ten game runs. It seems highly unlikely that this game will pass without plenty of goalmouth action, and a bet on over 3.5 goals looks the right call with so much attacking talent on display.
Celtic v Borussia Monchengladbach
Bolder punters might fancy backing Brendan Rodgers men to win at +210 with Paddy Power, but we’ll stick with the draw no bet option as insurance.
Celtic may have been slightly underestimated by the bookmakers here, and whichever option you choose, it should pay to side with Scottish champions. The atmosphere at Celtic Park for European nights stands up against any stadium in the world, and it’s a daunting prospect for visiting teams. The likes of Barcelona and AC Milan have found life difficult here in the past, and Monchengladbach will face a side playing at 100 miles an hour.
The German team have lost both Champions League games so far – 4-0 at Manchester City and 2-1 at home to Barcelona. They will have earmarked the double-header against Celtic as their best chance of getting points in the group, but they don’t arrive in good form. They’ve only won two of their last eight matches, losing four and drawing the other two. They were held to a 0-0 draw at home over the weekend by Hamburg, following on from a 4-0 away drubbing at Schalke. In all they’ve lost three of the last four away matches.
Celtic’s home record is as good as you’d expect. They’ve won eight of nine competitive matches in front of their own fans, with the exception the 3-3 draw with Man City. They warmed up for this with a 2-0 home win over Motherwell at the weekend, bringing their goals total to an impressive 34 in those nine home games.
Rodgers will have his players fired up for this game, and with the famous Celtic roar behind them, they can overwhelm Monchengladbach.
Barcelona v Man City – Over 3.5 Goals
Wednesday 19th October, 19:45 GMT
Celtic Draw no Bet
Wednesday 19th October, 19:45 GMT