Champions League preview – 17 February 2014
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
If Hull v Brighton isn’t enough to turn you to your television set on Monday night, then perhaps Tuesday’s offering will whet the appetite. Manchester City v Barcelona – two sides which have already scored over 100 goals this season, battling it out for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. If there’s a downside, it’s that it is on ITV.
Both City and Barcelona had encouraging wins on the weekend. City got revenge against Chelsea with a 2-0 FA Cup win, whilst Barca hammered Rayo Vallecano 6-0. The Spanish side have surprisingly only won one of their last six on the road in Europe (1-0 at Celtic in October) whilst City, since being beaten by Munich at home in the Group Stages have won 14 of their 15 subsequent home games. There are cases to be made for both sides winning, but a stronger claim is surely for goals and we’ll back both teams to score at 1.55 on Betfair and over 3.5 goals at 6/4 with Bet365.
PSG travel to Germany in Tuesday’s other fixture and they’ll be confident of beating a Bayer Leverkusen side which has hit a run of poor form at exactly the wrong time. They’ve lost five of their last seven games in all competitions and were humbled by second division Kaiserslautern in the DFB Pokal in midweek before losing to Schalke on Saturday. It’s also worth remembering Manchester United thumped Leverkusen 5-0 on their turf back in November. PSG at 5/4 with PaddyPower is our selection.
Arsenal buoyed by the result against Liverpool in the FA Cup, are perhaps the biggest price they have ever been to win a game at The Emirates Stadium. Bet365 will give you 4/1 about a home win and whilst we respect Bayern Munich hugely, after all they have won 19 of 21 league games this season, we cannot have the Gunners as such underdogs especially with the news Ribery and Shaqiri are out injured. As such we’ll lay Munich at 1.78 on Betfair or back Arsenal ‘Draw No Bet’ at 5/2 with Bet365.
AC Milan welcome Atlético Madrid on Wednesday and it’s fair to say the two are having contrasting seasons. Milan are 9th in Serie A, just 13 points clear of relegation and a mighty 31 points behind leaders Juventus. Atlético meanwhile are in third place in La Liga but level on points with Barcelona and Real Madrid. It’s worth noting there are rarely many goals in Milan’s Champions League home ties (just one of the last nine has seen over 2.5 goals) and we suspect they’ll try and keep it tight again this time. We suspect their best hope is a draw but we’re more confident in selecting under 2.5 goals at 8/13 with Ladbrokes.