Arsenal v Barcelona Tips and Betting Offers, Champions League, 23rd February
After losing their opening two matches in the Champions League against Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb as well as picking up a meagre three points from their first four matches in Europe, Arsenal have done well to make it to the knockout stages once again. However, for yet another year it looks as though their campaign will end in the first knockout round as thye have been drawn against the might of Barcelona.
The Catalan giants breezed through qualifying, although they did drop points in two matches against Roma (where they were pegged back by a Puskas Award contender from Alessandro Florenzi) and Bayer Leverkusen, and their form lately has been stunning with Luis Enrique’s side more than capable of becoming the first side to retain the Champions League. Their front three is without doubt the best in world football and anyone who has seen the footage of their recent win over Celta Vigo will agree that their ability is outrageous at times. In that game, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez succeeded where Thierry Henry and Robert Pires failed by scoring a passed penalty and when they are playing with the confidence to try stunts like that, they are a very difficult beast to stop.
But that’s exactly what Arsenal are tasked with and they will be looking to put in a similar performance to the once which saw them overturn Bayern Munich at the Emirates in the group stage. It was a game which saw them ride their luck, but on the break they were devastating and the Gunners will need to be bang on the money if they are to get anything from this clash. We just can’t see it however and it looks for all the world as if Messi and co. will be swanning back to the Nou Camp with a lead from the first leg which can be backed at 8/11 with Ladbrokes.
Barca are of course a side with quality running through their ranks, but the front three is rightly lauded as being on another level and it seems likely that the first goal of the game will come from one of those three. We’ve gone for Luis Suarez to hit the back of the net first with the Uruguayan going into this game on the back of some good performances, not least in that game against Celta where he helped himself to a hat trick. The Gunners tried desperately to sign the former Ajax man when he was still at Liverpool and we think he will show Arsenal what they missed out on this Tuesday evening in what should be a very entertaining game of football in north London.