Barcelona v Chelsea: Catalans to go all-out attack in the Nou Camp
Barca will be eager to dispel memories of a goalless week but Blues can exploit hosts attacking gameplan
Chelsea became the first side to beat Barca in this season’s Champions League last week, and head to the Nou Camp at 8/1 to make it two wins in a row against the reigning champions.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men have been in wonderful form since he took charge and the victory at Stamford Bridge has given them the upper hand in Champion League contests against the Spaniards, with the English club having four wins in their 11 meetings to Barca’s three.
The hosts will be eager to exorcise the ghosts of consecutive defeats, after losing the La Liga title decider to Real Madrid at the weekend and are 2/7 to overcome Chelsea in the 90 minutes.
The draw is available at 5/1 and with three of the last five clashes between these two in Cataluña ending in stalemate this may be worth some attention.
Ballon d’Or holder Lionel Messi has never netted against the Pensioners, so opting for Andreas Iniesta, who scored the decisive goal when the team’s last met at this stage, to open the scoring at 8/1 is an attractive proposition here.
Gerard Pique is likely to come in to sure up the Blaugrana backline, which may leave Didier Drogba with a difficult task up front, but Barca will leave holes as they attack in search of the goals needed, so Juan Mata may be the man to exploit that space and he is 18/1 to net first.
Di Matteo’s side will be wary of what happened to Arsenal after a seemingly impressive performance in their 2010 quarter-final home tie, as they were dismantled 4-1 in the return leg.
With Barca looking to bounce back goals should be expected, and more than 4.5 goals in this fixture can be backed at 5/2.
Chelsea can lose this tie and still advance as long as they find the net and the margin of defeat is a solitary goal, so punting on the Blues to be leading after 45 minutes and to be behind after the full-time whistle looks an inviting move at 25/1.