Are Barcelona the team to beat in the Champions League?

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Only eight sides remain in this season’s Champions League, but there is plenty to suggest that Barcelona are the team to beat.

The Catalan side have only won the tournament once in the last six seasons, but they’re joint favourites at 9/4 to go all the way this term.

And this is despite losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Coach Ernesto Valverde has developed Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez into a devastating partnership, while Ousmane Dembele is quickly becoming a major asset for Barca too.

But Barcelona’s greatest asset this season is arguably their defence.

They’re still unbeaten in La Liga, and have lost just once in all competitions this term.

Seasoned pros like Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba have been joined by a new wave of Barca aces in Samuel Umtiti (signed in 2016) and Nelson Semedo (2017).

They’ve kept 31 clean sheets this season while conceding only three goals in the Champions League.

And it’s that resolute defence which could give them their first European title since 2015.

They’ll head to Roma tonight with a 4-1 lead from the first-leg. The Italian side worked hard last week at the Camp Nou, but they just couldn’t muster enough past Barca’s back-line.

The La Liga leaders are 8/13 to win in the Stadio Olimpico, and are a solid 1/200 to progress.

It’s 19/5 for the Romans to inflict a surprise defeat on Valverde’s side. They’re 20/1 to knock Barca out.

That man Messi has been at his remarkable best this season. The Argentine ace has scored 39 times in all competitions and our traders are 14/5 about the 30-year-old to score first.

Suarez is 16/5 to break the deadlock, while Edin Dzeko is 11/2 to give his side a glimmer of hope with the opening goal of the game.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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