Barcelona’s footballing behemoth boosted to bag first v PSG

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Barcelona are sitting pretty ahead of the visit of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter final second leg.

A 3-1 win in France allows the Spaniards to loosen their belts a notch or two ahead of the clash at the Camp Nou, with a two away-goal cushion easing the pressure on the Catalonia club somewhat.

Even if things were far more precariously balanced the Blaugrana would have reason to be relaxed, with one of the most potent front threes in world football giving them plenty of chances to find the net.

Indeed it was two thirds of that fearsome strike force that put the Spaniards in the commanding position they find themselves, with Neymar and a nutmegging double from Luis Suarez contributing to the win.

The one man of the three that you would expect to score more often than not is Lionel Messi. The fact that he didn’t get in on the act will only inspire the diminutive Argentine to correct such a blunder in the second leg, which is music to the ears of Ladbrokes customers.

Ahead of the game, the bookmaker has taken the decision to boost the goal-scoring addict’s price to notch the first of the game from 11/4 to 7/2.

The PSG clash is the only appearance in the last four that Messi has had off in terms of scoring and the La Masia graduate has a wider form line of nine goals in his last 11 outings.

A negative on Messi’s record this season is the fact that he has only repaid investment on him scoring the first goal of any Champions League game once.

However, the fact that he has broken eight La Liga deadlocks, just two behind the division leader, indicates that such a barren run is the exception rather than the rule.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.