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Barcelona taking no chances ahead of Champions League final

| 25.05.2011

Icelandic volcanoes are now affecting the Champions League final with Barcelona forced to fly into London on Tuesday night.

The volcanic ash cloud has already caused disruption to many flights leaving the United Kingdom this afternoon and Barcelona are taking no chances ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final.

Originally, the 4/9 favourites to lift the Champions League trophy were scheduled to fly in on Thursday, but the volcanic ash means Barcelona’s preparations have been disrupted and the side are due to land in London at around 10pm.

It is though they will be staying in Chelsea which leaves Pep Guardiola likely to use either Chelsea’s Cobham training base or Fulham’s New Malden training base to help his side prepare for the clash with Manchester United.

Manchester United are in to 13/8 from 7/4 to lift the Champions League trophy as punters flock to the Enlgish side in the wake of this disruption to Barcelona’s plans, but it’s difficult to see how flying in 48 hours early will have that much of a impact.

In last season’s Champions League semi-final, Barcelona had to travel to Milan by coach after their travel plans were disrupted due to volcanic ash and subsequently lost the match to Inter Milan 3-1.

This is playing in the back of punters’ minds as they try to separate the two sides on Saturday, and Barcelona are now the 1/1 favourites to win the match inside 90 minutes despite opening at 10/11.

A 3-1 victory for Manchester United is priced at 28/1 but Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are still trading at 11/4 to win the tie inside 90 minutes.

As the game draws nearer, the Champions League betting will see new markets added to it and Ladbrokes are already offering Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs special betting markets.

A £10 stake on Manchester United beating Barcelona 3-1 would return £290. Sign up here to take advantage of a free bet worth up to £30.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.