Barcelona v Bayern Munich: Bavarians poised to extend lead
Bayern’s 4-0 mauling of Barcelona in the Allianz Arena has left them knowing that only the biggest of footballing catastrophes will prevent them appearing in the Champions League final.
They head to the Nou Camp as 3/1 underdogs, but this price could prove the shrewdest of investments against opposition about to embark upon a face-saving operation.
Barca haven’t endured a battering of those proportions in recent memory. This is not just in reference to the scoreline, but the way the Bavarian outfit completely nullified any attacking threat they posed at one end, while exploiting their defensive frailties with the utmost ruthlessness at the other.
Now, in order to make the aggregate score respectable, Barcelona must adopt a cavalier approach to the game and rain blows down upon the Germans. This Hail Mary approach is going to present FC Hollywood with any amount of counter-attacking opportunities, which they’ve already exemplified their ability to take.
Similarly, in the first-leg, Jupp Heynckes unveiled his formula for negating the Catalan side’s expertise in the final third. With the onus on pressure-absorption in the early exchanges, these defensive tools are likely to be employed once more.
Assuming they’re as effective on Spanish soil as they were on German, an away clean sheet could yield a monster profit at 5/1, while the away win to nil offers great value at 15/2.
Betting against Barca not to net on their own patch might seem foolish, but they’re coming into the game knowing they were absolutely outclassed in every department just a week ago and that, in all likelihood, reaching the final is now beyond their capabilities.
In addition to this, the stats do little to sway the minds of the Bayern backers. Of Barca’s previous seven Champions League knockout ties, they’ve only won one of them. The same number applies to their wins from the previous six games in the competition this season too, leaving it looking increasingly likely that last season’s runners-up will be expanding their already-sizeable aggregate lead in the second leg.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date