Barcelona v Panathanikos – Barca won’t slip up in Greece

Barcelona may be the 5/2 favourites to win the Champions League, but their away form in Europe so far this season hardly bears the hallmark of would-be champions.

On their two European away trips, Barca have failed to get wins against relative minnows Rubin Kazan and Copenhagen, picking up draws in both of those clashes. However, they are undefeated and a win tonight though would see them qualify for the second round.

Pep Guardiola’s men should have a much easier time of things against a Panathanikos side who haven’t won in their last six Champions League outings.

As much a concern to boss Jesualdo Ferreira as Panathanikos’ lack of wins in Europe, will be their lack of goals. They may have enough class to break down defences in the Greek league – they scored four in their last game against Iraklis – but against the European elite it’s a different story.

The Greek champions have drawn their last two European games 0-0 and have found the net just once in their previous five Champions League matches.

Barcelona don’t have any problems finding the net. They have scored 19 goals in the last four games, including eight in their last match against La Liga strugglers Almería . Barca should comfortably win this at 4/11.

The other game in Group D sees FC Copenhagen travel to Rubin Kazan looking to guarantee their progression to the knockout stage.

A win will be enough to see them do just that, but it will be easier said than done against a side who specialise in draws. Rubin Kazan have drawn eight of their last ten games, including their previous four in a row.

Backing another draw at 5/2 looks to be well worth a bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.