Barcelona meet AC Milan in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final tonight, and they will be hoping that Lionel Messi, 9/4 for the first goal, can fire them closer to what would be a second consecutive final.
Ladbrokes will not be beaten on their price for the diminutive Argentinian to hit the opener, and as Messi has struck 12 times in just eight European matches this term, punters should pay serious attention to this market.
Messi has already breached the Milan backline this season too in the group stage, and he can repeat that feat in breaking the deadlock here, to move further away as Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer.
The forward has racked up an incredible haul of well over 50 goals in all competitions during the campaign, and, averaging significantly more than a goal per game, Ladbrokes are offering a massive risk with their 9/4 price on him opening the scoring.
Barca are clear 2/7 favourites to beat Milan, who, in all fairness, defended admirably in last week’s meeting at the San Siro.
That said, the Catalan club were denied a clear penalty in the game, which Messi would have been in line to take, and the Argentinian would take responsibility if the Spanish outfit are given a spot kick in this match too, making that 9/4 yet more appealing.
Add in what appears to be a personal duel developing between Messi and Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez for the competition’s Golden Boot award, and it would seem that Barca’s number 10 will be fired up to further extend his lead at the top of the goal charts.
Gomez is currently stalking Messi with ten European goals, and with a straightforward-looking home tie against Marseille to come for Bayern, it could be imperative that Messi adds to his 12 strikes here to keep daylight between the pair.