barcelona champions league betting
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23rd April 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
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Chelsea’s talismanic striker Didier Drogba has travelled with the squad to Spain, ahead of their Champions League semi final second leg match against Barcelona on Tuesday night. It was Drogba who scored the vital and only goal in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, with the Chelsea defence just about holding out against the threat of Lionel Messi and co. It means that Chelsea have an advantage that Barcelona didn’t get an away goal, and the Blues will know that a goal at the Nou Camp would mean that the defending European Champions would have to go out and score three goals. So Roberto Di Matteo’s men do have the potential of away goals on their side and that could be a huge factor. The Blues will look to Didier Drogba, their big game player to put in another powerful performance up front for them on Tuesday.
Online bookmaker Blue Square have a Barcelona v Chelsea betting Money Back Special on offer, which involves Didier Drogba. If Didier Drogba is booked in the second leg, then Blue Square will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score, Half Time/Full Time and Player Specials bets on the match. This is tremendous coverage, because Drogba was a bit prone to taking a dive in the first leg, spending way too much time on the floor. Drogba was also booked in the first leg, so it isn’t exactly out of the blue for him to get a card. But if he gets another yellow, then the Blue Square Money Back Special will kick in.
The great promotion from the online bookmaker means that you can go and look at markets like the First Goalscorer coupon, where Lionel Messi 9/4 favourite to open the scoring. While Chelsea do hold a slender lead, it is Barcelona who are dominating the betting, as they are still the favourites to get through to the final with this second leg back on home soil. A Barcelona 2-0 Correct Score option is favourite price of 6/1 at Blue Square, again, a bet which is covered by the Money Back Special. Can Chelsea defy the odds and get the result they need out in the Nou Camp?
Blue Square have some fantastic Barcelona v Chelsea betting on offer for you!
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23rd April 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
What are the odds that the Blues can hold out for a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp in Barcelona v Chelsea betting? Well, pretty long to be honest, but after shutting out Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, if Chelsea managed to hold out to a 0-0 draw, then there would be some betting coverage kicking in from the highly popular Bet365. The highly rated bookie offers a 0-0 Bore Draw Money Back Special for all matches included in their sportsbook. This promotion means that you will get lost stake refunds on the Correct Score, Half Time/Full Time and Scorecast bets on the match, if the game ends as a 0-0 draw.
The offer provides some good coverage on the match betting, where a 2-0 Barcelona Correct Score is trading as the favourite option at 6/1, and in the Half Time/Full Time Barcelona v Chelsea betting market, a Draw/Barcelona option Is priced at 4/1. So good value and coverage in your Barcelona v Chelsea Champions League betting, should the match end up in a 0-0 thanks to the Bet365 Money Back Special. That result of course would send Chelsea through to the finals, but they will need another one of the tremendous defensive efforts which they put in last week at Stamford Bridge.
Barcelona v Chelsea Betting
Barcelona to win: 1/4 at Bet365
Draw: 5/1 at SkyBet
Chelsea to win: 11/1 at Totesport
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Chelsea can go to the Nou Camp and lose and still get through. They can go there and hold out for a draw and get through. That is the general upshot of what the Blues face in the second leg of their Champions League semi final against Barcelona. Chelsea hold a one goal lead heading to the Nou Camp, which means that even if they lost by a one goal margin on Tuesday, they would get through. So the Blues did put themselves in the driving seat to some respect, thanks to Didier Drogba’s goal at Stamford Bridge. It was a very disciplined and defensively organised display which saw Chelsea steal the win against the defending European Champions, but that of course means that only half of the job has been done, and no doubt the defence will come under even more pressure than it did in the first leg.
There are some positive notes is that Chelsea have held out for a draw on their last three visits to the Nou Camp, even though the Blues have not ever won there. This is of course a rematch of the dramatic 2009 Champions League final, which Barca dramatically won at the death of the second leg at Stamford Bridge. So will it be roles reversed this time around? Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo had to shuffle his pack for Saturday’s crucial Premier League trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal, which ended up in a 0-0 draw. Di Matteo made eight changes to the starting line up from the Barcelona first leg. So the likes of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard should be back in the starting eleven, as Di Matteo goes in search of his biggest result yet as interim Chelsea manager. With a return to the Champions League looking less and less likely through a top four finish in the league, will Chelsea surprise the pack by going all the way in the tournament itself? Chelsea’s away record in Spain is W3 D5 L5, which included a draw against Valencia in this season’s group stage.
This is Barcelona’s fifth straight semi final in the Champions League, but they have lost back to back games now heading into this second leg. After losing the first leg of the semi final at Stamford Bridge, Barcelona lost to bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in a La Liga title decider. Barcelona of course have the ability to keep the ball for such long periods of the game, that the opposition have no option but to chase shadows. They racked up 80% of possession at Stamford Bridge and they created 24 chances. They then look for Lionel Messi who hangs around the space between the opposition’s defence and midfield. But Chelsea did sheppard him well, Gary Cahill in particular throwing his body on the line on a lot of occasions. But the weight of Chelsea’s task keeps growing when you look at stats. Barcelona haven’t lost in their last 15 European home matches now, and they have racked up thirteen wins in that run. Barcelona have a W15 D10 L2 record at home against English sides in Europe.
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At home this season in all competitions, Barcelona have P31 W27 D3 L1 GF 105 GA 18 and therefore Chelsea have a big hill to climb still. Barcelona have won tour and lost four semi finals against English opponents, but Chelsea are faring worse because they have lost all three European semi finals against Spanish opponents. The tie is balanced because of Chelsea’s first leg lead, but the general consensus is that in Barcelona v Chelsea betting, the home side are still the firm favourites But a goal for Chelsea would leave Barcelona need three on the night, so those are the margins. But after the number of chances that Lionel Messi and co carved out, and they were unlucky because of the woodwork and goal line clearances, suggest that Barcelona could still run out comfortable winners. Although they were undone by Real Madrid on Saturday at the Nou Camp, all that proved is that it takes a very special team to beat them. Are Chelsea that special?
23rd April 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
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If you are looking for First Goalscorer Markets option in Barcelona v Chelsea betting, then online bookmaker Ladbrokes have a great Money Back Special running. It is always worth taking some insurance on your bets whenever you can, and that is just what Ladbrokes are providing for Tuesday night’s big Champions League semi final second leg match at the Nou Camp.
Chelsea take a slender 1-0 lead to Spain with them, and they are waiting on the fitness of first leg hero Didier Drogba. The veteran Ivorian scored the only goal of the game, giving Chelsea a small advantage for the second leg. Chelsea’s brilliant defensive effort shut out Barcelona from scoring an away goal, and with them closing out Lionel Messi, it means that the little genius has failed to score in seven matches against the Blues. Another good omen for Chelsea’s trip to the Nou Camp, is that they have earned a draw there on each of their last three visits. A draw would be good enough to see them through to the Champions League final.
So the Blues could come away with a triumphant draw, or they could even lose by a one goal margin (except a 1-0 defeat) and still qualify. As long as they get on the score-sheet and lose by no more than a one goal margin, Roberto Di Matteo will have lead the club through to the final, to be held in Munich, against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. So Tuesday night is going to be all about Chelsea doing what they have to do in order to qualify, which can be done with a negative result on the night. Qualifying is all that matters right now, and it around Chelsea’s qualifying for the final that Ladbrokes have built their Special for Barcelona v Chelsea betting.
If Chelsea qualify for the Champions League final on Tuesday night, then Ladbrokes will double the odds on winning First Goalscorer bets for the second leg. So there is the chance to double your winnings with this great promotion. Naturally the first place to look in the First Goalscorer market is at Lionel Messi, who is 7/4 favourite. Alexis Sanchez is trading at 5/1, while Pedro and Cesc Fabregas are at 6/1. Chelsea’s top option in the market is Didier Drogba, who is out at 10/1 with Ladbrokes, but Di Matteo has said that Chelsea will have a positive attitude and knows that they need to get an away goal.
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16th April 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Chelsea v Barcelona betting renews some old Champions League rivalry, as it brings the two sides back together for the first time since 2009. The passions were high between the two sides back them, with ten man Barcelona squeezing through the second leg with an injury time equaliser at at Stamford Bridge after a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp. That away goals win for Barcelona now means that they have won three out of the last four knock-out meetings against Chelsea in the Champions League. This next encounter of Chelsea v Barcelona betting has a Money Back Special running on, provided by online bookmaker Paddy Power. One of the stars of the show will, more likely than not, be Barcelona’s Lionel Messi who has been breaking all sorts of records this season.
If Lionel Messi scores the final goal of the game in Chelsea v Barcelona betting, then Paddy Power will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Score-cast singles placed on the match. This applies to pre match bets only and the Money Back Special provides a great deal of coverage. Chelsea are riding on a strong home record this season, and they also have a great record against Spanish opposition While they are underdogs, the Money Back Special coverage means that you could look at home options of Didier Drogba or Fernando Torres opening the scoring at 8/1 in First Goalscoring betting. A somewhat rewarding 1-1 draw in the Correct Score market is trading at a healthy 7/1, so there is value with the Paddy Power special.
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Chelsea v Barcelona Betting Odds
Chelsea to win: 4/1 at Bet365
Draw: 14/5 at SkyBet
Barcelona to win: 8/11 at Paddy Power
So what will the next instalment of this rivalry produce. Granted there is no Jose Mourinho involved to spice things up, but Didier Drogba will no doubt be ready to enact some revenge. Chelsea have done well at home in the Champions League this season, rattling off five wins from five. They have netted sixteen times and have conceded just twice at Stamford Bridge, and even though they didn’t play well in their last home game against Benfica, it remains a good enough record to maybe make something special happen. But this tie is going to be all about the return leg at the Nou Camp. Even if Chelsea scrape out a 1-0 home win, then there is still the uphill struggle of trying to beat the European champions on their home turf But, one thing at a time, and as Chelsea held out to a 0-0 draw at home against Barcelona last time out, they improved their home record against Spanish sides to W8 D4 L1.Chelsea took maximum points off Spaniards Valencia in the group stage as well. However, Chelsea have lost their last three UEFA semi finals against Spanish opponents. Roberto Di Matteo’s men need a solid start with a win, but they need to get the job done with a clean sheet. However, that is easier said than done against Barcelona.
Barcelona had posted four straight wins in the Champions League until they were held to a 0-0 draw against AC Milan in the first leg of the quarter final. In those four matches, Barcelona buried fifteen goals, so that is the might and attacking power which they will bring to Stamford Bridge. Barcelona, who have now won the last eleven straight in La Liga, will have fond memories of London, as that is where they beat Manchester United in the final of last year’s Champions League. So while Chelsea have fared well against Spanish sides, with Barcelona being the only ones to beat the Blues, Barcelona’s away record against English opposition is not brilliant. Barca have a W6 D8 L13 record against English sides on away soil. Even their two legged tie record against English sides reads an even W10 L9. In the Champions League semi finals, Barcelona are on a LWLWLW run in their last six, so are they due another defeat? Hard to call, because Chelsea have failed in four of their previous Champions League semi finals But Barcelona have all the scoring power to ignite the night, all led by Lionel Messi who has scored 14 times in this year’s competition. A tough night at home for the Blues in Chelsea v Barcelona betting.
2nd April 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Barcelona v AC Milan Betting for the second leg of the Champions League quarter final in nicely poised at 0-0 after the first leg. If you had done your Correct Score, Half Time/Full Time or Scorecast betting at Bet365, then you will have gotten your lost stakes refunded on them. That is because Bet365 offer lost stake refunds on those markets, if the game ends 0-0 in regulation time. This great football betting promotion applies to all matches listed on Bet365 and is well worth taking advantage of. These two European giants square off again, in what will be the fourth coming together in the Champions League this season. So far there has been two draws and the one win for Barcelona, but they have all been tight games, and in the high pressured situation in the Nou Camp for Barcelona v AC Milan, will we see the Catalans frustrated again by the Italians? If so, then it will be worth taking the coverage again with Bet365.
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Barcelona v AC Milan Betting Odds
Barcelona: 3/10 at Paddy Power
Draw: 5/1 at Bet365
AC Milan: 11/1 at Bet Victor
Well the two sides are at a stalemate after the first match in Milan last week, but it was a match that Barcelona did have the better of. Both Lionel Messi and Xavi were in outstanding form, but they just couldn’t pry a stubborn and hard working AC Milan defence open. They will be favourites to progress through to the semi final especially at the Nou Camp, where they have a strong home record. If they make it through the semi finals for the fifth time in a row, they will equal Real Madrid’s record of the same achievement. It is the home record here which we have to look at for Barcelona v AC Milan betting. Barcelona have not lost at home in Europe since 2009, that is a run of fourteen home fixtures, and twelve of those have produced victories. So that record alone, and Barcelona’s outstanding class suggests that AC Milan are going to be in for a long night.
Just to further enhance Barcelona’s case here, they have won 13 out of 11 quarter finals in the European Cup, and they have won their last five quarter final ties. So a very strong record, and against Italian sides at the Nou Camp, Barcelona have a W10 D5 L2 record. At home in La Liga, Barcelona have won fourteen, drawn one and lost none, and they have conceded just eight goals all season there, and they average four goals per game going forward. The presence of Lionel Messi of course will be huge, and he will be worth looking at in the goalscorer markets. Messi is 2/1 at Bet365 in the First Goalscorer market. Barcelona just look too strong, because they have the extra creativity and strength in their side on the evidence of the first leg, but they have to be wary, because the Italians did play a smart game and had a chance to steal a narrow win themselves.
AC Milan did earn a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp on match day one, but they have not managed to win in Europe away from home this season. It was their defence, marshalled by veteran Alessandro Nesta. Milan worked Barcelona high up the pitch, trying to stop the Spaniards from relaxing on the ball from the back. It did work to a certain degree, but AC Milan did find themselves struggling to make a big impact going forward, which was disappointing at home. AC Milan managed only 38% of possession on their home turf, so that paints a big picture, and while they worked hard, they didn’t threaten a great deal, and you expect them to have to work even harder on Tuesday night in Barcelona v AC Milan betting. AC Milan’s overall away record in Spain is W4 D6 L10, and as mentioned, they haven’t won in the Champions League this season away from home. They posted three draws in the group stage, and then suffered a 3-0 against Arsenal in the round of sixteen.
The winner of this tie will face the winner of Chelsea or Benfica in the semi finals.
26th March 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
AC Milan v Barcelona Champions League Betting has some good coverage being provided by Ladbrokes. This is the tie of the quarter finals, and brings back together two sides who faced each other in the group stage. Barcelona record goalscorer Lionel Messi will be under the spotlight once again, and if the little genius scores two or more goals in the match, then online bookmaker Ladbrokes will refund any losing first goalscorer bets placed on the match. That provides some great coverage on the AC Milan v Barcelona First Goalscorer market, where Messi himself is at 3/1 favourite, with Alexis Sanchez back at 6/1, and Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 7/1. So great value there in the market, which are covered by the Ladbrokes promotion. So will Messi produce the goods yet again? Popular online bookmaker Ladbrokes offer a free £50 bet for new customers registering an account with them. The bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account with a free bet, up to the maximum value of £50.
AC Milan v Barcelona Betting Odds
AC Milan to win: 3/4 at Bet Victor
Draw: 3/1 at Bet365
AC Milan: 17/4 at Bet Victor
Well, this is the third time these two will have met in this season’s Champions League. They came together in the Group Stage, and it was Barcelona who came out on top then. Barcelona took a narrow and thoroughly entertaining 3-2 win in Milan, before being held to a draw back at the Nou Camp. AC Milan, who are top of Serie A by four points, actually battled very well against the Catalans, with Pato giving Milan an early lead in Barcelona only for the home side to take the lead before Thiago Silva rescued a point for the Italians. The two sides traded goals at 2-2 as well back at the Nou Camp, with Barcelona twice taking the lead only to twice get pegged back, before Xavi netted a winner. So AC Milan look a very efficient side and they have one of the great European records at home to bank on. AC Milan have never lost a quarter final home tie. That is over a fourteen match period, in which they have won ten and drawn four, so there is a fantastic record there to look to for your AC Milan v Barcelona betting. AC Milan have won eleven of fourteen quarter finals they have contested in Europe, and the last time they were at this stage of the competition, they went on to win it, back in 2006/07. As strong as AC Milan’s quarter record stands, they have failed to beat a La Liga side at home in their last four attempts now, but overall their record against Spanish opposition reads W11 D4 L6. AC Milan blitzed Arsenal 4-0 in the home leg of the round of sixteen, before surviving a Gunners blitz back at the Emirates, losing 3-0.
But even as good as AC Milan have looked at their best, having to live with Barcelona over two matches is a bit daunting. The Catalans have won their last six away matches straight in the Champions League now, and on the road in this year’s competition alone they have bagged fifteen goals in their four games. An inspirational performance from Lionel Messi helped see off Bayer Leverkusen in the last round, and now they head back to the San Siro, where they have won their last two matches. Barcelona have won all five of their last quarter final match ups in the Champions League and are favourites to get through this tie. They were pushed hard by AC Milan it has to be said in the group stages, so this may not be easy passage through to the semi finals for Pep Guardiola’s men. Barcelona have won their last seven matches in a row in La Liga, closing the gap on leaders Real Madrid. They are just building up a strong head of steam at the right time, and while Madrid may seem the stronger option right now, you can’t argue with Barcelona’s quality in this competition, winning it twice in the last three seasons. There have been thirteen European meetings between these two giants, with Barcelona just edging things 5 wins to 4 against the Italians.
13th February 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona Champions League Betting sees the battle for Europe’s top club competition resume. The defending Champions Barcelona, despite dropping just two points in the group stage of the tournament, slipped up badly in La Liga on the weekend, losing 3-2 away from Osasuna. That left them trailing Real Madrid in the league by a massive ten points, and so that may well mean that the Catalans may have some extra interest vested in the Champions League instead. There is still a long way to go in their league campaign, but a ten point deficit to Real Madrid is not going to be easy to overcome and their league destiny is really out of their hands. So, to the Champions League Pep Guardiola will turn in order to try and bring more silverware for the club. Barcelona have won the competition twice in the last three seasons, and not surprisingly have been one of the favourites to taste victory again this season. But the Catalans have not been as invincible or as imperious as in previous seasons, certainly not in La Liga anyway, but will their presence in Europe continue to be one to be feared? Barcelona fired in twenty goals during their six group stage matches, averaging four goals per game away from home. So they unquestionably still have the class and firepower to dominate the competition. The big advantage Barcelona have over other teams is their ability to maintain possession throughout their matches. If their opponents can’t get the ball, then they can’t score. Even though they are away from home in this first leg, the bookies are still expecting Pep Guardiola’s men to take charge in Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona Champions League Betting. Although Barcelona have not lost in their last seven matches in Germany, it may not be quite as easy though as the gap in prices may suggest, because Leverkusen have a strong home record.
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Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona Champions League Betting
Bayer Leverkusen to win: 15/2 at Bet365
Draw: 18/5 at Boylesports
Barcelona to win: 4/9 at Bet Victor
Leverkusen rattled off three wins from three in their group matches at the BayArena, including a win over Chelsea. Still, the German’s couldn’t overhaul the London side for top spot and that is why we are left with Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona Champions League Betting. It’s been a good ten years since Leverkusen was at the quarter final stage of the Champions League, and running into Barcelona here may mean they’ll have to wait a little longer to got back there. Coach Robin Dutt’s men will definitely have their work cut out for them. They aren’t the tightest unit at the back, and neither are they in particularly great form at the moment in the Bundesliga, which won’t help. Leverkusen have won just one of their last six league matches, and are on a three game streak without a win. They lost on the weekend away at Bundesliga leaders Dortmund, and Leverkusen just aren’t stringing things together efficiently at the moment. There is a definite lack of gaols from the side going forward, and the general perception is, that they are not going to be able to out gun a potentially potent Barcelona side over two legs. Keeping a clean sheet at home in the first leg is going to be crucial for the Germans, whose home record against Spanish sides is nothing to write home about. Leverkusen have W5 D3 L4 against Spanish opponents at home. They have tasted the Champions League final before, losing to Real Madrid in the 2001/02 campaign, and they have also beaten Barcelona in the competition before too. Leverkusen knocked Barcelona out of the 1987/88 UEFA Cup (which the Germans went on to win), and then beat Barcelona at home in the 2001/02 Champions League group stage. The last time they met was in the 2002/03 Champions League group stage, where Barcelona won both matches.
19th December 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
It is the Italian Job for both Arsenal and Chelsea, the sole Premier League survivors in the Champions League this season. The Gunners really got the rough end of the draw against the strong AC Milan, while Chelsea have to square off against Napoli, who held off the challenge of Manchester City in the group stage. So the stakes are higher now at the knockout stage, and it is the Spanish sides who are still dominating the Champions League outright winner betting market. Holders Barcelona were handed a tie against Germans Bayer Leverkusen, who followed Chelsea through from their group, while Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid continue their campaign against CSKA Moscow.
Here is a Champions League betting preview for the Last 16 draw for this year’s tournament.
Lyon v APOEL
Pretty much a great draw for APOEL, who became the first Cypriot side to make it through to the last sixteen of the competition. It was a remarkable run in the group stage from APOEL, who saw off Zenit St Petersburg and Porto to claim top spots in Group G. They are the great success story of the tournament so far this season, making a bit of history for themselves and only losing one match out of their six. They will probably really fancy their chances against French Champions League stalwarts Lyon, who left qualification to the knockout stage pretty late. Lyon went into the final round of matches, trailing second placed Ajax by three points, and needing to overcome a huge goal difference. Lyon, who had struggled a bit through the group turned on the afterburners to beat Dynamo Zagreb 7-1, and with Ajax going down 3-0 against Real Madrid, it meant that the French side squeezed through in pretty remarkable fashion. Lyon have all the experience here, and could be pushed out in Cyprus, but you would expect the French outfit to pull it together in this tie.
To Qualify: Lyon 6/17 at Bwin, APOEL 3/1 at Stan James
Napoli v Chelsea
Decent enough draw for Chelsea, and Napoli will probably be thinking the same thing. Chelsea topped their group thanks to a superb final group match effort against Valencia. The Stamford Bridge crew jumped to the top of the group, quite unexpectedly as leaders Leverkusen failed to beat Genk, handing the Londoners top spot. Napoli edged out Manchester City for second place behind Bayern Munich in their group, and with the likes of Edison Cavani in the side, the Naples side have shown a lot of promise. Chelsea have the experience needed to pull this off, but the trip to Italy for the first leg is not going to be an easy one. There is a big gap now until the Champions League returns and form up until that first leg, which is going to be the crucial one, will be vital. Chelsea have to start well out in Naples to give themselves something to build on back at the Bridge. Tough draw for Chelsea, but one that is navigable.
To Qualify: Chelsea 4/7 at Ladbrokes, Napoli 9/5 at Bwin
AC Milan v Arsenal
last season Arsenal finished second in their group and got the bum tie of Barcelona. This year they go and win their group and also get the bum tie of facing AC Milan. The Milanese are definitely the pick of the second placed qualifiers in the draw, as they are going very well in Serie A, and pushed group opponents Barcelona very hard in both of their meetings. AC Milan are certainly not going to be any pushovers, and Arsenal could not have asked for a tougher test at this stage. They will need the best of their improved form to earn themselves something out in Italy for the first leg, and then look to their good home form to carry them through. This should be one of the ties of the Last 16 for your Champions League betting, with two very good and very entertaining sides squaring off. Milan could just edge this though, and make a great dark horse outright winner bet in the competition.
To Qualify: Arsenal 10/11 at Totesport, AC Milan Evens at SkyBet
FC Basel v Bayern Munich
Well, this looks as if it will be an easy match up for the strong German outfit. Bayern qualified at a canter from a tough group including Napoli and Manchester City. Even though, they lost their final match at the Etihad Stadium against City, they really had more than enough in the tank, and should go far in the competition. FC Basel secured their place in the next round with a tremendous Match Day Six win over Manchester United, sending the English champions packing from the competition. So this could easily have been Manchester United in this position, which would have been a great fixture. FC Basel battled ever so well through their group, and their impressive come back from 2-0 down at Old Trafford to take a 3-2 lead, to then be denied at the death will live long in their memories. Just as their home win over the Red Devils will. They are one of the surprise packages, a very organized and hard working side led by the threat of Alexander Frei and the handful that is Marco Streller. Wouldn’t go against Bayern Munich though in your Champions League betting, as they can look very ominous at times. There has been a suggestion that if the Swiss FA fail to punish FC Sion (who were kicked out of the Europa League) for signing players when they weren’t supposed to, it could lead to a European ban for Swiss sides. That would mean that United would replace Basel here if that were to come into fruition.
To Qualify: Bayern Munich 1/7 at BetFred, Basel 5/1 at Stan James
Bayer Leverkusen v FC Barcelona
German side Leverkusen, who followed Chelsea through from the group stage, landed the short straw in the last 16, having to face holders Barcelona. The Germans, with Michael Ballack running the midfield show, really didn’t offer enough in the group stage to suggest that they will cause Barcelona any real upset. Qualification for Barca was easy, although they were tested very well by AC Milan in their two encounters. A 3-2 win at the San Siro secured the edge in the group, sending them through as winners. Can’t see anything other than a Barcelona win over the two legs here.
To Qualify: Barcelona 1/9 at Bet365, Leverkusen 8/1 at Bwin
CSKA Moscow v Real Madrid
Russians, CSKA Moscow qualified in second place from Group B behind Inter Milan, and did beat the Italians on Match Day six. However, having to face Real Madrid is a totally different kettle of fish for the Russians, who will be big underdogs in this tie. Real Madrid look very strong and would expect to see them in the semi final stage at the very least. Jose Mourinho’s men were the only side in the group stage to maintain a 100% record, winning all six matches and scoring 19 in the process. Madrid should be far too strong for Moscow, and unless the Russians get anything out of the first home leg, then it could all be done and dusted after the first 90 minutes of this tie.
To Qualify: Real Madrid 1/7 at Bet365, Moscow 7/1 at Bwin
Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica
Granted, Zenit St Petersburg probably did benefit from being placed in one of the weaker groups, but they still couldn’t steal top spot away from APOEL. Still, the Russians only lost one match in their group stage, and will probably prove to be more stubborn than threatening to Benfica. The Portuguese side were one of the most exciting attacking forces in the group stage, holding Manchester United to two draws, which was part of the undoing of the Red Devils. Benfica really look as if they have a lot to offer and would expect them to put up a stronger showing of attacking power than Zenit in this one. Would get behind Benfica for your Champions League betting in this one.
To Qualify: Benfica 4/6 at Ladbrokes, Zenit 6/4 at SkyBet
Marseille v Inter Milan
Inter boss Claudio Ranieri, who seems to have gotten the Milan side back on track in Serie A after the club had a torrid start to the new season, will be looking forward to this clash against Didier Deschamps and Marseille. Inter topped their group ahead of CSKA Moscow, while French side Marseille, a hard working and physical team, finished a point behind Arsenal in their group. Deschamps was in charge of AS Monaco when whey beat Ranieri’s Chelsea in the 2003/04 semi finals of the Champions League. That was the last time Ranieri was in charge of Chelsea in Europe, and he will be keen for some revenge. Marseille have the ability to frustrate and close down a lot of space, but if Inter continue their revival under Ranieri, then would back them early next year to get through this tie.
To Qualify: Inter 1/2 at Bet365, Marseille 2/1 at Bwin
Champions League Last 16 Match Dates
February 14th: Lyon v APOEL, Leverkusen v Barcelona
February 15th: AC Milan v Arsenal, Zenit St Petersburg V Benfica
February 21st: Napoli v Chelsea, CSKA Moscow v Real Madrid
February 22nd: Basel v Bayern Munich, Marseille v Inter Milan
March 6th: Arsenal v AC Milan, Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg
March 7th: APOEL v Marseille, Barcelona v Bayern Leverkusen
March 13th: Bayern Munich v FC Basel, Inter Milan v Marseille
March 14th: Chelsea v Napoli, Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow
Champions League Outright Betting Odds
Barcelona: 13/8 at Bet365
Real Madrid: 5/2 at SkyBet
Bayern Munich: 11/2 at Victor Chandler
Chelsea: 14/1 at Stan James
Arsenal: 25/1 at Victor Chandler
AC Milan: 28/1 at Boylesports
Inter Milan: 33/1 at Victor Chandler
19th September 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Did we learn much from the opening fixtures of the 2011/12 Champions League? Well, it was something of a pretty understated start to the tournament to be honest. Three of the four English sides drew 1-1 with their respective opponents, with only Chelsea picking up maximum points. It was not a thoroughly convincing opening from the Spanish giants in the tournament either, and with the first rounds of matches out of the way, it is a good time to look at outright Champions League betting odds. This year’s renewal of the event largely sees the same old names as front runners, with defending champions Barcelona and Spanish rivals Real Madrid dominating the proceedings. Will anyone be able to wrestle the title away from the mighty Catalans with Lionel Messi and co running the show? Here are the latest outright winner odds for the main protagonists in this season’s show.
Barcelona: 2/1 at Totesport
Well, a 2-2 draw at home against Italians AC Milan was not quite the expected result here on Match Day One for the defending champions. Barcelona had to chase the game from the early seconds of the match when Alex Pato pounced for the visitors at the Nou Camp. Can we read too much into this opening performance? Not really. You have to remember that most of the teams have only gotten a few games under their belt this season, but with Barca failing to win at home, it may raise the hopes of others in the tournament. The Catalans will get through the group stage without any worries, and the only other important match of their group is going to be the return fixture against AC Milan. Not a blistering start from Barcelona, but they are still the class act to consider in Champions League betting, still the dominant force which other teams are trying to live up to.
Real Madrid: 9/2 at BetFred
Unlike their La Liga rivals, Madrid got off to a winning start, albeit a narrow 1-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb. Real Madrid look very good value here in the Champions League, and there is the feeling that they are a lot closer to Barcelona than ever before. The goals have been flying in on the domestic front, and they will turn up and cause the rest of Europe huge problems. We expect them to push Barcelona really hard for the title both in Spain and in the Champions League as well. They have grown a little from last season if the early performances of the season are anything to go by. Stunned in La Liga on the weekend, suffering defeat, but a very strong force and well worth a bet to be crowned European Champions.
Manchester United: 7/1 at SkyBet
The Red Devils had to come from behind in Portugal against Benfica in their opening match but are still strong in Champions League betting. Veteran Ryan Giggs had to save the day against Benfica, who simply wanted to play the game the right way and attack. That was nice to see, and while it was not the strongest Manchester United side selected which you will see this year, this result is not a disaster. We are not going to see any big upset of United struggling to get out of the group stage. They will, and they will do it without breaking too much of a necessary sweat. They will no doubt get stronger and stronger as the tournament progresses. Last year’s losing finalists, they have gotten off to such a strong domestic start. However, they looked a long way short of Barcelona’s quality in last year’s final. Have they closed that gap?
Manchester City: 11/1 at Unibet
Manchester City’s Champions League debut saw them earn a decent 1-1 away draw against Napoli. Yes, boss Roberto Mancini would have liked to have gotten off to a winning start, especially being in such a tough group, but the Eastlands crew are still being tipped a strong outsider to take the title. This is their first crack at the tournament and they are fourth favourites in the list of betting selections. That is not bad, and is a recognition of the force which they have become. While they will probably go well, you have to look at experience at the end of the day, and the whole balancing act of domestic and European nights is not an easy thing. An outside bet in Champions League betting.
Chelsea: 12/1 at Bet365
The Blues were the only English side to win their opening match in this year’s Champions League. Interestingly enough, they are still fancied as being more of a long shot behind the two Manchester clubs. They still have not been able to get over the winning line in the Champions League of course, so big questions will be asked of new boss Andre Villas Boas. It is likely the tournament which will define his future at the club. Chelsea left it late at home against a Bayer Leverkusen outside which had their chances. Unless Chelsea get stronger over the season with their new players gelling together, it is hard to see them realistically challenging for the title. They, like Manchester City, but for different reason, really need to prove themselves in the tournament this season.
Other Champions League betting options
Bayern Munich: 14/1 at Boylesports
AC Milan: 25/1 at Bet365
Arsenal: 33/1 at Stan James
Porto: 33/1 at Bet365
Inter Milan: 40/1 at BetFred
Online bookmaker Unibet run a Champions League betting promotion on all matches in the tournament this season. This is a 0-0 refund offer and is worth looking at for your option. If a Champions League match ends in a 0-0 draw, then the bookie will refund all losing Correct Score, Half Time/Full Time, First Goalscorer and Last Goalscorer bets placed on that match. It is a decent bit of coverage for your Champions League match betting at a highly rated online bookmaker. Unibet, which has a fantastic live in play betting portal, offer new customers registering an account, a risk free first bet of up to £20. This means that if your first bet on a new Unibet account loses, then you will get your lost stake refunded, up to the value of £20.
13th September 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
While the four English entrants in the Champions League pit their wits in their opening fixtures this week, there is the blockbuster Barcelona v AC Milan betting match up which is kind of taking centre stage here and can’t be ignored. These have met before in the Champions League of course, most recently back in the 2005/06 campaign when Barcelona won 1-0 in Milan before holding out for a 0-0 draw in the return fixture. That was in the semi final stage when the likes of Deco, Eto’o and Ronaldinho were in the side for Barca. Andreas Iniesta also played in the match as well. They also met in the 2004/05 campaign too, which saw a win for Milan at the San Siro, before Barcelona got their revenge back at the Nou Camp in the reverse fixture there. There is further history stretching back between these two giants of European football of course (including a win at the Nou Camp for Milan in the 2000/01 group stage), with a total of eleven meetings. You may be a little surprised at the head to head record here as there have been four wins for each and three drawn matches. The last two meetings in Spain have result in a win for Barcelona and a draw, and so AC Milan need to go there and over turn some poor recent history. Barcelona’s home record against AC Milan is not exactly prolific, as they have won two, drawn two and lost one in their five meetings against the Italians. This is something of a massive encounter here between two giants, and both really have a lot to offer. Barcelona of course now have Cesc Fabregas in their midfield, who is hungry for some European success, but Barcelona have lost the services of their new signing of striker Alexis Sanchez who picked up a hamstring problem. Barcelona were relatively quiet in the transfer market over the summer, and that is easy to understand as it is hard to see just where they can actually be improved. That same midfield of Iniesta and Xavi are there pulling the string, and with Lionel Messi being crowed Europe’s very best, they are the still the team to beat. They are the defending Champions, but were slowed by a 2-2 away draw at Real Sociedad on the weekend. That was their second league match of the new season after opening with a 5-0 win over Villareal.
The Serie A season is just one round of matches old, so nothing too much to read into what the Italians may bring. However, they didn’t bolt out of the gates, as they were held at the San Siro by Lazio Roma 2-2. It’s not the start they wanted, and in the Champions League, they really need to pick up their form. They have now not scored in their last three European matches, and their away form in particular was really bad in the tournament. AC Milan won only one of their four away matches in last year’s tournament, so they need to pick up the pace. Having to open against Barcelona in the Nou Camp is not exactly an easy entrance back into the competition. However, an interesting stats for backers of AC Milan, is that they have won all last ten of their previous Match Day One fixtures. But then we can rapidly switch focus back to Barcelona and see that the Catalans have not lost in their last 10 home games in the Champions League now. Only a draw against Real Madrid in the semi final of last year’s competition broke their run of nine consecutive home wins. It really is understating the obvious that they are an ominous side in their own arena. They are the team to beat anywhere they go, and the ease with which they dispatched Manchester United in the final last year, indicates that they are strong favourites to get back there. Real Madrid are starting off as tournament favourites, and again it looks like Real Madrid (who have fired ten goals in their opening two La Liga matches) are going to be their closest challengers.
There is an immense amount of team ties between these two clubs, who are steeped in fantastic history. This is definitely the big match of the opening round, a match which goes beyond pride. Both are still favourite to get through the stage, as BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen are unlikely to cause either of the giants many problems in the group. For your Barcelona v AC Milan betting though, we are looking at the European Champions and how they keep the ball is just remarkable still. The bookies certainly only see one result happening, which is translated in the strong odds below. It is hard to argue against that really and so we may as well take a look at Asian Handicap options for some value. A great price of Evens is at VC Bet is available for a Barcelona -1.75 Asian Handicap, but that will require a three goal winning margin. It is early days in the season and so you could tone it down a little for 8/11 Barcelona -1.5 Asian Handicap at Victor Chandler. Either way decent value.
Barcelona v AC Milan Champions League Betting Odds
Barcelona to win: 3/10 at Totesport
Draw: 9/2 at Bet365
AC Milan: 12/1 at VC Bet