Barcelona v Chelsea Betting Tip More goals in second half – 14 March 2018

Goals should come in second half at Nou Camp

Champions League Tips

Wednesday 14th March 2018 Kick off 1945hrs Barcelona v Chelsea Football – Europe – Champions League Barcelona were heavily fancied to progress from this tie when the draw was made back in December, and Chelsea’s form going into the first leg suggested that they would be very much up against even getting a result at home. Following the 90 minutes, however, the confidence in the Spanish league leaders progressing may not be as high as it once was. Chelsea produced a real battling display and would have been disappointed not to have gained a better result coming into this one. Barca remain favourites to reach the next stage, of course, but they will hope to be a lot better than three weeks ago.

Barcelona have all but clinched the Spanish title following a hard fought win over Atletico Madrid a couple of weeks ago. The win was secured by another wonderful Lionel Messi strike, the 600th of his career, and allows them now to place even more focus on winning the Champions League courtesy of having an eight point lead (actually nine due to the head to head ruling in the event of a tie in Spain) in La Liga. They head into Wednesday’s game with Chelsea full of expectation and potentially on the brink of another treble – akin to their exploits in 2015. The evergreen partnership between Iniesta and Messi was the reason they were able to secure a vital draw and away goal from the first leg, despite being nowhere near their best. Unfortunately for Ernesto Valverde he will have to do without Iniesta for this one as the midfielder picked up an injury in the win over Atletico. His experience and craft from the middle of the park will be an undoubted miss but Barca have one of the most expensively assembled squads in the world and if they are serious about winning this competition they have to prove capable of winning without one of their star men.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Antonio Conte’s future as Chelsea have really struggled to it the heights of their Premier League triumph last season. Much was made of the fact that the Blues had an advantage by the fact they did not have to juggle European football last season along with their domestic responsibilities, and there may be some mileage in that. Aside from how good Manchester City have been, Chelsea have been poor and some of their key players have been nowhere near their best. It made the first leg performance at Stamford Bridge all that more surprising as they were by far the better team and had shown absolutely no form whatsoever in the weeks leading up to it. Currently fifth in the league and five points behind Liverpool, their form after the first leg has also been poor. Successive defeats away to both Manchester clubs have been a body blow to their chances of finishing in the top four and a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at home on Saturday would have done little to boost the confidence. Although they will continue to battle to make the Champions League via a top four finish, it could be that winning it this year is actually their best hope – as unlikely as that may be.

Barcelona v Chelsea Betting Tip

Chelsea have pulled off what many felt to be the impossible before, against Barcelona, as they defeated the Catalans en route to the Champions League in 2012. They will have to turn in a similar level of performance, if not better, if they are to produce a similar outcome this time around. Six years ago they took a 1-0 lead to the Nou Camp and drew 2-2 in the second leg. Conte will still be feeling they should be coming into this game with a lead after their performance at home three weeks ago but conceding late on it means they now have to score at least once if they are to move into the quarter finals. For Barcelona they are no doubt in pole position to get past this hurdle and their home record in the Champions League is – unsurprisingly – immense. Not since Bayern Munich destroyed them in 2013 have Barca lost a game at the Nou Camp in this competition. They have reeled off 22 wins and two draws in that time which illustrates just how much of a challenge this will be for Chelsea.

Getafe and Celta Vigo are the only two teams who have taken points off Barca at home this season but both games should give Chelsea hope. There is a different approach under Valverde and whilst it has been effective, Chelsea can match up well against them as they did in the first leg. The bet I like here is for there to be more goals in the second half. The circumstances in this tie lend itself to be tight and possibly nervy in the opening 45 minute before opening up somewhat later in the game.

More goals in second half 103/100 @ Marathon Bet


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