Slavia Prague V Barcelona Betting Tips: Barcelona & Under 3.5 Goals – 23 October 2019

Czechs to rein in Messi & Company?

Slavia Prague V Barcelona

Wednesday 23 October 2019 – 20:00 Kick-Off
UEFA Champions League
Pick: Barcelona & Under 3.5 Goals
Odds: 6/4
Bookmaker: Betway

1 X 2
32/5 4/1 21/50

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of 20 October 2019 at 12:05)

Preview: Top of their respective domestic leagues, Slavia Prague and Barcelona meet in the Czech Republic capital, specifically inside the Sinobo Stadium where the home side can boast a useful record in 2019/20. The Spanish outfit are in scintillating form though, winning five consecutive games, and arrive as strong favourites to extend that sequence.

UEFA Champions League Betting – 22Bet

 

Slavia Prague Preview – Host unlikely to roll over in Prague?

Anyone quick to presume that Slavia Prague would be the whipping boys in this group have been proven wrong thus far. The reigning Czech title holders could count themselves slightly unfortunate to lose 2-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund, winning the Expected Goals count (xG: SLA 1.22 – 0.73 DOR) but not the all important match itself. Meanwhile, few could begrudge them a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan as they surprisingly held their own in a contest most expected them to lose.

That loss at home to Dortmund in particular will have been hard to accept, not least because their own performance merited more but for it also blotting their otherwise immaculate copybook at home this season. The Germans were – and still are – the only team to have beaten Slavia Prague at their Sinobo Stadium in 2019/20 (W8 L1). Just three visiting sides have even scored there, albeit a lot of those opponents are based in the Czech Republic.

Defensive resolve will almost certainly be a minimum requirement here, facing the star-studded Barcelona attack that has recently found form. The fact five of Slavia’s last six European matches produced no more than two goals – including both group games this season – suggests they are capable of making this a tighter affair than some predict, while only one defeat in six prior meetings with Spanish opponents can only be encouraging.

 

Barcelona Win to Nil?
8/5

Bet365

 

Barcelona Preview – Recent form to drag Catalans over the line in Czech capital?

After an initial wobble, the five-time European champions – with the last of those coming in the 2014-15 season – have rediscovered the sort of form which earned them a 26th Spanish league title at the end of the previous campaign. The jury remains out on the manager, Ernesto Valverde, but his team have now won five consecutive games in all competitions, scoring on thirteen occasions for the concession of only two up the other end.

Saturday’s comfortable victory in Eibar was all the more sweeter, not least because it sent them top of Spain’s La Liga standings but for Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi all scoring in the same match for the very first time. And if that trio are happy and firing, everybody else has a serious problem. Furthermore, it was also a third clean sheet in the last four away matches, which is stark improvement from earlier in the campaign when this side would allow a host of scoring chances on their travels.

In Europe, the Catalans still have some convincing to do. And yet, at this present time, it is the competition the club craves more than any other. The goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund was extremely fortunate, earned in no small part to the shot-stopping brilliance of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while Inter Milan would take an early lead at the Camp Nou before Barcelona surged back to win 2-1. Is now the time, after such a strong run of form lately, we witness a more assured performance on the continent?

 

Slavia Prague V Barcelona Key Facts:

  • Slavia Prague have lost one of nine home matches in 2019/20 (W8 L1), though that was to Borussia Dortmund in this group.
  • Barcelona are currently enjoying a five game winning run in all competitions, winning their previous two away matches without conceding.
  • This will be the first competitive encounter between these two clubs.

 

Betting Summary

Strong in their home fixtures this season, registering a victory on eight of nine occasions (W8 L1), implies that Slavia Prague are far from a hopeless cause in this contest. Displays against Inter Milan (1-1) and Borussia Dortmund (L0-2) were also commendable, limiting two powerfully offensive teams to 1.55 and 0.73 xG, respectively. Losing the latter 2-0 at home felt very harsh on them.

It wasn’t all that long ago Barcelona were in a state of turmoil. It is no coincidence, however, that the recent renaissance has coincided with the return of Lionel Messi, who has gradually built up fitness and helped steer his team in the direction of five successive victories in all competitions. In Europe, they somehow scraped a scoreless draw in Dortmund before staging a comeback at home to Inter Milan (2-1).

The marked improvement in Barcelona is impossible to ignore, particularly from a defensive viewpoint – they’ve kept three clean sheets during their recent five-game winning streak, two of which were away from home. The hosts have been sensational on their own turf this season and shouldn’t be rolled over, but Barca are nevertheless fancied to grind out the three points.


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