Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona Champions League Betting Odds, Tips and Preview – 14.02.12

Defending Champions head to Germany

Pep Guardiola

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.