Arsenal face Barcelona Wednesday evening for their Champions League round of 16 second leg tie with a mountain to climb, following their 2-0 home defeat to Los Blaugranes in the first leg.
With more woe being heaped on the Gunners following a shock FA Cup quarter final exit to Watford on Sunday and the North London club’s hopes of winning a 4th Premier League title ever diminishing, their season now hangs on a knife edge with Arsene Wenger’s men a massive (and understandably so) 15/1 with us to qualify for the Champions League quarter finals Wednesday evening.
Whilst Barca striker Lionel Messi warned his side not to underestimate their opponents when they clash at the Nou Camp in two days’ time, even the Argentine himself cannot deny the irresistible form the Catalonian Giants have been in for the past 12 months. A comprehensive and completely predictable 6-0 win over Madrid-based Getafe at the weekend maintained Barca’s eight point lead at the top of the Primera Division with all of Europe’s elite clubs seemingly unable to match them domestically or in Europe.
Their much lauded trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar (or MSN for short) have caused havoc yet again this season with 103 goals already netted between the three of them in the 2015/2016 season so far. To put that stat in perspective, this is over 2.5 times the number of goals scored by Arsenal’s top three goalscorers this year – Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott of whom have scored a total of 39 goals in all competitions.
Barcelona: Rafinha is the home side’s only unavailable player of note after still recovering from a Cruciate Ligament Rupture. There is however, good news for Barca as their ever-present centre back Gerard Pique returns on Wednesday evening following his recent yellow card suspension.
Arsenal: Unsurprisingly, the Gunners’ injury list does not make for good reading with a total of seven first team regulars out for this week’s Champions League match-up.
Betting Tips – Goals, goals and more goals
When does this fixture ever not produce goals? Never, that’s when.
These two sides have now met eight times in the UEFA Champions League since 1999 and never has there been a match where at least 2 goals haven’t hit the back of the net. Unsurprisingly, the over 2.5 goals market is particularly short (20/57) going into this midweek tie but we reckon such is the home side’s rampant goal-scoring form, over 3.5 goals at 10/11 is still a decent proposition.
Whilst Arsene Wenger’s side have already been written off by fans and pundits alike, we still fancy them to give it their best shot at the Nou Camp and are backing them to bag at least ONE goal on Wednesday evening which would make the Barcelona to win and both teams to score price of 29/20 also very tempting indeed.