Tuesday 2nd April, KO: 19:45
Playing with the sort of swagger that you can only really achieve when you have more oil money behind you than Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend and Zlatan ‘The Zlat’ Ibrahimovic up front, PSG have enjoyed a successful Champions League run thus far. But it seems the party has to end somewhere, and unfortunately that could well be Paris. Whilst the considerable talents of PSG are to be admired, you’d be a mug to bet against Barcelona in favour of a team with far less Champions League experience. With the return of master tactician Tito Villanova I’m predicting a victory with leather-gloved neck-twisting efficiency for the slick Catalonian outfit.
The best you’re going to get for Barcelona to win is 3/4 with William Hill, whilst you can grab PSG to win at 4/1 with Betfred and bet365. But there are far better bets to be swept up and sure to leave the bookies walking home with a slight limp the morning after!
Final Score and other shouts (Winter’s getting cocky)
I usually tend to shy away from predicting the final score in games as it can so easily swing either way, but I’m pretty sure that this fixture is going to end 2-1 to Barcelona. PSG are of course going to set up with a very defensive attitude and try as all teams do to hit Barca hard on the counter-attack, with the quality they have up-front in Lucas, Ibrahimovic and Pastore I think they will find the net. The difference is that Barca are Barca and they have Messi. You can get 15/2 at Ladbrokes and Coral on Barca winning 2-1.
That said, if you head over to Skybet you can pounce on their unbelievable Scorecast Boost (double chance) offer: Alexis Sanchez to score first and Barcelona to win 2-1 or 3-2 at a tasty 28/1. You can also grab ‘The Zlat’ to score anytime with Betvictor at a zesty 8/5 which would sit nicely with the Skybet double chance.
What if Messi schools the Parisians?
Messi is dangerous. The Argentinian demi-god has now managed to score against every team in La Liga consecutively, he’s that good that I’m starting to doubt if he’s real. It’s rare to find blindingly good odds on him scoring, but Paddypower are offering 3/1 on Leo smashing two or more past Salvatore Sirigu. If you reckon he’s going to turn it all the way up to 11, Betfred have put a Messi hat-trick at 14/1 which is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
Last Goalscorer and a shot in the dark
Jordi Alba has nabbed a couple of late winners in his time and seems to have a habbit of showing up in the box at the right time (and usually travelling faster than most racehorses). The young full back has returned to fitness and will be included in the Barcelona squad for Tuesday, so at a cheeky 27/1 with Betfair to score last you could find yourself with an unexpected bonus.
I love to have a ridiculous longshot shout so this week I’m calling the first goal to be scored between the 16th and 30th minute. You can have a bang on that at 11/4 with William Hill and thank me for it later.
Jack produces topical blogs for Howtobet4free tackling the key issues in the world of sport. Jack also publishes articles for a number of publications each week, and can be found on Twitter by following @JWinterr.