Champions League Preview: Barcelona vs Arsenal

Champions League Knockout Stage Preview and Predictions: Arsenal vs Barcelona

Arsenal and Barcelona return to the field but this time action will take place at Camp Nou with the Spanish side holding a 2-0 lead in the two leg knockout stage affair.  Barcelona head into this match with 9 consecutive UEFA Champions League home victories seeking a tenth and handing Arsenal their third 2 legged loss against the Spanish side having already defeated them in both 2010 and 2011.

 

The Gunners enter this match with a giant hill to climb having dropped a 2-0 decision at home after Lionel Messi connected twice to put the English side in a deep hole heading back to Spain.  They’ll face a side that again has won 9 straight on home soil and were only one of two teams to make it through the group stage matches undefeated. They’re also looking to advance to the quarter finals for the 9th consecutive season a feat in itself remarkable.

 

English sides have not had much success when travelling to Spain to take on Barcelona and Barca’s home record against English sides now sits at 17 wins and 2 losses with 11 draws adding to the mix.  Arsenal supporters can take some comfort in knowing that it hasn’t always been terrible for English sides as Barcelona’s current record in 2 legged ties in UEFA competitions such as Champions League and EuropaLeague matches stands at 13 wins and 10 losses.

 

Arsenal enter Leg 2 looking to advance to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2010 and have been winless in matches played in Spain the last 10 years and have an away record against La Liga opponents of 2 wins 8 losses and 3 draws. A positive note again is the fact they’ve won 5 of their last 8 two legged ties against Spanish opponents in UEFA competitions.

 

Wondering what to expect on Wednesday?  The obvious would be that Arsenal will not employ the high pressing tactics they tried during Leg 1 at home. Although it was somewhat successful in forcing Barcelona out of their advantageous ball possession type game they generally have week in and week out it also prevented their own side from any type of offensive flow and sustained pressure in the Spanish teams end of the field. Arsenal will likely field a formation with a heavy numbered midfield and strikers up front looking for that important first goal of the match and provide themselves with some semblance of confidence and hope.  Barcelona will counter with a strong midfield lineup once again with the big three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez in their well accustomed spots up front attacking the backline of the English side. Barca will attack the middle of the field as their strength lays within that 15 yard space where Messi works his usual magic.

 

In the end though Arsenal has left themselves with a giant hill to climb and asking this side that has played uninspired at times this season to come into Camp Nou and take this tie away from Barcelona it literally a Mission Impossible.  Should Barcelona break through first this game may get out of hand by the time the second half gets underway.

Bettors keeping faith with Foxes against Canaries

Bettors keeping faith with Foxes against Canaries at WagerTalk

Despite leading the EPL table by two points the market doesn’t think Leicester will still be there in 12 games time.

Pinnacle Sports’ outright market gives the Foxes a 32% chance of winning the title, and 68% to fail.

Perceptions may have shifted after Leicester’s bruising last gasp defeat to Arsenal, but Ranieri’s men have had two weeks to dust themselves down

and get back to winning ways against Norwich today. They’ll have to do it without Danny Simpson in a first line-up change for seven league games.

Norwich have conceded an average of three goals in their last seven, which have average four goals in total. Today’s total is set at 2.75.

Our BetShare suggests our customers still have faith in Leicester

BetShare

Hcp (-1)
#LCFC – 79%
#NCFC – 21%

1×2
#LCFC – 62%
#NCFC – 18%
Draw – 20%

O/U 2.75 gls
Over – 69%
Under – 31%​

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Read moreBettors keeping faith with Foxes against Canaries

FA Cup Predictions: Shrewsbury vs Man United

Champions League Knockout stage Preview and Predictions: Benfica vs Zenit aty WagerTalk

Shrewsbury have lost three of their last four matches at home – their only victory in that time was in the fourth round of the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. They have beaten a team from a higher division in the previous two rounds (Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday), although they have lost 14 of their 23 FA Cup matches against top-flight opposition. All six of Shrewsbury’s goals scored in the FA Cup this season have come in the second-half of their games. The Shrews have kept five clean sheets in their last seven FA Cup games (W5, D1, L1).

Read moreFA Cup Predictions: Shrewsbury vs Man United