Barcelona v Manchester City: Guardiola’s side could get some joy at the Camp Nou
There was one tie that jumped off the page when this season’s Champions League draw was made. Pep Guardiola heads back to the ground where he led Barcelona to every trophy in club football including three La Liga titles, two Champions League triumphs and two Club World Cups.
Barcelona are understandably the favourites to send their former boss back to Manchester disappointed with Coral offering just 1/2 (1.50) on a home win. City are outsiders at 5/1 (6.0) to shock the Spanish champions in their own back yard with the draw priced at 15/4 (3.80).
Punters looking for maximum entertainment value could be rewarding for tuning into this blockbuster game over the other seven top class European clashes being played at the same time. Over 2.5 goals is just 2/5 (1.40) with both teams to score a 1/2 (1.50) shot.
Over 3.5 goals is a bet which has landed in three of the four combined Champions League games these two teams have contested in Group C this season and with the amount of attacking fire-power on show it’s no surprise to see such a short price of Even Money (2.0) at Coral.
While there is no doubt they’re one of the toughest propositions in World football, the price on Barcelona is drifting a little and there could be some value in taking a pro-Manchester City position coming into this game. The Manchester City/Draw (Double Chance) selection pays a best price of 33/20 (2.65) but that’s being well backed across the board so could well be shorter by kick off.
The home side have lost to Alaves and Celta Vigo already this season and sit fourth in the table coming into this game. The Catalan giants are still an exceptional unit going forward with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez perhaps the most deadly trio anywhere in club football, but there are cracks in their defence.
With Luis Enrique publicly admitting he doesn’t want to discuss a new contract at the Camp Nou for now, there could be a chance for City to pile on the pressure, even if they aren’t able to take anything from the match.
It is perhaps the attacking potential of Manchester City that provides the best value pick. Guardiola’s side have stuttered in attack recently, being shut out by Spurs and scoring once against Everton, but they missed two penalties that day, so it could pay to back them to get back to their prolific ways.
Over 1.5 Manchester City goals is a 15/8 (2.88) chance and would have paid out in eight of the previous 10 matches prior to that defeat to Tottenham. One of those matches it didn’t was the 1-0 second leg win over Steaua Bucharest when the Premier League side were already 5-0 up.
The visitors have the potential to trouble a potentially suspect Barca backline. Kevin De Bruyne’s return to fitness should compliment the usually excellent Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling’s pace could cause plenty of problems. The Double Chance pick will prove popular but at 15/8 (2.88) backing Man City to score two or more looks a solid way to oppose the home side.