Rabu, 19 September 2012

Barcelona - Spartak Moscow Betting Preview: Why at least four goals look likely at the Camp Nou

Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, Barcelona
It has been nearly three years and 17 matches since Barcelona last lost a home game in the Champions League.

On that occasion, Rubin Kazan stunned the Catalans to claim a 2-1 victory, and this evening's opponents also hail from Russia in the form of Spartak Moscow.

Perhaps the biggest asset to the side from the Russian capital is their coach Unai Emery, whose Valencia side last season caused Barcelona some real problems at the beginning of the campaign.

Nevertheless, Spartak are huge outsiders tonight, priced by Panbet at 17/1 (18.00) to claim a win, while Barca are offered at just 11/100 (1.11) and the draw can be backed at 13/1 (14.00).

Barcelona have started the season in impressive fashion, not necessarily dazzling constantly wit h their play, but in their ability to win games.

They are the only side in Spain with a 100 per cent record in their first four four games, situating them at the top of the Primera Division, and in Sunday's 4-1 win at Getafe they had the luxury of resting Lionel Messi for the majority of the match.

The Russians, by contrast, have begun their season poorly with a solitary win in their last five matches, and Barcelona will surely be far too strong for them.

Serious punters may be interested by the price of 12/25 (1.48) for Barca to score in both halves, a bet which has paid out in seven of their last nine home matches in the Champions League.

But for slightly more universally appealing odds, backing over 3.5 goals to be netted in the game at 4/5 (1.80) loo ks like a better option.

This bet has proved the correct selection in six of Barca's last seven home games in the competition, and with the Catalans firing on all cylinders, goals look almost guaranteed.

For a value bet, Panbet are offering the extremely generous price of 59/20 (3.95) on any player to score two goals in the game and given the attacking options on offer to Barca this could prove to be an excellent investment.

Sign up with Panbet and back Phil's selections for this game

Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

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