STAR PREVIEW: Arsenal v Barcelona
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]old the presses and put the flags out – I’ve actually made a profit in a Manchester United game this season !!!
From the New Meadow Stadium, Shrewsbury, to the Emirates Stadium, London, tonight for the fascinating first leg Champions League clash between Arsenal and Barcelona.
Arsenal have only managed to beat the mighty Barcelona once in seven Champions League matches – that was the last time they met in 2011 with the Gunners winning the first leg 2-1 but getting beat 3-1 at the Camp Nou.
Getting something from tonight will surely be a pre-requisite for Arsenal and even a draw is unlikely to be good enough. Usually at this stage of the Champions League you get low scoring, cagey games but Arsenal will need to be proactive tonight.
Arsene Wenger said: “We need to find the right balance between being audacious, because that is what you will need to be against Barcelona, and being strong defensively as a unit. The difficulty of the task is completely different but it is more difficult to prepare against Hull than Barcelona.”
Luis Suarez will be the chief problem for the Gunners to contain. Suarez has scored 41 goals in 37 games this season contributing to Barcelona’s excellent season which currently sees them leading La Liga by eight points after 25 games.
Arsenal will welcome back Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and keeper Petr Cech who were all rested for Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round draw with Hull.
Arsenal v Barcelona
UEFA Champions League Last-16 1st Leg
19:45 BT Sport Europe / BT Sport Europe HD / BT Sport Ultra HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
Mar 2011 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal
Feb 2011 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona
Apr 2010 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal
Mar 2010 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona
May 2006 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal
Oct 1999 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Arsenal 2-4 Barcelona
Sep 1999 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Barcelona 1-1 Arsenal
Barcelona look a little short at 8/11 and I’d rather play ‘over 2.5 goals’ at 4/7 in the hope and expectation that Arsenal can at least grab a goal.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)
BACK OVER 2.5 GOALS for 50 points at around 4/7 with Star Sports
MONDAY: PROFIT 21.66 points