AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Barcelona v Spurs

Tottenham still have a chance of making it through to the Last 16 of the Champions League, although the task facing them on paper is the hardest in the group; Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

However, they do travel from London with some chance at least and there are a few things in their favour. Barcelona are already through as Group B winners, meaning this game is a freeroll for the hosts. They are also involved in a big title race in Spain, with five points separating the top five teams at the time of writing, which could provide a welcome distraction.

There are also plenty of injuries for them to deal with, as Malcolm injuring himself in the Copa del Rey on Wedensday, Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez are out for the remainder of the year, Rafinha is set to miss the remainder of the season after a ligament injury and joining him on the bench is Samuel Umtiti, Arturo Vidal and Arthur. This all combines to expel what might, at first glance, be a generous looking price of 21/20 for the hosts.

There is, of course, still a sizeable amount of talent for Ernesto Valverde to utilise and the spectre of Lionel Messi, who in his latest match scored a free-kick from 25 yards and assisted a goal through three defenders whilst being on the floor against Espanyol.

Tottenham’s motivation levels will be at an all-time high, although it will be galling for Mauricio Pochettino that they are relying on a result here. Defeat at Inter was a bad start but dropping points against PSV, when they had 71% possession and won the shout count 24-11 plus had 9 shots on target compared to three for the hosts, could well the be the difference between them making it or not.

Spurs have since beaten PSV and Inter at Wembley, when they deserved to win by more than one, and they have maintained their generally high standards with just one defeat in their last 6, the North London Derby at Arsenal.

Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
20:00 BT Sport 3 HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
OCT 2018 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Tottenham 2-4 Barcelona
APR 1982 EURO CUP’ WINNERS CUP Barcelona 1-0 Tottenham
APR 1982 EURO CUP’ WINNERS CUP Tottenham 1-1 Barcelona

The many variables make this game a difficult one to weigh up but Spurs feel too short to support and Barcelona have just enough question marks to avoid what would normally be a really tempting 21/20. One thing that does look rather likely to occur is plenty of goals – the reverse encounter was 4-2 and it is a miracle that Spurs’ matches have produced just 17 goals in the Group so far. A small bet for over 3.5 goals might be the way to play things.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK OVER 3.5 GOALS 5 points at 23/20 with starsports.bet



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