Welcome to the preview of the Champions League Quarter Finals where we take a look at two of the second leg matches with Ateltico Madrid hosting Barcelona whilst Manchester United travel to Germany with what looks like mission impossible to beat Bayern Munich. I’m not sure if we’ll get an upset from United but there’s no doubt they’ll go for it which could well lead to a more inspired performance. Let’s just hope we get some entertaining football at the very least.
Odds from Betfair as at 8/4/14
Atletico Madrid ($3.35) versus Barcelona ($2.36), Draw ($3.55)
First Leg: Draw 1-1
Atletico head into the second leg here with the advantages of a home ground and an away goal which should make for a pretty intense match with both sides desperate to move onto the next stage. There is a bit of a worry for Atletico mainly in the injury doubt of Diego Costa. If he returns to fitness in time it’ll be a massive boost but if he can’t get back in time it does give Barcelona a bit of an edge. For Barcelona though, they too have a fairly big out in the form of Pique. As a result we should see Mascherano and Barta partnered in defence and whilst it’s not a weak line-up by any means it’ll still be a blow defensively for them. For this you’d still have to give the edge to Barcelona especially with the likes of Messi and Neymar roaming up front. If they can get some control early we could see Barcelona snatch a win.
Going off recent meetings between these two we should be looking at a fairly close encounter. The last 5 meetings between these two in all competitions has only seen 7 goals with 4 draws and 1 win for Barcelona. Perhaps importantly for Barcelona that win came away from Camp Nou and with the possibility of no Costa it could well be a narrow win for Barcelona given that you’d somewhat expect Ateltico to take a bit of a cautious approach defensively so as to not concede an away goal. I do think that it’s somewhat inevitable that Barcelona will find a way of scoring here even if they too themselves concede given some key defensive outs. Going for a tight finish here in a draw come the full-time whistle on 90 minutes and from there it’s really anyone’s to win with perhaps Barcelona the more likely of the two.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.75
Best Bet Confidence: 75%
Bayern Munich ($1.28) versus Manchester United ($12.5), Draw ($6.8)
First Leg: Draw 1-1
Manchester United will be fighting desperately to defend their away goal though for me it’s just a matter of how long they can hold off this irresistible attacking side that is Bayern Munich. The first leg was an interesting encounter which finished in a 1-1 draw which was fairly well earned by United from a defensive point of view no matter if they parked the bus or not as it’s really the end result that counts in these crucial encounters. I’m sure United will also take some confidence out of their league performance against Newcastle on the weekend as well with a strong 4-0 win without RVP or Rooney. A blow for United though will be no Juan Mata who was pretty impressive in that win with 2 goals although Kagawa was also pretty solid in that game so Moyes could look to him to fill the creative void there. Rooney could also return for the game which will be an added boost but whether they can break a Bayern defence that has conceded only 10 times at home in the Bundesliga looks to be a pretty big ask.
For me it’s pretty difficult to see United getting too much out of this one unless they somehow gather some fighting team spirit along with a little bit of luck. It’s not totally beyond them but it’s certainly a big ask. Bayern should win here albeit with some stern resistance early. There’s just too much quality in this side with the likes of Neuer, Robben, Lahm, Ribery, Kroos, Gotze, and the list goes on.
Predicted result: Bayern Munich 3-0
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.54
Best Bet Confidence: 80%
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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