Can Chelsea overcome Barcelona?
All eyes will be on Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening when Chelsea take on the European giants Barcelona in their first leg Champions League semi-final. The Blues have been in great form since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas but with odds of 4/1 to take a first leg advantage into the second leg, shows the calibre of this Barcelona team. Can Chelsea overcome Barcelona?
Barcelona have been labelled the best team in world football and with a squad full of world class talent, nobody can argue with that. They are currently 3/4 with Paddy Power to come away from Stamford Bridge victorious and if anything that does look a very attractive price. The Catalan side are currently unbeaten in their last 15 games in all competitions (14 wins and one draw) and have reached this stage without losing a single match.
Chelsea though aren’t without their chances but they face a very tough task in stopping Barcelona from reaching their eighth major European final. One bet that does appeal is the total goals in the match. Barcelona have scored a total of 33 goals from their last 10 European matches to Chelsea’s 21. It’s 5/6 with Stan James for the game to contain over 2.5 goals (5/6 under 2.5 goals) and 9/4 that there are four or more goals scored.
Another football betting market that does stand out is the 4/5 (Bet365) for both teams to score. Chelsea could struggle to cope with the pace of the Barcelona attack especially if David Luiz doesn’t recover in time and Guardiola's team have only kept one clean sheet in their last four matches.
On the goalscorer betting it’s hard to ignore the Argentinean striker Lionel Messi. The 24-year-old has been instrumental for Barcelona this season and having scored a total of 63 goals already (20 goals in his last 11 matches), the 3/1 available with Stan James for Messi to score the opening goal of the match and the 5/6 (Coral) available for Messi to score in 90 minutes, could prove very popular. It not only Messi that Chelsea will have to look out for as Alexis Sanchez (2/1 to score in 90mins) has been a great signing for Barca, scoring a total of 10 goals from his 23 appearances so far.
Whatever happens on Wednesday evening Chelsea fans will be hoping that there will be no repeat of when these two sides met at the same stage in 2009. That year Chelsea were one of the unluckiest teams on the planet having held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw in the first leg at the Nou Camp. The second leg saw Chelsea take an early lead through a long range shot from Michael Essien before Andres Iniesta fired home an equaliser deep into stoppage time to put Barcelona through on away goals.
It’s 5/1 (Bet365) for Chelsea to avenge that defeat and qualify through to only their second Champions League final with Barcelona 2/11 (Betfred).
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