This is not a simple match where we predict the best betting lines, this is the tie everybody wants to watch on R16 of UEFA Champions League!
A tie where Arsenal will have the hard task of hosting probably the best team of the World at the moment, and the no.1 contender to take the trophy this Season!
After a shaky start of the Season, where Arsenal was surprised at home by Olympiakos and West Ham, the English team raised the level and, playing at a high intensity in their own stadium, makes it very hard for their opponents to achieve positive results there.
Despite their recent draw against Hull for the FA Cup, where their coach spared some key players for this match, the British team reaches this game in a good level.
Gunners are not only playing well on their last matches, also their victory vs. Leicester on the last minute was very important to raise their morale and confidence level, preparing the team mind-set for what is still left to come on Premier and Champions League- titles on their wish list for this Season.
Wenger has here one more chance to prove that playing at Emirates Stadium is not an easy task to anyone, and after already defeating Bayern Munich on the group stage, Barcelona can be their second top contender to end as a victim on British soil.
There is no other possible approach for Arsenal on this match, they will have to face the Spanish team on the eyes because they have weapons to beat them. Their offensive line, with high-class players – like Sanchez and Giroud – who are usually very well supported on the attack by their teammates, allows them to create many problems to their opponents.
Despite Barcelona’s big mental edge over Arsenal due do the H2h over the years, the Spanish team hasn’t been able to leave London with a victory, but it’s true that they always solve things easily at Camp Nou, with a 4 – 1 victory in 2010 and 3 – 1 in 2011.
Barcelona is clearly better than Arsenal, with an offensive transition that is extremely hard for anyone to stop, plus an individual quality that makes their game unpredictable where every play can turn into a goal chance.
This weekend, their game at La Liga was tough and even with Luis Enrique publicly saying his team wasn’t thinking about Arsenal, we have some doubts, as it was a game where Las Palmas almost drew on the last minutes and it clearly looked that the Blaugrana was already thinking on the match at the Emirates Stadium.
Betting Overview & Markets
The bookmakers are well protected with 1.67 at bet365 for Barcelona to win, which usually would be very low and not enough to back any team on the road at this stage of the UCL, but this is the correct side to take.
Looking at the goals market, everything is settled to see a high scoring game and we agree with that. Both teams have better offensive lines than their defence and due to that, we trust on Arsenal to score vs. this Barcelona, who has conceded goals consistently throughout this season.
Actually, both teams to score and over 2.5 goals have similar odds, 1.67 and 1.65 respectively at bet365, it’s not a huge value but is good enough to take as a single or combined bet at 1.91 on StanJames.
These prices show a good coverage by the bookmakers, without much value left, so we suggest waiting for live market in order to get higher value on the goals market.
A small note for Suarez to score at 2.00 bet365, he’ll return on this match to England and has a great opportunity to remember the good old days.
In short, we recommend you to take the highest available odds for the visitors straight win and if possible, split your money into the betting line – Barcelona and both teams to score at 3.1 bet365 – in a game where 1-2 or 1-3 are our correct score expectations.