Arsenal vs Barcelona 02/23/2016 UEFA Champions League Preview, Odds and Predictions
Barcelona vs Arsenal
Tuesday 23rd February 2016 14:45(ET)
The Line: Arsenal 4/1Draw 16/5 Barcelona 7/10 See the Latest Odds
TV: Bt Sport; ESPN; Fox Sport
This week we have some cracking match ups with Arsenal hosting Barcelona being among the pick of the games. Arsenal are in second in the Premier League just a couple of points behind Leicester City and will be looking to win their first title in over a decade this season, they face into this game against Barcelona as underdogs but Arsenal are a tough team to beat especially at the Emirates where they handed Bayern Munich their first loss of the season earlier in the competition. Arsenal have quality throughout the side with former Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez the key man up top. No doubt Sanchez will want to get one over on his old employers and a win here could set up Arsenal for a grandstand game in the Nou Camp. Of course defensively Arsenal will have to be on their game as Suarez, Messi and Neymar are probably the best front three in football right now.But with Petr Cech, Koscielny, Gabriel and two nippy wing backs this side wont be easily beaten.
Of course looking at Barcelona's squad right now its difficult to see anyone beating them, unbeaten since October a run of thirty two games in all competitions Barcelona are just irresistable at the moment. Messi, Suarez and Neymar have been sensational this season and Suarez first full season with Barcelona has been magnificent. The former Liverpool man has netted 25 in 24 games and with Messi on 15 and Neymar on 18 it's not difficult to see why it is so hard to beat this team. They simply always find a way to find the net. In fact in the last thirty two games Barcelona have failed to find the net on just two occasions and one of them was a Copa Del Rey game. Barcelona are just supremely well balanced. Luis Enrique has brought a toughness to the team that perhaps wasnt there and they have an ability now to grind out wins as well as blow teams away. Barcelona are unbeaten in the six games played this season in the Champions League but they have two draws in those six games both away from home. The question is can Arsenal hold them here?
This one is set up nicely, I think Arsenal will fancy themselves against Barcelona. I think they will fancy this game at home and while Barcelona are deserved favourites the Gunners do have to be respected at home. I am going to side with Arsenal here, Arsenal +1 is 6/5 and I have to say I have a soft spot for the Gunners in this position. I took Arsenal against Bayern Munich early in the competition another game where they were 4/1 to win and I do think that the bookmakers are possibly underestimating Arsenal here. Arsenal have players that can hurt Barcelona and with Wellbeck fit again and Walcott they have an abundance of pace that can come off the bench. I'm taking Arsenal on the handicap but I will also be spreading a little on Arsenal to win this one outright and set up a cracking return leg in the Nou Camp.