Barcelona travel to Rome to start the defence of their Champions League title with a tough game against a Roma team that have improved and bough well over the summer. Roma added the strength in depth they have been missing for the last couple of years with the addition of Salah and Dzeko in particular providing quality in the final third of the pitch that Roma have really needed. This is a side that look likely to push Juventus and the other Italian pretenders all the way this season. Can they also provide some success in Europe to really make a mark on the UEFA scene and provide Italy with another success story and possibly a fourth Champions League spot next season? I think this team could cause a stir in this years Champions League, they seem well balanced and with Totti, De Rossi, Dzeko and Falcque they have both the experience and ability to win big games, can they handle the brilliance of Barcelona on opening night? Well one thing for sure is they shouldnt be 11/2 underdogs at home in my opinion.
Absolutely Barcelona should be favourites for the competition as a whole, they have that magic trio of Neymar, Suarez and Messi and all are fit and playing. But Barcelona have been far from the free flowing side that won the competition last year, they struggled for long periods last weekend against Atletico Madrid and while they did come away with the win it was somewhat lucky. Similar to both their previous win's in La Liga. The team have been a little out of sync and while they are winning, always the sign of a good team, I dont believe they have come up against a defence or midfield as strong as Roma's yet.
The popular pick here will be to go with Barcelona but I cant, I like Roma here as a home underdog. While I am not going to go with them outright I am taking them on the handicap. I do think the draw is the most likely result here but either way I think at worst we finish with a push, but in my opinion Roma should not be this big a price at home, where in general they do not lose. Take Roma +1 on the handicap.