CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREDICTION:
Barcelona Vs Manchester City (24/02/2015 – 20:45)
I have watched nearly all Barça games this season, and their match against Málaga was the WORST performance of the season. Nothing worked for them, and nothing went their way. I don’t think we can use the match as a blueprint. Barça has poor games like that perhaps every 15-20 matches. Clearly they were not focused on Málaga, and that was part of the problem.
Regarding Manchester City, well, they seem to have picked up form since Yaya Toure’s return. No doubt he is a key player for City and will be missed sorely in today’s match.
I remember the same fixture last season, and I remember betting on +2.5 goals. It did not deliver as it finished 0:2. Actually, the game was a total snooze in the first 45 minutes, both teams were quite negative and content with just sitting back and holding on to possession, when they could. The game could easily have finished 0:0 if it wasn’t for that early sending off (and penalty) at the start of the second. The game opened up a little after that (actually City started playing then), Barça controlled it quite well with the extra man and hit the second goal later on…but City were very negative and passive that night and got punished.
Is Pellegrini going to make the same mistake again? I don’t think so. I’m not saying City will go all out attack, that would be silly and suicidal, but I do expect them to be more positive, and to really try to get a goal (or two), as they know they need some advantage to take to Camp Nou.
As for Barça, I just cannot see them NOT scoring with Messi/Suarez/Neymar against this City defense.
On the other hand, both teams are not solid defensively, and can concede easily. I have decided to go for BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE here. I think both teams will find the net. Although generally most first legs tend to go under, I expect goals tonight.
Tip: BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE – 1.55
Bet at kickoff102.com