Barcelona v PSG: Suarez the smart bet to extend sensational scoring run

The ex-Liverpool striker was in stunning form in front of goal at Parc des Princes last week
The ex-Liverpool striker was in stunning form in front of goal at Parc des Princes last week
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With Barcelona virtually through to the semi-finals after a 3-1 win in Paris, the goals markets offer the most interest in the second leg at Camp Nou, writes James Eastham...

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"PSG have to attack to get back into the tie, but Barcelona may be less focused and lethal than if they needed to win on the night."

Best Bet: Under 3.5 Goals @ 1.814/5

Barcelona v PSG
Tue, 19:45 BST
Live on ITV


Introduction

Barcelona are clear favourites to reach the semi-finals after their 3-1 first-leg win in Paris last Wednesday. They have good team news: Dani Alves is available after missing the first leg through suspension, meaning the hosts should be at full strength.

PSG welcome back top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He and midfielder Marco Verratti, also available, missed the first leg through suspension. Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta are out. David Luiz is an injury doubt.


Match Odds
Barcelona 1.412/5, PSG 8.88/1, The Draw 5.59/2

Nobody that saw Barcelona dismantle PSG at Parc des Princes last week will be surprised that Luis Enrique's hosts are short-priced favourites to win when the sides go head-to-head at Camp Nou on Tuesday night. Barcelona were too swift, too smart and too precise, outclassing the Ligue 1 champions all over the pitch.

Barcelona are perfectly capable of winning by a couple of goals again. The issue is they don't need to win by a couple of goals; they could even lose by a couple of goals (0-2) and go through on away goals.

It is always a risk to back a team to win when they don't need to win. For that reason I would rather leave this market alone.


Under/Over 2.5 Goals
Unders 2.982/1, Overs 1.4840/85

The key to how to bet on this market could lie in the last round.

In the last 16 Barcelona played away first at Manchester City and won 2-1. Having secured that one-goal lead they used the second leg to take the sting out of the tie, controlling the pace and tempo of the game. They could have won more comfortably - Joe Hart produced some excellent saves - but perhaps not being compelled to win also played a role in their failure to run up a comfortable winning scoreline (they won 1-0).

With a two-goal lead from the first leg this time Barca have even less need for goals. PSG have to attack to get back into the tie and that will leave spaces for Barcelona to exploit, but the hosts may be less focused and lethal than if they needed to win on the night. For that reason I would rather back Under than Over 2.5 Goals.


Under/Over 3.5 Goals
Unders 1.814/5, Overs 2.186/5

As the market expects a high-scoring encounter, appealing odds are available on Under 3.5 Goals as well as Under 2.5 Goals.

The same logic applies here as in the Under/Over 2.5 Goals explanation above: Barca don't need to score and that may engender a less intense, focused attacking performance. Barca are a free-scoring side but this is one occasion when backing Unders at decent odds may pay off, especially as PSG will want to earn dignity by avoiding defeat.


To Score

Given the form he's in, would you bet against Luis Suarez scoring?

The ex-Liverpool striker netted twice in Barcelona's 3-1 first-leg win. He has scored 12 goals in his last 12 appearances, starting with Barcelona's 2-1 win at Manchester City in the last round. Even at odds-on he's a tempting pick given the form he's in and the torrid time he gave David Luiz - who may be forced into action this week despite ongoing concerns over his fitness - in the first leg.


Recommended Bets
Under 3.5 Goals @ 1.814/5
Luis Suarez in the To Score market @ 1.875/6


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