Paris St-G meet Valencia in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie tonight and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended for PSG, Paul Robinson thinks we could be in for a low scoring game.
"Carlo Ancelotti is a tactically shrewd manager and he will know that he doesn’t want to get into a goal scoring slugfest with Valencia in the absence of his star striker."
PSG hold the advantage going into this match as they won the first leg in Spain by two goals to one. They looked to have a relatively comfortable passage secured as they led 2-0 going into injury time but Adil Rami pulled one back for Valencia and then Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw red.
Losing Ibrahimovic is a huge blow for Carlo Ancelotti as the Swede has netted 22 of their 49 league goals this term and while he's only scored two in the Champions League, he's assisted five of the other 14. It's also worth pointing out that when PSG lost him to suspension earlier in the season, their league form dipped, picking up just one point from their next two games.
Valencia have been a touch disappointing this term and despite only losing one of their group games in this competition, they've never really looked entirely convincing and they are only fifth in La Liga, albeit only a point adrift of Malaga in fourth.
Ernesto Valverde's side were bitterly disappointing in the first leg at the Mestalla Stadium and they go into tonight's match knowing that they have to score at least twice to have a chance of qualifying. That will be no mean feat though and it's something they've achieved just once in their last nine games in the Champions League.
Carlo Ancelotti is a tactically shrewd manager and he will know that he doesn't want to get into a goal scoring slugfest with Valencia in the absence of his star striker. I expect him to set up his team quite defensively with the main goal of not conceding rather than scoring.
Over 2.5 goals is currently trading at odds-on, at around the 1.9620/21 mark, and the play has to be to take that on, which is why I'm making it my lay of the day.
Lay Over 2.5 goals in Paris St-G v Valencia @ 1.9620/21
This match can be seen live on Sky Sports Four at 19:45
2013 P/L (1pt each bet)
Wagered: 64 pts
Returned: 57.82 pts
P/L – 6.18 pts (after commission)
(2012 P/L: + 9.60 pts)