Barca have been the best club side in the world over the past few years although their dream of retaining the La Liga title is in tatters following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid which effectively means Jose Mourinho’s team are Spanish champions.
Now Pep Guardiola must focus his players’ minds on Tuesday’s Champions League showdown with Chelsea where Barcelona trail 1-0 from the first leg after dominating at Stamford Bridge only to be sucker-punched by a Didier Drogba goal on the stroke of half-time.
Barca are massive favourites to win the match at 1/4 (Paddy Power free £100 bet) and they are also big odds-on (4/9) to qualify for the Champions League final, although their failure to get an away goal in London means that conceding one to Chelsea will leave the Spanish side needing to find the net three times.
This is the first time since October where Lionel Messi has failed to score in consecutive games and the Nou Camp faithful will be hoping that their Argentine genius can steer the team to the Allianz Arena where they might get the chance for revenge against Real Madrid. Mess is a best price 9/4 (bet365 bookmaker) to score the first goal.
As for Chelsea, they successfully managed to stop Barca at the Bridge, although there was a large slice of fortune about their 1-0 win and whether they can achieve another clean sheet is open to question.
Roberto di Matteo’s side showed little ambition when drawing 0-0 at Arsenal on Saturday and the Italian will be employing the same tactics for this encounter. It would be quite amazing if the Blues were able to find a way through to the final and they are a 2/1 shot (Betfred bookmaker) for anyone who thinks they can make it.
Drogba will surely lead the line if fit for this encounter and he will be making a nuisance of himself in attack which will probably include hurling himself down to the ground at every opportunity. The Ivorian is an 11/1 chance to score the first goal of what should be an enthralling encounter.
However, the verdict is that Chelsea won’t be able to ride their luck again in such a fashion and it might be rewarding to not only back Barcelona at 4/6 (Sky Bet) to lead at half-time and full-time but also take a slice of the 6/5 about Barca winning to nil.