Marcello Cossali-Francis (@marcello95cf) previews Barcelona vs Spurs and provides us with his best bets for Tuesday night’s crucial Champions League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Barcelona v Spurs Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 11/12/18
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Camp Nou
- Channel: BT Sport
Mauricio Pochettino’s side know that a win here at the Camp Nou will secure their place in the knock-out stages of the competition but anything less could see them drop into the Europa League.
Barcelona are already confirmed as group winners, so can rest their key men here, which could help Spurs’ cause. Luis Suarez will play no part, after manager, Ernesto Valverde, confirmed he will be rested and Lionel Messi could also sit out, with Barca playing away to sixth-placed Levate at the weekend.
The Barca team selection plays a huge role here in terms of how to bet on this game, so therefore, it would be wise not to bet on the winners market. Spurs at 13/5 would appeal given the circumstances but given how good Barca have been in this competition, especially at home, you would not want to bet against them.
Spurs have won two games in a row in this group, after failing to win any of their opening three matches. They have conceded in all of those games and have looked suspect in defence in general this season, so you cannot see them travelling to Spain and keeping a clean sheet. Having said that, Barca have not looked incredible at the back, conceding 11 goals in their eight matches at the Camp Nou so far this season, so we’d like to think an entertaining fixture is going to be played out.
With the stakes so high, Spurs are likely to start the game trying to keep the home side out and given Barca have no real motivation to attack, it could mean a safe first-half. Spurs will have to go for it at some point and that should mean goals, given Barca still possess some of the best attackers in world football.
Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Malcom and Samuel Umtiti are all out injured for the home side, whilst manager, Ernesto Valverde, confirmed Luis Suarez will not play a part. Lionel Messi may also be benched, after playing the full 90 minutes at the weekend and with Barce already confirmed as group winners.
Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier are both out for this game, whilst Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela are doubts. Davison Sanchez and Mousa Dembele are also missing through injury and Juan Foyth is ineligible.
Potential Barcelona Starting XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Lenglet, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Dembele, Haddadi, Coutinho
Potential Spurs Starting XI: Lloris; Alderweireld, Dier, Vertonghen; Walker-Peters, Eriksen, Winks, Rose; Alli; Moura, Kane
The reverse fixture between these two sides was the first ever competitive meeting. Barca won that game 4-2 at Wembley.
Key Stats & Facts
Barca are undefeated in 15 of their last 16 matches in the Champions League.
Spurs have to win to qualify for the knock-out stages.
- Barca – 6/5
- Draw – 16/5
- Spurs – 9/4
Having assessed the stakes at play for this game, I would be inclined to back Spurs at 13/5, purely from a value point of view and the fact that Barca will rest key players and Spurs have the incentive to win the game.
However, the safer option would be to go for BTTS and over 2.5 goals, with either side to win at EVENS with SkyBet.
Spurs have to win though, and that might cost them, but I think, given that Barcelona are already through as winners, this game really matters very little to them.