In a way, a Barcelona-Bayern Munich final would have been the perfect culmination to this season’s Champions League. However, it wasn’t to be, and instead we’re licking our lips at the prospect of two mouth-watering semi-final legs between these European heavyweights.
This evening the first-leg takes place in Bayern’s backyard, and the visitors will be mindful of Die Roten’s excellent record against Spanish opposition at the Allianz Arena. Indeed, the Bavarians have lost just one of their 20 home games against La Liga outfits, and the German club have proved too strong for Barca in three of their last six meetings, losing on just one occasion against the Catalans.
If there is a red card shown in tonight’s game, all losing correct score, first/last goalscorer and scorecast bets will be refunded!
When I think of Germany, the first things that spring to mind are confidence, ruthless efficiency and attention to detail. I think of BMW and Mercedes, VW and Audi. I think Vorsprung durch Technik. This current Munich side, already crowned champions on the domestic front with games to spare, are the personification of these traits.
Overall, the Bundesliga outfit have won 18 of their last 19 fixtures in all competitions and Bet Victor make Jupp Heynckes’ 23/20 to take a lead to the Nou Camp in the second leg, with The Blaugrana available at 27/10 with the same form. It’s rare that you can back Barca at such a price, but that’s a measure of how strong Bayern are at the Allianz.
There are positives for the away side, besides the fact that they are the mighty Barcelona and have Lionel Messi to call upon. The Spaniards are on an 8-match unbeaten run on German soil, and their host’s will have to make do without one of their danger men, Mario Mandzukic, tonight, as the imposing striker is suspended.
Conversely, Tito Vilanova’s side haven’t been operating anywhere near their best in recent games on the road, winning just two of their last eight in all competitions away from their lair in Catalonia. It’s not in the team’s nature to play for a draw or go out with primarily a defensive attitude, but they will need to be careful on this occasion.
Barcelona are 8/13 with Bet Victor to qualify for the final, Bayern at 6/5. Personally, I’m a bit surprised that the Primera Liga side are such warm favourites to see off Hollywood FC across the two legs, for all that they have the advantage of playing the second leg at home.
Bet Victor are offering a superb concession in this semi-final clash: if a red card is shown during the match, they will refund all first/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast bets. Admittedly, it’s not a match that exactly has red card written all over it, but with so much at stake it’s a good offer from the Gibraltar-based firm.
If you fancy magical Messi to draw first blood, Bet Victor offer 4/1 about him opening the scoring, but at double that price I’m having a wager on the Flying Dutchman, Arjen Robben, netting first.
I’m convinced that the Bavarians will start this match with real intent – indeed, they’ll need a buffer ahead of the trip to the Camp Nou – and the 5/2 about Bayern/Bayern in the half-time/full-time market also makes plenty of appeal.
Arjen Robben in the first goalscorer market – 8/1 (Bet Victor)
Bayern Munich/Bayern Munich in the half-time/full-time market – 5/2 (Bet Victor)