Clean sheets in doubt with Messi about

Chelsea's significant height advantage may play a crucial part

Chelsea host Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-final.

David Luiz is likely to be missing for the Blues after he sustained a hamstring injury during Sunday’s 5-1 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final. Branislav Ivanovic is available for the game despite his three-match suspension in domestic competition. Long-term absentee David Villa remains unavailable for the visitors while Gerard Pique faces a late fitness test.

Barcelona’s 0-0 draw with AC Milan in the first-leg of their quarter-final tie is the only game that they have failed to win in their last 15 outings. During that run, Lionel Messi has scored an incredible 26 goals, taking his tally for the season to 63. The Argentinian forward is available at best-priced odds of 3/1 with Stan James to break the deadlock at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s significant height advantage may play a crucial part, particularly on set pieces, and Serbian defender Ivanovic, at 6’2”, may be worth a punt at 14/1 with Bet365 to continue his impressive goalscoring form by netting at any time during the game. The Blues have lost just one of Roberto Di Matteo’s 12 games in charge and they will know that, to stand any chance of progressing to the final, they will need to take a first-leg advantage to the Nou Camp next Tuesday. The defending European champions have kept just one clean sheet in their last four games while Chelsea have scored 14 goals in their last five outings.

At the other end, John Terry and co will have to be at their defensive best to keep out a side that has averaged exactly three goals per game in Champions League and La Liga fixtures this season. Sky Bet offer tempting odds of 4/5 for both teams to score during the game.

Barca have not won on any of their last ten visits to Stamford Bridge and, against an in-form Chelsea side, Sky Bet’s odds of 4/6 seem far too low for a first-leg away win. 

The Blues have reached the semi-final of Europe’s elite club competition in six of the last nine seasons but have been only reached the final once. Ladbrokes offer odds as low as 1/7 for Barcelona to qualify over two-legs at Chelsea’s expense.

Recommended Bet:

Back Both Teams to Score @ 4/5 with Sky Bet

 


Written By:- Jaymes Monte (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 18/04/2012 - 10:15 AM
Filed in:- Chelsea Betting News, Chelsea


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