As the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League soccer moves on, we are now in the Round of 16 – 1st Leg with the next game being played on Tuesday the 23rd of February between the Arsenal F.C. (3rd in Premiere League) playing FC Barcelona (1st in La Liga) with the game being played at the Emirates Stadium in London, England with the kick-off scheduled for 2:45 PM ET.
If you Bet on Soccer at an offshore betting site the early odds have Barcelona (Barca) favored at -130 Money Line with Total at under 3 -120 and -1/2 -130 on the Goal Line, while Arsenal (Gunners) is at +340 on the Money Line ad +1/2 +110 on the Goal Line with the Draw being at +290.
The Arsenal struggled to get to this knockout stage, only to start facing the defending Champions Barcelona on Tuesday the 23rd, as the Gunners will now face the Super Team from La Liga that has a very powerful frontline and maybe the best ever group of players on a single team. The fans wonder can the Gunners score some away goals, and surprise Barca with their defense.
If you’re a fan of the Gunners of Arsenal you know your team struggled to get to this knock out stage, which is the 13th straight appearance. As you know they lost their 1st 2 game to Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb, but then in the return game they won both by a 3-0 score and finished as runners-up in their Group F and into this knock out stage.
Even with this game being played in London the Gunners will still be the underdogs, since they in the ultimate 5 years have not made it past this stage in this tournament, plus the fact that they are facing the 2014-15 Champs in Barcelona of La Liga. But one can never count out the Gunners as we remember that back in 2011 they defeated Barcelona in the first leg of this same event.
Presently the Gunners of Arsenal are one team in the world of soccer that has the offensive power to compete with powerful Barcelona team. Arsenal has A. Sanchez a former player from Barcelona, and M. Ozil who has the talent to play in the starting 11 for Barca, and a lot of offensive talent in A. Ramsey, T. Walcott and O. Giroud (with 5 goals in Champion League games.)
What has been a problem has been their defense that has conceded in their ultimate 13 games at home some 8 goals, but still that ranks the best this season in the EPL. They also managed in those home games to shutout 2-0 Bayern Munich in their group stage.
For the Barca fans of FC Barcelona surely you’re aware that the team in their 1st and last group games finished with draws, as the eased through their Group E. In between those draws the won 4 straight games and in those games also scored some 15 goals.
The Barcelona team in the 1st half of the group stage was without star L. Messi who was on injury leave, but another star stepped up in L. Suarez scoring 5 goals and leading the team scoring. Regardless Messi in the 3 games he played scored 3 goals. Their dream teams of Messi, Suarez and Neymar this season have combined for an incredible 89 goals.
What’s amazing is that the Barca team has struggled in scoring in their away games, as in their 10 road games in La Liga they have scored only 16 goals combined, and in these 3 Champions League game they have only combined for 4 goals. Thus, fans of Barca should not expect their team to score numerous goals in this event in London, but for them to win there are still a lot of possibilities in this game.
The defense for the Gunners has improved with F. Coquelin a midfielder whom they added to their defense, but whether he can contain Messi and the Barca stars is questionable. On the Barca side Suarez is the player, playing for Liverpool back in 2014 was instrumental in Liverpool’s 5-1 win over Arsenal. Presently with Barcelona he is having a hot streak scoring 14 goals including 3 hat-tricks in his last 7 games.
The sports betting prediction for this 1st Leg of Round 16 with Arsenal playing at home against Barcelona, and their Gunners team will surprisingly get it all together, and upset Barca 2-1.