BARCELONA are aiming to join Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday – but they've still got work to do.

With or without Lionel Messi the home men need to beat PSG at home or draw 1-1 or 0-0 to go through on away goals. Here's Milesey's thoughts on the big game.

Barcelona v PSG

After last week's 2-2 draw with Barcelona at the Parc des Princes, PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Canal+ his coach Carlo Ancelotti already had a plan for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Nou Camp.

He wouldn't elaborate in great detail on any strategy said “we have to score two goals in Barcelona so our attitude will be the same as in the first leg”.

Ancelotti's right. While one would be enough for PSG it bears remembering only Benfica have stopped Barcelona from scoring at the Nou Camp this season.

Whether Lionel Messi plays or not following the injury he picked up in France last week – and the suspicion is he will make an appearance – the firepower available to the Catalans is such PSG's defence is once again likely to come under severe scrutiny.

Even if Messi has scored 45 per cent of their goals in La Liga this season, Barcelona aren't a one-man team.

In the six games they've had to do without Messi since 2007-08 they have won five and only lost once. Saturday's 5-0 thrashing of an admittedly weak and relegation-threatened Mallorca offered another timely reminder of what they are capable of in his absence too.

Still, you also fancy PSG to score. They have found two goals in each of their last three Champions League away games, including against Valencia at the Mestalla. Given Barcelona's problems at the back with Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Adriano all out injured, and young Marc Bartra set to partner Gerard Pique in defence, there's plenty of encouragement there for PSG.

Recommended Bet

Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.4

Milesey (Betfair)

  1. Daleboi 11 years ago

    God only knows what’s gonna happen in this game tonight… If its anything like the gala v real game it’s gonna be great… May have to do my usual of 3-2 either way and possibly half time full time off opposite teams barca ht psg ft or vice versa… Wat u think mr f or milsey surely got a real gud chance…

    • Mr Fixit 11 years ago

      Daleboi, as I said my tips will be up in the morning, Milesey’s piece is posted earlier.

    • Milesey 11 years ago

      Wednesday 19:45
      Camp Nou (Live on Sky Sports 2)
      Barcelona 1.4 PSG 9.6 draw 5.5

      Match Odds

      Barcelona, who are 1.15 to confirm a sixth consecutive semi-final appearance, are W16-D4-L0 at the Camp Nou since losing a group-stage game to Rubin Kazan in 2009.

      In the last decade home teams have a winning record after first-leg draws in the Champions League (W6-D1-L4) and that’s in large part due to Barcelona themselves, who have seen off Arsenal, Benfica and Milan from positions similar to this one.

      Leo Messi’s participation is unconfirmed at the time of writing. He’s a tenacious chap and there are few examples of Barca playing without him in recent seasons. There was the game with Benfica in December, when he started on the bench, but Pique, Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta missed that one too and the 0-0 result is probably not relevant here.

      PSG might be without a star player of their own: doubt surrounds Joey Barton’s sparring partner Thiago Silva.

      Blaise Matuidi is definitely suspended – and will definitely be missed – which raises the prospect of another start for David Beckham. The Englishman can launch PSG’s counter-attacks, but could easily be outrun – and overrun – by even spry youngsters like Xavi.

      Without Matuidi, it’s Barca blazing a trail for the last four.

      Over/Under Goals

      Quarter-final second legs tend to produce more goals than their first legs, as you might expect, but they don’t always get over the line: 19/35 have gone Over 2.5 Goals, which is a 1.55 favourite this time.

      Eight of the last ten knockout-stage games at the Camp Nou have turned up four goals or more, so we’d focus on the 2.4 available for Over 3.5 Goals.

      Both Teams to Score?

      PSG have scored twice in each of their last three on the road: against Zagreb, Kiev and Valencia. Both teams have scored in all three of their knockout-stage games so far.

      With Beckham to set them going, Moura and Pastore to drive them forward, and Ibrahimovic and Lavezzi to finish them off (maybe), Ancelotti’s team can be dangerous on the counter-attack.

      And Barcelona’s defence is more porous under Tito Vilanova than it was under Pep Guardiola, keeping clean sheets in 15/49 games in all competitions this season (8/24 at the Camp Nou).

      Defensive results have been better of late – Deportivo, Milan and Mallorca all shut out at home – but PSG have some rare attacking talents, an urgent need for a goal and Barca, who will have an inexperienced centre-back alongside Pique, are still giving up chances.

      Barcelona To Score in Both Halves

      With Dani Alves charging at his rickety old team-mate Maxwell on PSG’s left flank from the first whistle, an odds-against price about Barcelona scoring before and after half-time makes some appeal.

      The Spanish league leaders hit four before the break without Messi on Saturday and, while Fabregas’ re-integration has not been as smooth as many expected, he can capitalise on opportunities presented by Alves.

      Barca have scored in both halves of 11/15 Liga home games this season and 8/11 Champions League knock-out home games.

      Best Bet
      Back Both Teams to Score @ 1.85

      Recommended Bets
      Back Barcelona To Score in Both Halves @ 2.1

      Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.4

      Milesey ( betfair )

  2. WeeBanger 11 years ago

    Over 2.5 goals @ 1/2 wrote all over it. PSG saying they are gonna try and score at least 2 says Zlatan. Think it’s gonna be a goal fest!

  3. Big banger 11 years ago

    3.0 messi on the 1st( if he starts !!)

  4. Sam 11 years ago

    Mr F thank you for huge efforts you are putting into this web page since I have being following the site you have has so much influence on my betting life.

  5. Striker 11 years ago

    BTTS was 4/5 yesterday, now shortened to 8/11. Probably go back up to 1/1 and over after 5 mins in-play. Looks good value.

    • Mr Fixit 11 years ago

      Striker, I’m going btts in both like last night. Top tips will be up later, including btts, as I’m off for a game of golf. Shame on me.

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