Slavia Prague vs BarcelonaUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 23, 2019, Eden Arena
BARCELONA are finally starting to hit their stride and will be confident of staying on track for the last 16 of the Champions League with a win at Slavia Prague.
The Catalan giants looked decidedly ropey at the start of the season after crashing to defeat at Bilbao on the opening day of the La Liga season thanks to Aritz Aduriz's wonderful overhead kick.
Further points were dropped against Osasuna and Granada but Barca have now won five games in a row in all competitions.
The 3-0 weekend win at Eibar returned them to the La Liga summit and that match was notable because it was the first time all their superstar strikers (Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez) had found the net in the same game.
If that trio is finally starting to click then Barcelona will take some stopping and they should have too much quality for a Slavia Prague side that lost 2-0 at home to Dortmund on their last Champions League outing.
Ernesto Valverde's side have been poor on the road in Europe of late, winning only four of their last 14 away games in continental competition.
But Barcelona have won four in a row against Czech opposition, rattling home 13 goals in the process and conceding just once. Although they have never faced Slavia Prague before, they have good memories of their Eden Stadium, having thrashed Viktoria Plzen 4-0 on their last visit.
Messi scored a hat-trick in that game and the little magician will be out to wreak more havoc. A repeat of that treble pays 14/1 at William Hill but backing Messi to score two or more is safer at 10/3 with the same firm.
Sadly, Messi is a best 7/10 with BetVictor for anytime scorer but Suarez offers better value at evens with the same firm.
It was the Uruguayan who stole the show in the 2-1 win over Inter Milan last time out, scoring both goals to justify my faith in him, so I'll be on Suarez again.
Czech defender David Hovorka has been booked in his last five appearances so it could pay to back him for another card. He's 13-4 with 888Sport for another card here but wait to see if he's fit to play after missing the last two Slavia games.
With Barcelona a best 4/9 with Unibet for a win you have to look at a few different markets to find some value. William Hill are offering 10/3 on the Catalans scoring three times and I like the look of that.
This UEFA Champions League match between Slavia Prague and Barcelona will be played on Oct 23, 2019 and kick off at 20:00