There were no shocks in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Roma as the Spanish giants ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at Camp Nou. We’ve seen some big comebacks in recent years but Barca, who were strong favourites for the tie anyway, surely have one foot in the semi-finals now.
Barcelona did get a bit of luck with Roma gifting them two own goals, but the hosts nevertheless dominated the match and didn’t even need to play at their best to win comfortably. Clearly the Catalans are overwhelming favourites to qualify now, with Roma as long as 100/1 to pull off the mother of all comebacks. However, there are other top football betting sites where punters might be able to find some joy.
While the overall outcome may be a foregone conclusion, there’s still the question of who will win on the night. Unsurprisingly, Barcelona are clear favourites among the bookies, with the likes of BetBright offering odds of 4/6 . Ernesto Valverde’s side have lost just one match this season and are aiming to complete the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
They’re also unbeaten in ten Champions League games although their last eight defeats in the competition have all come away from home. Given how convincingly they won the first leg, Ladbrokes offering odds of 8/5 on Barca to be winning at both half-time and full time look quite appealing.
Roma, however, will feel the 4-1 scoreline last Wednesday was harsh on them and will want to at least deliver a good performance in front of their own fans. Edin Džeko’s late goal gave them hope and they did cause Barca trouble at times.
The Italians’ home form in Serie A is not great, but they are unbeaten at the Stadio Olimpico in the Champions League this season, winning three of their four games. There’s also the possibility that Barcelona could get slightly complacent after the first leg, so a Roma win on the night looks decent value at 4/1with Sunbets. Meanwhile Betfair are offering 4/1 Draw No Bet, while a draw itself is also 3/1 with most sites.
It’s easy to think of Barca as a free-scoring side full of attacking flair. However, they have actually struggled for goals away from Spain in recent times, scoring just two in their last six away games in the competition. They haven’t been conceding many, either, with their last four outings in Europe producing a total of just two goals. Punters can back this one to also produce under under 2.5 goals at 17/11 with Unibet.
Moreover, Roma have clean sheets in all four of their home Champions matches this season. The Giallorossi will do well to keep the likes of Messi and Suárez at bay, but Ladbrokes offering odds of 9/1 on a win to nil for the home side are worth considering, while William Hill are offering odds of 11/8 against both teams scoring.
Saying that, Roma need to go on the attack from kick-off if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the next round, which could leave gaps for Barca’s deadly attack to exploit. And the bookies clearly think that there’s the potential for another high-scoring contest on Tuesday. The best odds you can find on over 2.5 goals are currently Betfair’s 8/13, while the same bookmaker has over 3.5 goals at 6/4.
It’s a football cliché, but the first goal really will have a big say in how the rest of this tie pans out. Should Barcelona extend their advantage to four goals, then Roma will surely give up hope of coming back. But if Eusebio Di Francesco’s side manage to get an early goal, things could get a lot more interesting.
Team to score first is also another market that punters can wager, with Barca the favourites at 1/2 with BetBright. Roma, who have opened the scoring in three of their last four Champions League matches, are best-priced at 15/8 with Betfair. For loads of other markets and the best odds on the Champions League, visit Betfair today!
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