PSG vs. Barcelona Betting Preview
08 March 2021
Lionel Messi and Barcelona have their backs up against the wall in Wednesday's second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 against PSG. The French side took the first leg 4-1 in Barcelona, giving them a huge leg up in terms of advancing to the quarterfinals.
With regard to Wednesday's match, PSG has a moneyline of compared to Barcelona's moneyline. Meanwhile, a draw is set at +245.
Immediately after the first leg, PSG suffered a surprising loss to Monaco in Ligue 1. However, Mauricio Pochettino's team has bounced back from that loss with three consecutive wins.
The reigning French champs have outscored their opponents 8-0 over those three games, getting back on track after a brief setback.
As for Barcelona, it has responded well to that loss to PSG. The Spanish giants tied Cadiz in La Liga immediately after the home loss to PSG, but Messi and company have won four in a row since then.
During those four games, Ronald Koeman's team has scored 10 goals and kept four clean sheets, undoubtedly boosting the club's confidence heading into the second leg.
All the Stops
Koeman doesn't have much choice but to pull out all of the stops against PSG. It will take a minimum of four goals for Barcelona to advance to the quarterfinals, which means putting the pedal to the metal from the opening kickoff.
Of course, even if Messi is at his best, Barcelona will still require goals from other sources. Outside of Antoine Griezmann, nobody has scored more than four goals in La Liga this season.
On the bright side, both Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite have scored three goals in two Champions League fixtures. That duo has also combined for three goals in the last three games across all competitions.
Parking the Bus?
With a sizable lead after the first leg, PSG will surely be more focused on defense in the second leg. Pochettino doesn't typically sit back and defend for 90 minutes, although that is in his toolbox.
His side also has the ability to be dangerous on the counterattack with the speed of Kylian Mbappe, not to mention the potential return of Brazilian superstar Neymar from injury.
Equally important, PSG has a strong defensive record, conceding just 17 goals in 28 Ligue 1 matches, tied for the best defensive record in France. Pochettino's side has also surrendered just seven goals in seven Champions League matches, holding Barcelona to a single goal on a penalty in the first leg.
Four years ago, Barcelona beat PSG 6-1 in the Round of 16 after losing the first leg 4-0. They will need an equally impressive turnaround to avoid getting knocked out of the competition.
It's unlikely the Catalonians will be able to erase a 4-1 deficit completely. But Messi and company won't bow out easily and should win on the day, even if they don't advance. Bet on the moneyline for Barcelona to win on Wednesday.
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