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Barcelona v Man City: plenty of goals as Pep returns to Nou Camp

Barcelona v Man City
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2

"I cannot imagine a better game for any football fan in general," said Luis Enrique. "And I don't mean just fans of Barcelona and Manchester City, but all fans."

As far as giving a game the big build-up goes, that should do it.

After a Monday-night game that received a week of hype only to disappoint, we can at least feel comforted that Barcelona and Manchester City won't let us down. Right?

Pep Guardiola only knows one way to play and, as those who have suggested to him that he should broaden his philosophy have found, he's not for changing.

City will look to take this game to Barcelona and Enrique will respond to that in the only way he knows how, in the way that Pep taught him and these players. They will attack.

Barcelona's star-studded frontline boasts the three best footballers in this game and how Guardiola has game planned for them will likely decide this game.

City wanted two top-level central defenders this summer and only got John Stones - so either one top-class defender or zero, depending on your view.

Not snaffling another has meant playing Aleksandar Kolarov in the heart of defence and while it's easy to look comfortable there when you're dominating, it's not quite the same when Lionel Messi is running at you with pace knocking it past you for Neymar to chase.

Barcelona's attack is so scary that it has made people deride La Liga. "The opponents are too easy," they claim, but when Barca play against Premier League opposition they also have a habit of outclassing them. We saw it against Arsenal last year and we'll probably see it again on Wednesday.

Guardiola is such a good coach that you can expect City to cause Barca problems too. Their attack has pace and talent and can exploit the Catalan side's weaknesses.

Which all in all adds up to a game where you have to believe there will be plenty of goals.

Barcelona are understandably 1.50 favourites to win this but heavy odds-on prices aren't what we're looking for. The 2.30 mark for them to win HT/FT is something that could be played if you are as bullish as this column is on Barcelona's chances, rather than investing heavily in a short price.

But the sense appears to be in backing goals, and then sitting down to watch what should be a thoroughly entertaining encounter.


Recommended Bet


Back over 3.5 goals at 2.06



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