Barcelona backed into 1/1 to seal Shakhtar victory
Pep Guardiola insists that Barcelona will field a strong team for the second leg of their Champions League quarter final with Shakhtar and this may be the reason that they are being well supported to secure victory.
The money has been coming for a Barcelona victory as they have been cut from 11/10 to 1/1 in the Champions League odds to beat Shakhtar for the second time in a fortnight, following their dominant 5-1 rout at the Nou Camp in the first leg.
With their commanding position in the tie and the fact that they travel to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in their next La Liga game, there were suggestions that Guardiola may rest some of his star names and instead pick some of his squad’s fringe players.
However, Guardiola has shot down these beliefs because the tie is still not yet won, although Andres Iniesta is suspended.
Guardiola said: “Rest what? We are playing for a place in the semi-finals against a very good team and we have to start very strongly.
“There are 90 minutes still to play. The idea is to go out there to win the game and try to score one or two goals. That’s the idea we have always had and the one we’ll maintain.”
There are some other obstacles that Barcelona will need to overcome if they are to beat Shakhtar, although given the superiority of their starting line-up, these should be accomplished.
Guardiola has failed to win any of his seven away knockout games as Barcelona boss in the Champions League, while Shakhtar have a fairly formidable home record.
Shakhtar are unbeaten in their last 13 European home games and have conceded just four goals in the process.
Furthermore, they have let in just one goal in their present Champions League adventure at the Donbass Arena, while they have won all four of these fixtures.
A £30 stake on Barcelona beating Shakhtar 2-1 would return £210. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.