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Giggs the best bet to foul Messi first in Champions League

| 25.05.2011

Although nothing can be guaranteed in the Champions League final, one thing that is almost certain to happen is that Lionel Messi is bound to win a number of free kicks.

However, which of the Manchester United players are the first to foul the Argentine forward is not such a certainty.

Messi will start the final at the tip of a forward three alongside David Villa and Pedro, but this does not necessarily mean that it will be one of Manchester United’s central defenders that commit the first foul on him.

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola often gives Messi a licence to roam in search of the ball and his tendency to drift out to the right so he can cut in on his favoured left foot is perhaps the reason why Patrice Evra is the favourite to foul him first.

Evra is 7/2 to be the first player to foul Messi in the Champions League odds and the Frenchman could be a good bet as he is virtually guaranteed to start at left back.

But with Messi liable to drop deep in the early stages to pick up the ball and play some neat passing triangles with the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, it may be a member of the Manchester United midfield that gets the first foul in.

Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs are perhaps the most likely starters in the centre of the midfield for Manchester United and with the latter responsible for the more Premier League fouls this season, he may represent the better value.

Giggs is 8/1 to be the first to foul Messi, with Carrick the same price.

Meanwhile, Nemanja Vidic may want to make his presence felt early and is 4/1 to foul Messi.

A £30 stake on Rio Ferdinand fouling Messi first would return £240. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.