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Barcelona and Juventus in our best weekly Champions League bets

| 23.10.2012

Barcelona v Celtic is arguably the most interesting betting contest in the third gameweek of Champions League fixtures, with talk ranging from whether Lionel Messi will single-handedly run up a cricket score or whether Celtic can breach Barca’s heavily depleted defence.

We have picked out best bet from the Nou Camp and another couple from the Tuesday night fixtures.

Barcelona v Celtic: Over 2.5 goals in 2nd half @ 6/4

With Barcelona being without Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Dani Alves in defence because of injury and the suspended Sergio Busquets in midfield, there was a temptation to take the 6/5 that Celtic score at least once at the Nou Camp.

But with Barcelona assured of at least 75 per cent of the possession, this still seemed a bit risky, so expecting a barrage of second-half goals was preferred instead.

Over 2.5 second-half goals were scored in Barcelona’s last Champions League home game against Spartak Moscow, alongside in their most recent domestic encounter with Deportivo.

Ball-chasing for the first hour is almost certain to take its toll on Celtic late on too, allowing the likes of Messi to take advantage of some additional space.

Galatasaray to beat Cluj @ 8/13

Galatasaray appear the stronger side and were the better team, particularly in the early stages, when losing at home to Braga last time.

Cluj only know one way to play in Europe, albeit their counter-attacking strategy has reaped rich rewards so far, but speedy winger Modou Sougou is expected to miss this trip and that is a massive blow to their hopes.

The Turks are almost certain to dominate the game and given that they have to win to stand any chance of progressing from Group H, they will surely have to set their stall out to attack in the hope of scoring their first goal of this year’s competition.

Juventus (-1) to beat FC Nordsjaelland @ 11/10

Juventus have already covered this line in Serie A away games against Udinese and Genoa and these sides are no worse than Nordsjaelland, who have been inconsistent domestically this season.

The big issue for Juventus is finding a striker who can take his chances.

Nordsjaelland did hang on for 44 minutes away to Shakhtar earlier in Group E and this may also enhance the value of the 3/1 that the game is level at half time, with Juventus winning by the final whistle.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



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.