Champions League Quarter Finals: PSG vs. Barcelona Free Soccer Pick

Lee Phelps

Friday, March 27, 2015 11:55 AM GMT

Friday, Mar. 27, 2015 11:55 AM GMT

One of the two French teams takes on one of the three Spanish in this last eight match. Lee Phelps from William Hill is looking at the odds for his free pick based on the best betting around.

We have two of the most improving teams in Europe going toe-to-toe in this Champions League quarter final, with PSG facing Barcelona for a place in the last four.

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PSG
I was so impressed by their display at Stamford Bridge. They showed character, skill and determination to keep coming back at Chelsea despite losing their superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a harsh red card. There was only one bet in play at that stage and it didn’t have a Gallic flavour.

They were equally tough and talented in the first leg, after which Jose Mourinho talked about how aggressive they were. The media took that as a criticism, I never take aggression as a negative as long as it is controlled aggression.

The stats don’t show that it is uncontrolled either, with 100 fouls and 12 yellow cards in their eight matches, which is actually on the lower end of the scale for sides who got to the Round of 16.

If you look at the home record in Europe since 2012 it shows two draws, 10 wins and no losses, so we’re talking about a formidable, confident outfit here, with results like 3-2 and 2-2 versus Barcelona, 3-1 and 1-1 versus Chelsea showing how they can cope with top teams. The common denominator there is goals, scored and conceded.

 

Barcelona
Watching Barca in full flow in La Liga against Real Madrid was a joy. The sharp, quick passing was amazing. Their players are so comfortable taking the ball in tight situations, inviting the opposition to challenge them and then continuing the move to find that tiny bit of space or that killer through ball.

However the Achilles heel for a while in Europe has been their away form, even during the Guardiola years, they did the job at home. We aren’t talking about who goes through to the semi-finals here, just 90 minutes in Paris. 

In 2009 they lost away 1-0 to Bayern, in 2010 they drew 2-2 at Arsenal, in 2011 they beat Shakhtar 1-0, in 2012 the drew 0-0 in Milan, 2013 saw that 2-2 in Paris and last year they lost 1-0 at Atletico. So one win away at the quarter final stage in the last six attempts and we have a price around 2.0 (Evs). That's not my kind of price, despite the form of Messi, Neymar, Suarez, Rakitic etc etc.

 

Soccer picks
I’m going to leave the outright market alone, although if forced I would make my Soccer Pick on the draw and would ultimately take Barca to progress as Soccer odds list them as favorites on this quarterfinals leg. I expect goals though. The two previous games between these sides have seen four goals and I see no reason to veer away from that.

Free Soccer Pick: Over 3.5 goals 3.4 (12/5)

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