Manchester City vs. Barcelona Soccer Picks: Can Man City Shock the World?

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:31 AM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 11:31 AM GMT

Man City and Barcelona collide in Champions League R16 for a second straight season. Can Man City spring a surprise on the Spanish giants or will Barcelona overcome Man City once again?  Find out as we preview this must-see clash and serve up our choice soccer picks.

Can Man City Derail Barcelona at Etihad?
Man City has never advanced  beyond the R16 of Champions League, faltering at this very same hurdle last season to the very same team when they lost  4-1 on aggregate. They get a second bite at the cherry this Tuesday. But the stakes couldn't be any higher, the soccer odds stacked more against Man City. Odds makers have the hosts trading at +250 to win at home while the Spanish giants are trading as low as +115 to win at the Etihad. By the soccer odds, defeating the highly favored Barcelona doesn't appear to be so simple.

The build up to the day's action in soccer betting circles is intense, the clash setting up to be one of the most-watched games of the R16. Barcelona backers expect their side to clinch a decisive win at the Etihad, while the Man City faithful are hoping for a different result this time around. All this playing out to a backdrop of domestic action, which saw Man City traipse effortlessly to a brilliant and convincing 5-0 win over Newcastle and, at the same time, Barcelona's run of 11-games snapped by Malaga at the Camp Nou.

It may be just the first leg of this monumental clash between powerhouses in their own rights. Barcelona may also have the head-to-head advantage and a dearth of experience in Europe, highlighted by seven straight appearances in the quarterfinal stage not to mention winning several titles. Yet, the glimpse into Barcelona's fallibility this weekend is hard to ignore. It could be the omen Man City have long been waiting for.

That it follows a spectacular weekend for the Citizens in Premier League, in which they closed the gap in the title race with Chelsea to five points is only an added confidence boost. While Manuel Pelligrini's lads were exerting their superiority over the Magpies, the Blues faltered abysmally to Burnley in a 1-1 draw, which left Jose Mourinho sputtering at the sidelines, choking back words he'd so dearly have loved to share with the rest of the world, only for fear (sensible it is) of paying the price.

At the end of Saturday's round of Premier League, there was a buzz about Man City, an intensity and verve and swagger not seen over the last month. Tuesday is a new day on the soccer betting floor, but Man City's momentum right now makes them a tempting soccer pick at +250 to win at the Etihad.

Check Out Our Champions League Odds & Predictions for Knockout Stage


Barcelona Slip Up in La Liga
Barcelona's title bid received a blow at the weekend when they dropped a home game to Malaga. The upshot of which was Real Madrid's lead in the title race swelled to four points.

Malaga hadn't beaten Barcelona on the luscious lawns of Camp Nou since 1999, which makes their 1-0 victory over the Catalans even more impressive. Any thoughts of an under-strength Barcelona XI fielded on the day can be set aside forthwith, as the triple threat of Messi, Neymar and Suarez were in full sight but handled with great efficiency by Malaga's stifling defence and rendered wholly insignificant (which is no mean feat).

Needless to say, the slip up doesn't appear to have affected Barcelona's estimation for Tuesday's clash with the defending Premier League champions. If anything, the perennial contenders in Champions League appear divinely ordained to win at the Etihad but also to clinch the tie and qualify for the quarterfinals, a soccer pick that can be backed at -275 soccer odds at Bet365. (Man City, by comparison, are matched at +210 to qualify for the next round of Europe's top-flight club competition.


Soccer Betting Verdict
Predictably, bookies dub Barcelona the favorites and Man City the underdogs. In our opinion, however, there is no clear-cut favorite this time around, which means there's value on both sides of the coin.

Undoubtedly, there's a lot to said about the measure of these two sides on paper and on the field. The enviable talent, depth and quality on each bench alone speaks to those. So what this matchup comes down to is the tactics on the day. Which team is going to be the better team that day.

Short of a crystal ball, it's impossible to predict with any certainty which it's going to be. Having said that going on the weekend's round of domestic soccer betting action, Man City edges ever so slightly ahead of Barcelona in our evaluation. If you'd tuned into the game, you must agree. The Citizens couldn't do no wrong, so sublime and effortless was their game. As a result, we're compelled to shade the hosts at their delectable +250 soccer odds to win the first leg on our soccer picks.

Looking ahead, we'd recommend a bonus soccer pick on Man City to shock the world and clinch the tie at +210 future soccer odds as well. These prices won't be trading at online sports betting shops if Man City take control of this tie at the Etihad on Tuesday. Might as well bank on them now.

Soccer Free Picks: Man City +250

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