In football what goes around comes around. Barcelona wonít be the best team in the World forever in the same way that Real couldnít hold onto that title indefinitely when it looked that way in the 50ís, nor Liverpool in the 80ís, the great Milan of the 90ís or Norwich City c1992/3 (couldíve won the league, lest we forget). Each of these teams defined a decade with the quality of their football but given long enough the natural order of things will re-right the balance. The mighty will fall and the meek shall inherit the earth, or maybe the Champions League at any rate.
After the 5-1 thumping of Spurs on Sunday evening (albeit after Martin Atkinson 'gifted' Mata Chelsea's second goal) Chelsea must be on cloud nine for what will be the first real test of Di Matteo's reign. This is of course the visit of Barcelona, arguably the best team in the World, for the Champions League semi final.
How Chelsea would love to see whatís gone around come back round, or for the balance to righted. Last time they met in this competition, at the same stage, the tie as a whole was probably fairly won by Barcelona. Chelsea out played and out thought their tippy tappy, wishy washy, namby pamby, fannying about Barca counterparts. Maybe lady luck was against them, maybe even the referee was too, some even stretch as far as suggesting the UEFA and FIFA didnít want a repeat of the Man Utd Chelsea of the previous year and ordered the officials to ignore any and all penalty appeals from Chelsea (how strong those appeals really were can be seen HERE, and if youíre thinking the same as we were about some of them thereís a greatest dives video HERE).
Barcelona are strong favourites for this game, as can be expected, and are odds on and best priced at 7/10 with Paddy Power (1.74 at Betfair). Chelsea on the other hand are priced around 4/1 with the majority (5.3 at Betfair).
Chelsea fans will be looking for both closure and revenge, and tonight theyíve got a good chance of getting both. Thatís what we at TGT think anyway, and because the bookies are slightly more caucious there are good odds available for Chelsea to win on their home turf. A bit of extra value can be extracted from some of the side promotions being run on selected markets. Worth a look for a first scorer is BetFred. If you correctly bet on the first goal scorer and they then go on to score a second theyíll double the odds, if he puts three in the onion bag your odds will be trebled.
Messi is 5/2 for first scorer. He already has 14 goals (in just 9 appearances) in the Champions League this season, can you really bet against him in this match? Well there are a few interesting facts about Messi to take into account before you rush to place this bet: He's only scored one goal in England and he's never scored against John Terry.
As is the Public mood at the moment I'm surprised no one offers the market for the most theatrical dive, as Iím sure it would have been very close between Drogba and Busquets, who are both known for their play-acting. Instead for something slightly different but what we think is great value you can try an over/under on the number of goals x the number of corners. Chelsea average around 11 corners in their home matches, so to get over the score of 28 youíd need three goals to go along with those corners, and thatís pretty likely. Stan James will give you 5/4 if that all comes to pass.
As a neutral I just want to see a good game, but as an Englishmen would love to see a Chelsea win (even though they will get a humping at the Nou). Fancy another reminder of how much this match will mean to Chelsea, click HERE? Now get yourself to the todays offers page for latest deals, or head to the forum for all the chat and advice.