Mission Possible - Gunners 15-2 to win at Camp Nou

06 April 2010 05:24
Arsenal were very nearly given a severe spanking at the Emirates but somehow dragged themselves back into the tie and now after the drama of Saturday's last-gasp success against Wolves they must raise themselves again for one of the biggest tests of all - trying to stop Lionel Messi & Co. in the volatile atmosphere of the Camp Nou.

It looks a tall order given the sparkling displays Barca have treated Europe to and with 90,000 fans baying for more, Arsenal look to have the odds firmly stacked in a pile against them.

And yet…The fighting spirit displayed in coming back from 2-0 down last week was stirring stuff and ardent Gooners will remember that Arsenal have reserved some of their finest European performances for away trips (5-1 at Inter Milan? 2-0 at AC Milan anyone?).

The team may be rocked by the major injuries that have blighted the squad but stranger things have happened and 15/2 is a huge price for them to get the win they need tonight. Worth a flutter?

Match Odds (90 mins only)

Barcelona win 4/11
Draw 15/4
Arsenal win 15/2

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The win looks the most likely route to securing qualification as Barca's away goals will be hard to better in the draw - however, 2-2 would send the tie into extra-time and even penalties.

If you fancy The Gunners to just go through and you aren't sure or don't care how, then it's 9/2 for a semi-final berth.

To qualify for next round

Barcelona 1/8
Arsenal 9/2

Wenger is unlikely to be too gung-ho in his approach early on, with his eyes set on containing the free-flowing football of Barca on their home turf and perhaps using the pace of Theo Walcott to hit the Catalans on the break. A solid defensive showing is surely key so either Mikael Silvestre or Sol Campbell will have to be the rock and it could be that the odd goal will be the aim for the Gunners, although there is huge money to be made if you fancy Arsenal to upset the odds - 75/1 for 2-0?

Maybe that is fanciful thinking - if Barca get the early goal you do fear for the young and relatively inexperienced Arsenal team. Barca are 10/11 to be winning at both Half Time and Full Time and 8/1 to win the match 3-0.

The 2-2 draw that would take Arsenal into Extra Time is a 13/1 shot and a win on Penalties for either side is currently 80/1

Correct Score

Barca win 1-0 8/1
Barca win 2-0 13/2
Barca win 2-1 7/1
Barca win 3-0 8/1
Barca win 3-1 17/2
Draw 0-0 11/1
Draw 1-1 8/1
Draw 2-2 13/1
Arsenal 1-0 25/1
Arsenal 2-0 75/1
Arsenal 2-1 22/1
Arsenal 3-0 300/1
Arsenal 3-1 90/1

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Messi is of course man of the moment - the best player on the planet and seemingly unstoppable. No surprises then that he is just 13/5 to score the first goal, 11/5 to score 2 or more goals and 6/1 to even bag a hattrick. Ex-Arsenal terrace darling Thierry Henry is not on the best of form at the moment but fuelled by the amazing reception he got at the Emirates, could he be the man to come on and break the deadlock as well as Arsenal’s hearts? - he's 9/2 to score first.

Nicklas Bendtner was the hero for Arsenal's Premier League bid on Saturday and he could be the man to spearhead one of the great European results - his touch and physical presence could be the key to unsettling Barca's defence and he is 9/1 to break the deadlock.

Theo Walcott is one player Barca fear and if his turn of pace can get him clear at any point, he has a good chance to repeat his match-turning performance of the 1st Leg by sticking one away - he is 11/1 to score first.

Elsewhere, midfield maestro Samir Nasri must shoulder the creative burden in the absence of Cesc Fabregas - a repeat of his wonder goal against Porto would be handy - and he is a tasty 16/1 to score first

1st Scorer

Messi 13/5
Henry 9/2
Bojan 9/2
Xavi 9/1
Busquets 16/1
Toure 20/1
Bendtner 9/1
Eduardo 11/1
Walcott 11/1
Nasri 16/1
Rosicky 18/1
Diaby 20/1
Vermaelen 25/1
Denilson 33/1
Campbell 40/1
Sagna 80/1

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Source: DSG