Manchester United v Barcelona Champions League Betting Preview 2018/19
Manchester United fans will tell you that there is more to football than just results. When Jose Mourinho was appointed as the club’s manager there was a lot of talk of leading the club back to the glory days and whilst that would obviously require winning more matches than they did under either David Moyes or Louis van Gaal, United fans were quick to fall out of love with Mourinho’s ultra pragmatic approach.
Winning games of football is ultimately the role of every club, but it takes more than just wins to make a fan proud of their club. Every fan wants to feel a genuine connection to the players and manager they support and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has undoubtedly repaired the damage done to that connection during the last weeks of Mourinho’s tenureship.
Man Utd fans are feeling proud of their team once again even though recent results have been patchy in recent weeks. They feel United is back to where it should be – competing in these sort of big European nights but there is a real chance that Barcelona will make it clear to everybody at Old Trafford that Man Utd have a lot of improving to do before they can be considered one of Europe’s elite teams again.
Barcelona to Give Man Utd a Big Second Round Task
Solskjaer has had plenty of highs since replacing Mourinho in December. The 3-1 win against PSG at the Parc des Princes is the clear highlight for the Norwegian and was the match that really convinced the Man Utd hierarchy that the Norwegian was the man for the long term.
Marcus Rashford’s last gasp penalty against PSG saw Man Utd become the first team in the history of the Champions League to qualify for the next round after losing the first leg at home 2-0. Solskjaer knows that lightning is not going to strike twice, especially against Barcelona and that his team will need to maximise their home advantage on Wednesday night.
That is much easier said than done against Barcelona. Ernesto Valvdere saw his team overcome stubborn resistance from Atletico Madrid to move within touching distance of the Liga title. Wrapping the title up nice and early is a major boost to Barcelona’s chances of winning the Champions League and gives them even more confidence ahead of their trip to Old Trafford.
The bookmakers have Barcelona as the favourites in the betting for Wednesday’s match and to qualify for the semi-final despite the fact that they’ve lost both previous two legged ties against Man Utd. The two most recent competitive meetings between the two teams both went Barcelona’s way though in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.
You could argue that neither team is quite as strong currently as they were in either Rome or Wembley but this is still a very good Barcelona squad who are one of the bookies’ favourites to win the Champions League so the away side should get the win on Wednesday at 21/20 with Unibet.
Messi to Drive His Team Forwards
Lionel Messi could be forgiven for not watching any of the last three Champions League finals. Why would he want to see the celebrations of Barcelona’s rivals, Real Madrid, or of them man he is so often compared with, Cristiano Ronaldo?
Real’s chances of winning the Champions League for the fourth year in a row were ended by Ajax in the last round and while Ronaldo remains in the competition with Juventus, Messi is concentrating fully on doing all he can to drag Barcelona over the line and get his hands on the Champions League trophy for the fifth time.
Messi scored against Man Utd in both the 2009 and 2011 finals and is the joint top scorer in the Champions League this season. He is clearly the biggest threat to Man Utd and can prove his class again by scoring two or more goals at Old Trafford at tempting betting odds of 4/1 with Paddy Power.
Barcelona to win at 21/20 with Unibet
Lionel Messi to score two or more goals at 4/1 with Paddy Power
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