Barcelona vs Spartak Moscow betting preview
On Wednesday Spanish giants Barcelona will kick off their Champions League group stage campaign when they host the Russian outfit Spartak Moscow at Camp Nou. It’s the first meeting between the two sides since 1993/1994, when Spartak managed to claw back a phenomenal 2-2 draw at home from 2-0 down. Choose a free bet for this match here.
The pressure will be on Barca’s new boss Tito Villanova as Barcelona under former manager, Guardiola, never failed to reach the semi finals of the Champions League. Barcelona have currently been undefeated at home in the competition for the last 16 matches, their last defeat coming at the hands of another Russian side: FC Rubin Kazan back in 2010. This season Barcelona have been in fantastic form, they’ve won all 4 of their domestic league games this season amassing 12 goals. Barcelona’s last outing, against Getafe CF, saw Barca romp to a 5-1 victory. Their only loss thus far was an aggregate defeat to fierce rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup. Within the past week however Barcelona have started to experience somewhat of an injury crisis. Big name players such as captain Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Alexis Sanchez are all sidelined. This means that Villanova will have to tinker with his preferred starting lineup to ensure that Barcelona produce the dominant display expected of them.
Spartak’s Spanish Manager Unai Emery, formerly of Valencia, has never managed to defeat Barcelona whilst in charge of any team. Emery has also not yet managed to get Spartak into a run of good form, unlike Villanova’s success with Barca. So far Spartak have played 8, winning only half of their fixtures and lost 3. Currently sitting midtable in the Russian Premier League, Spartak have thus far been disappointing. Spartak have not produced a win in 5 games, their last victory being against FC Fenerbahce, nearly a month ago on 21st August, in the first leg of their qualifying match to reach this stage. With Spartak struggling to produce results against somewhat meagre Russian sides it is hard to see how they will prove capable of challenging world class Barcelona for a share of the points at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. Spartak’s fortunes of late have been shattered by an injury to prolific Brazillian striker Welliton, formerly Russian top goalscorer 2009 and 2010, is set to be out till the end of the month and usually plays a key role in Spartak’s game.
With Barcelona in such fierce form it is hard to see them faltering at home against a poorly performing Spartak side. Whilst injury troubles may have greatly dented the hopes of Spartak Moscow, denying them their talismanic centre forward, Barcelona should be able to soldier on. Despite having some key players absent Barcelona have more than enough skill languishing on the bench, something which cannot be said for Spartak. With the best odds for Barcelona to win at 2/17 against 33/1 for a Spartak victory and 119/10 for a draw, it is a brave man who places his money on the fortunes of Spartak Moscow.
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