Monday, March 19, 2012

Will Barca claim the Champions League again?

Europe's most prestigious football competition is begging to be won yet again but it's found surprisingly few takers in the 2011-2012 campaign with English sides crashing out and Italian sides largely under-performing.

Indeed, there's almost a touch of destiny about this UEFA Champions League trophy heading to Spain with the recent draw keeping Real Madrid and Barcelona apart until the final itself in Munich.

I don't have many doubts that it will be Barcelona that triumphs, though. Real Madrid are leading the Primera Liga table and are likely to win it as a result of their hefty points tally. However, the reason they're doing so well is because boss Jose Mourinho has perfected the art of beating the smaller sides in Spain in recognition of the fact that Barcelona are a better side than Real Madrid. Those betting Champions League money should remember this.

Despite having the best manager that they've had for years, Real Madrid simply cannot find a way past Barcelona and have now failed to beat their bitter rivals in their last fourteen attempts.

Barcelona simply have a knack of beating Real Madrid and it's probably got something to do with the fact that they're the best side in the world! They play a beautiful passing game with tremendous speed, skill, and enthusiasm.

They never stop closing down their opponents and never treat any game with less professionalism than they should. The additional motivation that this side generates due to having a lot of local players in their squad is phenomenal and plays a big part in Barcelona's determination to beat their bitter rivals on every occasion. Those looking at the Champions League betting odds need to bear this in mind.

There are other sides remaining in this competition, of course, but each one pales in comparison so the tactical prowess of Real Madrid and the footballing brilliance of Barcelona. Chelsea's squad is in transition with not enough of their big players producing the goods in their games. AC Milan are constantly crippled with injuries and that handicaps their attempts to win this competition massively.

APOEL Nicosia don't have the quality nor the experience to provide any kind of legitimate challenge. Olympique de Marseille have the managerial brilliance of Didier Deschamps but lack the firepower to trouble any other side in this tournament. SL Benfica are faltering at the moment with weariness and a lack of confidence so it's hard to see them doing well, especially with their defensive frailties. Last but not least, Bayern Munich are not without a chance although the lack of consistency and cohesion in their team terrifies me. A big club should not be so easy to affect but Bayern Munich are.

Subsequently, I'm left with no alternative but to back Barcelona to break yet another record by being the first side to win back-to-back UEFA Champions League trophies.

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