By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
Money Line: FCB -193, FTC +460, DRAW +320
Spread: FCB -1 (-118)
Total: 3 (O -114, U -106)
Kickoff: 3:00 ET, Puskás Aréna, Budapest, HU
The Spanish force enters this afternoon’s contest in full control of Group G with 12 points and a goal differential of +11. They just slaughtered Dynamo last Tuesday by a score of 4-0 and smoked Osasuna by the same score in La Liga play on Sunday. While this is great and all, it doesn’t make this game all that interesting as Ronald Koeman is basically not playing any of his top tier talent. There will be no Messi, no ter Stegen in net, no Coutinho and they are missing Umtiti, Pique, and Fati to injuries. Honestly, it’s basically meaningless at this point to provide statistics as the players that have performed well, will not be playing.
The Hungarians should feel accomplished just by making it to the Champions League. They essentially drew a group stage exit right out of the selection by being lumped in with Barcelona and Juventus. Although they’ve earned one point through four games, they are averaging 1.25 goals, so that’s something to hang their hat on. And they were seconds away from a draw with Juve last week before Alvaro Morata scored in stoppage time to give the Italians the 2-1 win. The issues have been on defense for Ferencvaros where they’ve allowed 13 goals through the four Champions League matches.
Final Analysis & Best Bet
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a game where you kind of have to throw out all of the stats, considering Barcelona is rolling out a hypothetical U21 lineup. Even though it’s getting to be the wacky portion of the group stage, where teams know they’re advancing/exiting and a lot of top tier sides are resting their usual starters, I’m still taking the more storied Spanish club here. I expect this to be the Antoine Griezmann show on Wednesday. There are still several normal starters to guide some of the less prevalent players on the roster and it’s their time to shine. I still expect Barcelona to notch 3+ goals in this one and they’ll win 3-1. Neto will be the keeper for Barcelona and he’s allowed six goals over six starts in La Liga play and added two clean sheets.
One final thing that I noticed when looking at recent UCL matchups was that Ferencvaros hasn’t been able to control possession well. In three games against Barca and Juventus, they’ve posted 38% (10/20 vs. Barca), 46% (11/4 vs. Juve), and 33% (11/24 vs. Juve) possessions stats. In those three games, they’ve been outscored 11-3 and they have not been able to hold an opponent to less than two goals in Champions League play. Take Barcelona -1 (-118).
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