Champions League Betting Odds & Pick for Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (Tuesday, Feb. 16)
Eric Alonso/Getty Images. Pictured: Lionel Messi (left).
- French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain faces Spanish giant Barcelona on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League fixture.
- This is a rematch of their 2017 Round-of-16 confrontation, where Barcelona used a 6-1 win in the second game of the series to advance.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the match and shares a betting pick below.
Barcelona vs. PSG Odds
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
Barcelona and PSG meet again in the Champions League for a rematch of their thrilling 2017 Round-of-16 battle.
For those who don’t remember, PSG went ahead 4-0 in the first leg before Barcelona won the second leg, 6-1, with three goals in the final seven minutes to advance.
That game has since been named “The Comeback” and is well worth five minutes of your time to relive the insanity.
For their meeting four years later, things are a little different, as Neymar is now on the other bench, and Luis Suarez is now at Atletico Madrid.
However, one of the greatest players of all-time, Lionel Messi, is still captaining the Spanish giants, who have been on a great run of form. They’re unbeaten in their last 12 La Liga matches and have won their last seven.
PSG needed a lot of help to get out of the group of death with RB Leipzig and Manchester United. It won its final three matches to win Group H on a tiebreaker over RB Leipzig.
The French champions haven’t been very dominant in Ligue 1, as they trail Lille by one point for the top spot in the table. They will also be shorthanded coming into this match, as both Neymar and Angel Di Maria are going to miss the match due to injury.
Can PSG overcome adversity and get a result in the first leg?
The Spanish giants have rebounded from a terrible start to the season and are now only six points off Atletico Madrid in the La Liga table.
They’ve won seven straight matches in La Liga, and Messi himself has been the main reason for their incredible run. The Argentinian has eight goals and two assists in his last six appearances and will be a major problem for PSG.
Barcelona has also been amazing at Camp Nou this season, as it’s lost only two matches in all competitions and has an insane +16.94 expected goal differential in 11 home matches. It has been scoring goals in bunches as well, averaging 2.77 xG per match.
PSG has been shaky defensively in Ligue 1 play, so I expect Barcelona to have plenty of chance in front of net.
Defensively, Barcelona may get a major upgrade ahead of this match, as its best defender, Gerard Pique, is back training with the first team after being out for the last three months with a knee injury.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 15, 2021
He is vitally important to Barcelona’s defense, as it allowed only 1.03 xG per match with him in the lineup dating back to last season. So, Barcelona should be well equipped to handle PSG’s attack without Neymar and Di Maria.
The loss of Neymar and Di Maria cannot be understated.
Yes, PSG still has Kylian Mbappe available, but the other two are vitally important for the French champions’ attack.
Neymar and Di Maria have combined for 10 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 this year and have a combined 1.19 xG per 90-minute rate. So, those two being out will have a major effect.
PSG hasn’t had much success against the top teams in France this season.
It’s 1-3-1 against the top six teams in Ligue 1 and has a -2.73 xGD. It has also been incredibly fortunate defensively in domestic play, as it’s allowed only 15 goals while its opponents have created 26.40 xG on the season.
Playing against Barcelona is going to be a different animal for the French champions because based on UEFA Coefficients, Ligue 1 is the fifth-most difficult league to play in over the last five years, while La Liga is the toughest. So, I think PSG is going to struggle in Spain without two of its best players.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Barcelona has been extremely dominant over the past two months and should be able to walk away with a first-leg advantage at home.
Without Di Maria and Neymar, I don’t know how PSG is going to keep up with Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele in the scoring department.
Since I have Barcelona projected at -126, I think there is good value on the Spanish giants at +100.
Pick: Barcelona ML (+100)