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Champions League Odds - Injuries, suspensions will hurt Barca against Man U

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/25/2012 11:43:28 AM

Updated Player News – Monday May 25

Manchester United

Darren Fletcher, midfield (suspension)
Rio Ferdinand, defense (questionable - injury)

Barcelona

Thierry Henry, forward (questionable, injury)
Andres Iniesta, midfielder (questionable, injury – thigh)
Dani Alves, defense (suspended)
Eric Abidal, defense (suspended)
Rafael Marquez, defense (out - injury)

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ODDS

Manchester United - +150
Barcelona - +150
Draw - +225

soccer betting Online betting players who are into soccer lines will have their eyes focused on Rome on May 27th, when English powers Manchester United will try to defend their European crown against Spanish giants Barcelona. Champions League odds should favor the defending champions, and this match will feature the two players going for the title of “best player in the world”: Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca’s Lionel Messi.

  • WHO: Manchester United vs Barcelona
  • WHAT: Champions League Betting
  • WHERE: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
  • WHEN: Wednesday, May 27, 2:45 PM ET
  • KEY STATS: Manchester United beat Barca in the 2008 semifinals
  • PICK: Manchester United

Powered by the skill of Ronaldo, United romped to the final with a 3-1 win at Arsenal in the second leg. Ronaldo set up Ji-Sung Park for the opener before adding a 40-yard free kick, and then another goal on the hour to kill off the Gunners. Ronaldo has four goals in 10 Champions League games, and he’s a threat to score whenever he gets the ball in the opposition’s side of the pitch. Elsewhere, there is still Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, plus Dimitar Berbatov has finally started to hit his groove. United should be without Darren Fletcher for the final, as he received a harsh red card near the end of the Arsenal game.

Andres Iniesta’s injury-time stunner was the difference as Barca drew 1-1 at Chelsea to advance via the away-goals rule. This capped a tough 180-plus minutes of football for Barca, who fought Chelsea’s physical approach with slick passing and possession. Messi was quiet against Chelsea, but he still leads the Champions League with eight goals. However, the Chelsea win came at a cost, as Dani Alves and Eric Abidal received cards that could keep them out of Rome. Outside of that, Theirry Henry and Iniesta are both racing to be fit for the final.

Champions League odds should favor United in your US-friendly sportsbook, especially if Henry and Iniesta aren’t ready to go. This heaps a pile of pressure on Messi, as Henry draws attention out on the left wing, while Iniesta’s eye for the defense-splitting pass is one of Barca’s biggest strengths. The losses of Alves and Abidal are also crucial, because that means Ronaldo will be facing second-string fullbacks on either side of the Barca backline. These two met in last year’s semifinals, with United coming away with a 1-0 victory over two legs. Barca would love to avenge that loss, but with injuries and suspensions, they’ll be hard-pressed to beat a full-strength United over 90 minutes. Nobody has won back-to-back finals since AC Milan did it in 1989 and 1990. Take Manchester United in Champions League odds.

For more soccer betting throughout the summer, visit the sportsbook at betonline.com.

Are you a fan of “The Beautiful Game”? Then you should try Todd Shale's “Beautiful picks”. Though he enjoys a good rugby match, Todd is happiest when he can handicap a great soccer match - or football match, as he prefers to call it. Thoughts or questions?

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