Barcelona vs Tottenham: Go for goals in Camp Nou classic
Barcelona vs Tottenham Match Preview and Predictions
Tottenham's rollercoaster ride in the group stage of the Champions League concludes on Tuesday night with the toughest match of them all - a trip to Barcelona.
[All odds correct at time of publication]
Spurs left it late to beat both PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan at Wembley to move into second place in Group B and just need to match the result of the Italians to go through thanks to a better head-to-head record.
Barcelona have already reached the round of 16 as group winners with four wins and a draw from their five matches and with players expected to be rested on Tuesday, they have Champions League odds of 23/20 to pick up three points.
When is it? Tuesday 11th December
What time is kick-off? 20:00
Where is it being played? Camp Nou
Which channel is it on? BT Sport 3
Who is the referee? Milorad Mazic (Serbia)
Barcelona vs Tottenham Betting Tips
Here are our best tips for the Barcelona vs Tottenham match for which we also have a range of other markets available:
Tottenham will probably need to beat Barcelona to advance to the knockout phase with Inter Milan taking on a PSV side with just one point from their five matches.
Mauricio Pochettino is unlikely to be able to rely on the Italians messing up after they fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 in Eindhoven at the start of October.
On the same night, Lionel Messi inspired a 4-2 win for Barca against a Tottenham side missing several players, including Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele, but Pochettino has three of those players available and he rested the Dane and Harry Kane for Saturday's 2-0 win at Leicester.
Barcelona won 4-0 at Espanyol at the weekend to extend their lead at the top of La Liga to three points and we suspect some of their big names like Messi, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets could be rested for the game at Camp Nou.
With so many unknowns on Barca's side, the first of our Barcelona vs Tottenham predictions is for over 3.5 goals at 5/4.
Two of Spurs' Champions League games have produced four goals or more and with their minds focused on attack, we should expect to see plenty of action at both ends.
Champions League previews: Matchday 6
If you're interested in tips on the Champions League this week, check out our in-depth previews below:
First goalscorer tips
Messi is the top scorer in this season's Champions League with six goals but with suggestions he may be rested among others, we like the look of Son Heung-min to break the deadlock at 8/1.
The South Korea forward was initially our first goalscorer tip for the 2-0 win at Leicester but was swapped out for Kane, whose record against the Foxes is stunning.
As it happened, Kane was left on the bench with the Barca game in mind and Son went on to score first, so we don't want to miss out again.
Anytime goalscorer tips
We're sticking with Tottenham players in the anytime goalscorer odds as we can be reasonably confident about their line-up barring injuries and one player who catches the eye is Jan Vertonghen at a massive 18/1.
Vertonghen is back from the hamstring injury he sustained at Huddersfield in September and with Spurs expected to press at any opportunity, the Belgium defender, who scored on the opening day of the season at Newcastle, will be pushing forward at set-pieces to get a goal his side may need.
Where the game will be won or lost
The onus is clearly on Spurs to attack and against a full-strength Barcelona team that is a dangerous but necessary tactic as Pochettino highlighted after the 4-2 defeat at Wembley.
After Tottenham were left chasing the game inside two minutes thanks to a smart Philippe Coutinho finish, Pochettino said: "We conceded the first goal in the first minute and when that happens it sets up the game. With the score like that we had to give spaces and what happens is then players like Messi will finish you off.
"What changed the plan was conceding so early. What we had to do was take risks. When you play against Barcelona you can have different players and different tactics but the result will be the same."
Spurs are effectively treating this game like they are a goal down because a draw is unlikely to be enough unless PSV can do them a favour, but Barca are not invincible at home, recently losing 4-3 to Real Betis which followed score draws against Athletic Bilbao and Girona.
They also conceded first in an 8-2 win against Huesca, a team with just one win all season.
We suspect Barca will not be at full strength at Camp Nou but as Pochettino explained, the result is the same when you press the champions of Spain.
With goals on the cards, we like the look of both teams to score in the first half at 23/10 and for the deadlock to be broken between 31-40 minutes at 13/2 which has been the case in Barca's other two home games against Inter and PSV.
That doesn't leave a lot of time for both teams to score in the opening 45 minutes but Barca have conceded before the break in four of their seven home matches in La Liga, although their defence has not been breached in the Champions League in the first half.
However, with Ernesto Valverde expected to shuffle his pack we should see an open game over 90 minutes..
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