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Our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes the Catalans will manage to get on the scoresheet in the opening 45 minutes

Wednesday night's meeting between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon looks straightforward enough to assess from a punter's perspective.

These two sides have met four times this season, all four encounters have been draws, all four encounters have seen under 2.5 goals. William Hill offer odds of 9/4 (3.25) for another stalemate, while another game with less than three goals is offered at 3/4 (1.75).

The onus though is on Barcelona, given that if the Catalans do not score they are out and Tata Martino's side are offered at 13/10 (2.30) while Atleti can be backed at 23/10 (3.30).

The feeling, however, is that Barca should be backed in some way given the urgency with which they must play, and the price of 19/20 (1.95) for the Blaugrana's first goal to come in the first half looks appealing.

As a general rule Barcelona tend to score in the first half, and while Diego Simeone's men have shown themselves hugely capable of containing the Liga champions, we should expect the visitors to dominate from the start.

Essentially, the price of 19/20 (1.95) - which practically doubles any investment - for Barca to score a goal in the opening 45 minutes of a game looks hard to resist - irrespective of the quality of the opponents.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
Barcelona's first goal to come in the first half at 19/20 (1.95) 3.0pt stake with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid

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