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With Celta struggling for survival and Barcelona hit by injuries and suspensions, Phil Kitromilides believes opposing the visitors in the first half could be profitable

On paper this should be an extremely straightforward win for runaway league leaders Barcelona against a Celta side second bottom of the table and on an awful run of form.

Yet there are a number of contributory factors which mean the Catalans may not have things all their own way. Firstly, the Blaugrana will be missing several key players, with Pedro, Xavi and Carles Puyol all injured and Victor Valdes suspended.

Also what is worth remembering is Barca's recent away record, which has seen them win just one of their last five matches on the road in all competitions.

Furthermore, with the domestic title all but secured, Barca will surely be focused on their Champions League clash in Paris against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

All this is not to say that Barcelona won't overcome their Galician opponents, yet the price of 4/11 (1.36) offered by Paddy Power does not overly appeal for the reasons previously mentioned.

Celta meanwhile are offered at 7/1 (8.00) with the draw available at 4/1 (5.00).

What looks like an extremely attractive option however is backing Barcelona not to be ahead at half-time with Celta to be winning or the draw at the break offered at 5/6 (1.83).

Barca have failed to be ahead at half-time in four of their last five away matches and while they could well go on to win the game, opposing them in the first half could certainly be profitable.

Following this theme, backing a draw at half-time with a Barca win at full-time as a value bet at 3/1 (4.00) looks to be a decent selection for those seeking bigger returns.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Barcelona not to win the first half at 5/6 (1.83) with William Hill
Draw half time/Barcelona full time at 3/1 (4.00) with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

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