Back to back defeats to Ajax and Athletic Bilbao followed by a come-from-behind win against Cartagena in the Copa del Rey mean that, rather strangely, Martino needs his side to put in a strong performance on Wednesday. Paddy Power offer a home win at the Camp Nou tonight at 2/11 (1.18) while Celtic, who have nothing but pride for which to play, can be backed at 14/1 (15.00).
As well as needing a performance, Barca also need a point to ensure top spot in the group and we can expect a high-intensity start from the Catalans. To this end, backing first-half goals could well be the best way forward and over 1.5 goals in the opening 45 minutes is offered at 4/5 (1.80).
As always, trying to generate any value in a home game where Barca are massive favourites is tough, yet this seems to be a decent option.
This bet has paid out in seven of Barca's last 11 home games in the Champions League, including last season against Celtic, and, against a Bhoys team who are yet to keep a clean sheet in the tournament, there is every chance that the Spanish champions can net twice in the first half.
|Over 1.5 goals first half at 4/5 (1.80) 1.5pt stake with Paddy Power|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid