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The European Champions are a tiny price to win in the Czech Republic so the value is in the goalscorer markets, and a certain number 10 to add to his tally


A look at this fixture would make you fear the worst for the Czechs, who are coming up against a Barcelona side almost at full strength. The Blaugrana have welcomed back Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas to their already formidable squad.

However, there are a few concerning stats for the Catalans, on a tough trip to a region that will be some 15 degrees centigrade cooler than their home on the Spanish coast. In fact, in five away games in the Czech Republic they have only won twice, drawing one and being defeated in the other two.

Add to this the fact that Viktoria have not lost in four home Champions League games this season and that both Barcelona and Milan could only beat them 2-0 in their own stadiums. Despite all this encouragement for the hosts, they will obviously need to realise that they are playing against one of the best attacking sides in the world, ever.

Barca rested plenty of players at the weekend and still won comfortably. Young and unknown players like Isaac Cuenca and Gerard came into the first team and performed excellently - with the latter rewarded with a trip to the Czech Republic. Another player travelling is Chilean Alexis Sanchez, who looks set to return from injury ahead of schedule, although not in time to feature in this tie.

With nine starts and 13 goals to his name, Lionel Messi provides the best betting opportunity for this game.

While it would be tempting to back the visitors at 2.05 on the -2.5 Asian Handicap, the Argentine maestro is the man to follow, and given his goals tend to come in batches, he is a well-priced 2.50 to bag a brace, and that is our bet of the day.

Best Bet: Lionel Messi to score two or more @ 2.50 (bet365)

Value Bet: Viktoria Plzen 0-3 Barcelona correct score @ 5.50 (bet365)


Match Odds; Viktoria Plzen 26.0, Draw 9.0, Barcelona 1.11 (bet365)

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Ed Malyon is a freelance sports writer focusing on the football betting markets. His personal website Valderramarama.com can be accessed here.

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