Our Spanish expert believes a high-scoring opening is likely at Camp Nou and the price of evens for over 1.5 strikes is well worthy of investment
Indeed, a number of questions for Barca coach Gerardo Martino in yesterday's pre-match press conference centred on the Brazilian forward and on whether he will be paired with Lionel Messi, who looks to have recovered from the thigh injury he picked up last week.
With or without that particular duo, Barca remain huge favourites, with Paddy Power pricing them at 1/3 (1.33) to claim the victory while Atletico Madrid are offered at 8/1 (9.00) to win at Camp Nou for the first time since 2006.
Last week's first leg was a strange one for a myriad of reasons, the first being that the 1-1 scoreline meant it was the first time in 18 meetings and six years that a game between these two sides did not see over 2.5 goals.
Clearly this anomaly should be rectified this evening, but at 2/7 (1.29) backing at least three goals does not appeal.
Another reason why last week's first leg went against type was that Barca failed to score in the first half, meaning that over 1.5 goals in the opening 45 minutes did not pay out.
This bet had paid out in 10 of the previous 11 meetings and when Villa gave Atleti an early lead it looked certain to do so again.
Barca rarely fail to score in the first half, particularly at home, so backing over 1.5 goals in the opening half at evens (2.00) looks like a great bet despite its failure to produce any profit last week.
This selection is backed up by the statistics but also by the tremendous attacking talent on display and at evens (2.00) offers punters a fantastic chance to double their money.
|Over 1.5 goals in the first half at evens (2.00) 1pt stake with Paddy Power|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid