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Barcelona v Real Murcia: Catalans to reach Round of 16 with low-scoring win

21:11 EAT 29/11/2017
Paco Alcacer Barcelona
The defending champions have a comfortable lead heading into the second leg of this Copa del Rey tie and we think Tuesday's tie could be low-scoring

The important thing for Barcelona on Sunday evening was not to lose and the Blaugrana came away from their top of the table clash in La Liga against Valencia with their four point lead over Los Che still intact.

It finished 1-1 at Mestalla in a breathless and controversial game in which Lionel Messi shone once more for the Catalans - including scoring a perfectly good goal which was adjudged to have not crossed the line - before providing a sumptuous pass for Jordi Alba's late equalizer.

However, the Argentine will not be involved in Wednesday night's Copa del Rey clash with Real Murcia, and nor will the majority of the starting eleven from Sunday's game as Ernesto Valverde is likely to use the match to give some members of the youth academy their first taste of playing at the Camp Nou.

The Catalans lead 3-0 from last month's first leg and bet365 offer them at just 1/14 (1.07) to record another win, while their third-tier opponents are priced at 22/1 (23.00) and the draw is offered at 11/1 (12.00)

Murcia have been in excellent form since the first leg, winning five of their six league matches to move from the relegation zone to fifth in their division.

Keeping the score down and enjoying their night at Europe's most imposing stadium will surely be Murcia's priority, and if they can restrict the hosts to the same number of goals they netted in the first leg, the visitors will be relatively satisfied.

It is hard to oppose the Blaugrana at home against such inferior opposition but instead backing a home win and under 4.5 goals at 5/6 (1.83) makes more sense.

Almost the entire first team is likely to be rested for Barca, and with three games in a week against Celta Vigo, Sporting Club and Villarreal coming up, the Catalans' priorities will surely lie elsewhere, meaning opposing a high scoring home win appeals. 

Barcelona to win and under 4.5 goals scored at 5/6 (1.83) for a 3pt stake with bet365