Students take on the Masters
On paper, it may be a foregone conclusion however, the game is, as they say, not played on paper. FC Barcelona may seem to be an unstoppable force but as they take on Estudiantes de La Plata> for the World Club Cup, In this contest between Spain and Argentina, the beautiful game might just hit a peak but it might not be all Barcelona, as the form book suggests.
Old war-horse, Juan Veron may be well past his prime, but he is certainly good enough to be a regular feature of Diego Maradona’s Argentina national team first eleven. This must mean something, even if he is moving on, in terms of years. Mauro Boselli, top scorer in the Copa Libertadores, will lead the attack and the whole ball game will greatly depend on the Copa Libertadores Player of the Tournament, Veron, and Boselli, to provide a breakthrough.
FC Barcelona have started their games slowly and in all likelihood, Leandro Benitez will be handed the task of doing a “Messi” to the Spanish opponents. His two goals saw them hop past Pohang Steelers in the semi-finals and his contribution on that left flank has been incredible throughout the season.
The back four of Juan Diaz, Clemente Rodriguez, Christian Cellay and Leandro Desabato offer a nice blend of experience and youth. Rodriguez was loaned out to Espanyol, bitter rivals of FC Barcelona, during the 2007-08 season and has had a taste of Spanish football as well as their illustrious opponents. Rodriguez may find Ibrahimovich a different cup of tea, as compared to Samuel Eto’o. >
The midfield will have to work overtime and a wider playing formation might help them bear Barca’s onslaught. However, betting websites have seen things differently. That means that they firmly believe that the obvious will happen.
Bwin has offered 1.38 odds in favour of a Spanish win while the Argentine team gets 6.00 odds. A 5.20 listing against the draw column speaks heavily for a Barca win as well. 7.00 listings state clearly that Bwin believes Barca will score at least once. What is surprising is that while a single Barca goal gets a 3.45 listing, a brace has 3.25 while 3 or more goals get a surprising 2.25 listing - meaning Bwin expect Barca to win.
Estudiantes have a 2.40 against not scoring or scoring one. 4.00 against two goals means that the bookmaker certainly doesn’t have faith in the Estudiantes attacking play while a 3 goals or more listing of 10.00 certainly counts out a hugely exciting game. >
What it does mean is that Bwin expect Barca to win and win big, at that!!!
On Ladbrokes, Barcelona are 1/8 favourites to lift the trophy while Estudiantes stand at 9/2, clearly pointing at another Barcelona favoured result.
While the bookmakers might not think that miracles will happen tonight, there are certainly enough Estudiantes fans making the trip to Abu Dhabi, who will be hoping that their Copa Libertadores winning side can bring out a repeat performance and beat the favourites to the World Club Cup.
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