FC Copenhagen vs Barcelona – Champions League – Match Preview and Betting Tips

FC Copenhagen takes on FC Barcelona in Parken tonight for their fourth round match in the Champions League. The Danish team have swept virtually all resistance away in Super Ligaen, and rarely do I remember a Danish football team playing so well and so effectively both at home, but also in Champions League.

That said, the weekend’s performance at home against Lyngby was not the best preparation for FC Copenhagen, as they had to spend unnecessary effort to swing 3-2 win. FC Barcelona had it otherwise easily at Camp Nou on Saturday, when Sevilla were sent home with a 5-0 defeat. Messi and David Villa were among the best and especially for Villa, it was important to get up to speed on top of a difficult start to the season.

Match Preview

FC Copenhagen beyond all expectations is number 2 in the group with only one point up to FC Barcelona and even with a defeat tonight, the Copenhageners have very good opportunity to progress from the group phase.

Not least because FC Copenhagen meet Panathinaikos in the group’s last match, and here it is likely that the Greeks have nothing to play for. They are going to Russia tonight and meet Rubin Kazan, which is traditionally difficult to play at – not least because of cold temperatures in Kazan this late in season.

Even mighty FC Barcelona had to settle for a draw against Kazan after being behind for a while. Still they do hold the group lead and a victory in tonight will in all probability ensure first place.

The first match between FC Barcelona and FC Copenhagen ended 2-0. FC Copenhagen had their chances in the first match at Camp Nou, but the Catalans had more than their fair share. For most of the first half the Copenhageners was driven around in smart one-two combinations, among others between Iniesta and Messi, who showed why they are not only among, but why they ARE the world’s best footballers.

Messi gave them the lead with a very nice long shot and in addition the home team had a handful of other great scoring chances.

FC Copenhagen was not really in the game in the first half, but had the possibility as Santin was suddenly free on the left side. But Pinto, Barcelona’s normal second keeper, whistled loudly and it got Santin to stop, because he thought he was offside. A situation which has got a sequel in the media, where among other Ståle Solbakken has launched out heavy attacks against Pinto, who ended up getting two days quarantine for the bizarre episode.

The second half was better for FC Copenhagen – not least because the home team dropped in level. Dame N’Doye had a hell of a long range shot at Barcelona’s goal, and though the ball jumped out to a free Santin, he did not hit the free target.

In return, Messi could decide the match in overtime with his second for 2-0.

FC Copenhagen

FC Copenhagen is almost unstoppable at the moment, and their defeat at Camp Nou is the only one this season. Several bookmakers have already paid profit to those, who played on FC Copenhagen to become Danish champions before the season, and it would indeed be a tremendous surprise, if not the people of Copenhagen will run with the championship this year. Not only because competitors have failed, but most of all because they perform at a level that leaves the past achievements stand in the background and competitors behind.

This weekend FC Copenhagen won only narrowly 3-2 against Lyngby and it was 2-1 just before final whistle. It can be hard to criticize FC Copenhagen, as they did win again, but they must deliver a completely different performance, if they want to make it hard for tonight’s opponent.

Next, it is worth noting that FC Copenhagen will blow to attack from the start, according to Manager Ståle Solbakken, and with the wave of confidence that Copenhagen riding at the moment, I can partly understand the logic behind the tactic. But although FC Copenhagen will have more than difficulty to keep pressure on Barcelona, I have no doubt that Ståle Solbakken believes what he says, when he says they will attack from the first whistle.

However, it can be a dangerous tactic, because the Spanish side’s counter-attack. FC Copenhagen will eventually lose the ball in the building process, and here they will be incredibly vulnerable to the rapid Catalans.

For tonight’s match Santin has endured an ankle injury, but was said to be ready to play. Out with injuries are only marginal midfielders Hjalte Nørregaard and Martin Bergvold, which give them about the strongest setup.

FC Barcelona

After a volatile start to the season FC Barcelona seems to back to normal strength. In the 5-0 victory over Sevilla on Saturday it was a brilliant display of football with both Messi and David Villa making great goals. Barcelona is located right behind Real Madrid, and once again, it looks like only the two arch rivals can vie for the title.

Barcelona is in three tournaments and traditionally plays many matches. A win tonight is an almost guaranteed first place, and it could give Guardiola opportunity to save players for the remaining Champions League matches. Therefore it will also be an extremely motivated Barcelona side, we get to see, and although the Catalans have sometimes stumbled on affordable opponents, the team is known for taking all the matches very seriously.

Like FC Copenhagen they will put out offensively. We also expect that Barcelona will try to squeeze FC Copenhagen basically from start of the match. The Catalans tactics have for several years been to get ahead as fast as possible, which forces the opponent forward. The fight tonight will probably be no exception, and when Barcelona can put in the absolute strongest team, the chances of a victory for the away team is certainly big.

For tonight’s match Barcelona is missing only the second keeper, Pinto.

Betting Tip for FC Copenhagen vs Barcelona

The question is what FC Copenhagen can do tonight; they are in a good a ride at the moment and winning weekend after weekend and are also unbeaten in Parken in the Champions League. Looking at this sentence, it should be a gift to play the home team to nearly 10 times the money back even against mighty FC Barcelona, but the difference between the Primera Division and Super Ligaen is just too large in my opinion.

I hold myself from doing it, despite the odds may seem high to high on Copenhagen. They are well run, but there are substantial arguments in favour of backing Barcelona. In addition to the Primera Division being stronger, they are playing at full strength tonight and can secure first place by winning.

One could argue that Barcelona has burned too many chances (also in first match against Copenhagen), but I would argue that their big weekend victory has somewhat put an end to it and that FC Copenhagen will not be able give as many chances away tonight as did in the first match and get away with it.

Our betting tip will be Barcelona to win and likely with more than one goal.

Match odds

Bookmakers Home Draw Away Betting Bonus Get Bonus
Betfair Sports Betting 9.80 5.00 1.42
Party Bets 7.00 4.50 1.40
ladbrokes Sports Betting 8.00 4.50 1.40
William Hill Sports Betting 8.50 4.33 1.40

All odds are at the time of writing and may change before kick off.

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