Like a comfortable pair of old tracksuit bottoms, we return for this week’s Bet of the Day to the reassuring familiarity of a wager that in the past has served us so well. Backing over 1.5 goals in the first half of home matches involving either Barcelona or Real Madrid has over the last season proved extremely profitable, and this weekend’s visit of Celta Vigo to the Camp Nou gives us another opportunity to revisit this popular bet.
The Galicians make the cross country trip to Catalonia having made an adequately solid start to life in the top flight after a five year absence, yet their relative comfort in 13th position in the table owes everything to their record at home. On the road they have been poor, losing all four of their away games this season. Therefore, the price of 2/25 for a home win is just about right, given the only points the Catalans have dropped so far came in the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
With injuries having robbed Tito Vilanova of at least three of his starting back four, Barca have at times looked shaky defensively, a fact that is born out by their keeping only five clean sheets in the 13 competitive matches played this season. Going forward however the Catalans remain gloriously silky, having scored 12 goals in their last three matches.
If Barca are scoring yet lacking the defensive solidity of previous seasons, a bet involving goals seems to have a great chance of paying out. Over 1.5 goals in the first half is available at 7/10 and the price is certainly big enough to consider some serious investment.
As previously mentioned, this is a tried and tested path with over 1.5 first half goals proving the correct selection 13 times in Barca’s home league matches last season. Against a Celta side who have conceded two goals in every away game they have played this season, there is every chance that this old friend of a bet will once more not let us down.