iBet: PSG’s strength lies in defence

Gareth Purnell

Valencia v Paris Saint Germain, kick off 7.45pm

Lay over 3.5 goals at 3.6/1

Valencia haven’t lost to a French side in 17 meetings but these days it could easily be argued that the Spanish side is the selling club and the French are the wealthy team that is going places. Paris St Germain qualified in first place in Champions League Group A and it’s easy to see where their strength lies. Ancelotti’s men conceded just three goals in six games against Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb – the lowest of any of the teams at the group stage. Their league form demonstrates much the same ability to keep things tight. A tally of just 13 goals conceded in 24 games is easily the best in Ligue 1 and when keeper Salvator Sirigu had to pick the ball out of the net against Bastia on Friday, it was the first time PSG has conceded in 949 minutes of football. Valencia’s league form has picked up since the end of the group stages but they do not have a deep enough squad to fight powerfully on two fronts and although their home league games average over three goals they do not come up against a defence as well drilled as this every week.


The last time Juventus played Celtic at Parkhead 12 years ago the game finished 4-3 to the home side, but with nothing riding on it Juve fielded virtually a reserve team that day. When stakes are high the Italians know how to shut up shop if required. Their six Group E games produced only 16 goals and they have only conceded eight times in 11 Serie A games away from home. Again the value could be to swim against the tide and go low on goals.

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