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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

UEFA Champions League Final - Man United v Barca - rating the two sides

It's the most hyped club game of the season the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona to be played at Wembley.

Ratings of football team are always an inexact science - but here are mine for what it is worth ...

These ratings are based on a "average" strength in the UCL of 1000, and typically if there is a margin of 100 points then a team has a goal advantage.

If a team has less advantage - say 50 points - then there is still some indication as you might consider that an average margin of half a goal means that they will win one game by a goal and draw the next game.

These ratings are based on 10 years worth of data, but of course the most recent games have the most effect on the ratings.

This season we have seen Manchester United go 4-2-0 at home, and 5-1-0 when traveling in Europe, while Barcelona are 5-1-0 at home, and 3-2-1 on the road.

Possibly a slight advantage to Manchester United with a 9-3-0 combined record to Barcelona's 8-3-1, but United have faced weaker opponents in the knockout stages with Schalke and Marseille outside the top five

Gooners UEFA Champions League Ratings

Barcelona Home 1,111
Man United Home 1,044

Barcelona Away 1,050
Man United Away 1,050

Overall these two sides are ranked #1 and #2 in my ratings, with Real Madrid in the #3 spot, Arsenal in #4 (superb home record - awful away), and Chelsea in #5.

Is Wembley Home / Away or Neutral?

The game is being played at Wembley Stadium in England, and the media have been quick to claim some sort of home advantage, but with these two teams both been well supported I would expect a fairly neutral crowd due to the ticketing methods of UEFA and the expense involved.

Manchester United will be well supported of course - but with a significant Barcelona contingent of fans - and many neutral / corporates in attendance - I'm not sure that this should be rated as a home match for United.

Throw in the fact that it's a different set of pitch dimensions, that the players are staying in hotels (rather than living at home) and that there will be 3-4 days of intense media scrutiny ... and I tend to consider this game will be rated more like an "AWAY" game for both sides.

So What does that all mean ?

So all that goes to say that there is very little to pick between the two side for a one-off game at Wembley - with both teams having an away rating of exactly 1050 points each. It's very, very even.

As a betting man, that means that there is definitely more value in the 4.00 price being offered on Manchester United to win in 90 minutes at Eurobet, or the 2.76 for Man United to win the Cup any way at all at PinnacleSports.

See all the latest UEFA Champions League Odds at's live odds feed.

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