United in no mood for a Messi night
Wembley hosts Saturday night’s Champions League final with 2010 Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, widely tipped to steal the show. 888sport offers 2/1 that the Argentinian scores in a Barcelona win, 4/1 that he scores first and 25/1 that Messi lights up Wembley with a hat track.
Attempting to keep Messi at bay will be a man playing the final professional match of his glittering career. Edwin Van der Sar is retiring after Saturday’s final and is 3/1 with 888sport to keep a clean sheet. There is also a special 16/1 available that he repeats his 2008 Champions League final heroics by saving a spot kick in a penalty shootout and leading United to victory.
Ji-Sung Park is rarely one to grab the headlines but he’s certainly Sir Alex’s man for the big games. The South Korean is 2/5 to start on Saturday and 11/1 to score in a Manchester United victory – a feat he achieved on the way to knocking Chelsea out in the quarter finals.
The two sides share a history of meeting in big European finals and 888sport offers 7/1 that Barcelona repeat the 2-0 triumph achieved in the 2009 Champions League final. The 1991 European Cup Winners Cup final was memorable for Mark Hughes double strike in the club’s 2-1 win over their Spanish rivals. 12/1 is offered that the scoreline is repeated 20 years on from the famous night in Rotterdam.
888sport has also opened a market on who will replace Sir Alex when he finally decides to step down as manager of Manchester United. The current favourite is Jose Mourinho at 2/1 while Barca boss Pep Guardiola is offered at 6/1. Several ex-United players are in the running with Laurent Blanc at 10/1, Mark Hughes at 14s, the baby-faced assassin Ole Solskjaer at 25/1 and Roy Keane at 33/1. For those looking for longer shots, Ryan Giggs is 40/1 to take over and the “King” Eric Cantona is 66/1
Ed Nicholson from 888sport commented: “The current Barcelona side have often been referred to as the best club side to have ever played the game of football. Messi truly is an irresistible force and Barca are unstoppable at their best. However, the Wembley factor can’t be underestimated and there’s a growing feeling that Man Utd might just be set to lift their fourth European Cup!”
Lionel Messi to score first – 4/1
Lionel Messi to score in a Barcelona win – 2/1
Lionel Messi to score a hat trick – 25/1
Lionel Messi to score 60 goals for Barcelona in 2011/12 season – 8/1
VAN DER SAR SPECIALS
Edwin Van der Sar to keep a clean sheet (in 90 minutes) – 3/1
Edwin Van der Sar to save a penalty in a shootout resulting in a Manchester United win – 16/1
Ji-Sung Park to start for Manchester United – 2/5
Ji-Sung Park to score in a Manchester United victory – 11/1
Barcelona to lift trophy – 4/9
Manchester United to lift trophy – 7/4
Repeat of 2009 Champions League Final (Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United) – 7/1
Repeat of 1991 European Cup Winners Cup Final (Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United) – 12/1
Barcelona 1-0 Manchester United (after 90 minutes) – 6/1 (best industry price)
Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United (after 90 minutes) – 8/1 (best industry price)
All prices subject to fluctuation