Stuttgart vs. Barcelona Preview and Pick

Stuttgart vs. Barcelona Camp Nou, Barcelona. Spain 2:45 PM EST Wednesday March 17, 2010
by Jason Green at

Match Odds: Barcelona 1.25 / Stuttgart 12.00 Draw 5.00
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Barcelona -450 / Stuttgart +1050 / Draw +475

On Wednesday night in the 2nd leg of a Champions League tie defending champion Barcelona hosts Stuttgart. Barcelona is the heavy favorite in this match, but they did not look very good when they played to a 1-1 draw in Germany in the 1st leg of the tie. The struggled in the match and they were lucky to come away with a draw.

Stuttgart started their season horribly only winning 2 of their first 15 matches, but they have got back on their feet and have played well moving up to the 9th position in the Bundesliga. They are playing with a ton of confidence in the Champions League and they played well in the 1st leg against Barcelona. They had quite a few chances to win that match, but winning at Camp Nou will be far from easy.


Barcelona is one of the toughest teams in Europe to beat home, but Stuttgart has yet to lose in the Champions League this season away from Germany. They have a solid attack that can give Barcelona troubles, but do they have the defense to survive the offensive onslaught the Barca will throw at home? That is the big question for this match.

This season in the German Bundesliga Stuttgart has scored 37 goals and given up 35 and in Spain’s La Liga Barcelona has scored 64 goals and only given up 16.

Barcelona Recent Form:
3/14/2010 Barcelona 3 Valencia 0 (La Liga)
3/6/2010 Almeria 2 Barcelona 2 (La Liga)
2/27/2010 Barcelona 2 Malaga 1 (La Liga)
2/23/2010 Stuttgart 1 Barcelona 1 (Champions League)
2/20/2010 Barcelona 4 Racing Santander 0 (La Liga)

Stuttgart Recent Form:
3/12/2010 Schalke 04 2 Stuttgart 1 (Bundesliga)
3/6/2010 Werder Bremen 2 Stuttgart 2 (Bundesliga)
2/27/2010 Stuttgart 2 Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Bundesliga)
2/23/2010 Stuttgart 1 Barcelona 1 (Champions League)
2/20/2010 FC Koln 1 Stuttgart 5 (Bundesliga)

For Barcelona they will have their 2 main players back, as Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available for this match. Eric Abidal is training and may play, but Maxwell is likely to get the start at left back for Barcelona.

Stuttgart is relative healthy for this match, as they will get Matthieu Delpierre from injury and Stefano Celozzi back from an illness. There are no suspensions or other injuries of note for the German squad.

Stuttgart will really have a tough time with the solid offense of Barcelona and they will have to play awesome to win this match. They really have to worry about Lionel Messi, who had a hat trick in Barcelona’s last match. He has 22 goals and 9 assists in 23 La Liga matches and he has scored 2 goals in Champions League play.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is known for not showing up for big matches, but with Stuttgart really keying on Messi he will have his opportunity in this match. I see him scoring in this match against a decent Stuttgart defense.

Stuttgart’s Brazilian striker Cacau has played great all season and was solid in the 1st leg of the tie between these 2 teams. He will be counted on to provide some offense in this match.

Barcelona will come out firing, as they really want to score an early goal. If the Stuttgart defense can keep them scoreless for the first half they have a good chance to win this match.

Stuttgart cannot sit back on defense, as they have to score since Barcelona scored an away goal in Germany. I do not see them scoring on the solid Barcelona defense that is led by Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.

Stuttgart’s defense has struggled lately, as they only have 2 clean sheets in their last 10 matches.

Jason’s Pick: Stuttgart will not be intimidated in this match, but they will be overmatched by the talent of Barcelona. The Spanish giants simply have way too much talent, especially on offense and I do not think they will have any problem winning this match. I see Barcelona winning by a score of 2-0 or 3-0 and advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals.