28th Mar 2012 | Football

AC Milan v Barcelona: First Goalscorer Tip

Messi is breaking records almost every week.

A goal against Milan at the San Siro in the group stages was one of just 55 this sensational player has scored this season.

There is only one footballer in the world who can represent value in the first goalscorer market at best odds of 3/1 (PaddyPower) - that man is Lionel Messi. The peerless Barcelona striker has been the best player in the world for sometime, but his March statistics suggest he has just gone up, somehow, yet another level.

The Argentine superstar grabbed worldwide headlines when he became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match against Bayern Leverkusen on 7 March. But his form since then hasn’t tailed off in La Liga. Messi scored both goals four days later at Racing Santander, then settled for one at Sevilla a week later. On March 20 the 3-time Ballon d’Or recipient bagged a hat-trick against Grenada to become the all-time leading scorer for Barcelona at the age of just 24.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Messi found the net yet again next time out against Mallorca, to move on to 235 goals for the club. He broke the deadlock that night and he is the overwhelming favourite to do so every time he steps onto the pitch. At a best price of 3/4 (Sportingbet) in the ‘anytime market,’ we have to be a little braver than that if we’re going to get any sort of price for this little genius.

We can make a case for 3/1 (PaddyPower) being value in the first goalscorer betting partly because the Spanish side must be much more likely to open the scoring. Milan are decent by Italian standards, but they are somewhat fortunate to even be here after losing 3-0 in the second leg of the last round against Arsenal. They have only actually won four of their last 15 Champions League matches.

Messi plays for the defending champions and they looking imperious. But the star man has scored 12 of Barcelona’s last 18 goals - all since 7 March. With that sort of form and ratio, we can take this bet with justification.

1pt First Goalscorer: Lionel Messi 3/1 with Paddypower
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Odds correct at time of publishing: 15:37 28th Mar, 2012 but subject to change

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