Ahead of this week’s second leg ties, Willie Duncan looks at the chances of the teams dreaming of victory in this year’s final at Wembley Stadium
The Uefa Champions League resumes this week and, following some fascinating first leg results at the last 16 stage, the betting market for Europe’s premier club competition is wide open as this week’s second leg ties get underway on Tuesday night.
After Barcelona’s shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Milan in the first leg of their last 16 tie, the Catalan giants have been pushed out to second favourites to win the competition for the first time this season, with BetVictor making the 2011 champions a 4/1 (5.0) chance to regain their title.
Instead, Bayern Munich have been installed as tournament favourites following on from their impressive 3-1 first leg win over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium and Jupp Heynckes’ men can be backed at 11/4 (3.75) with BetVictor to go one better than last year, when the German champions were defeated in the final by Chelsea.
Nine-time European champions Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Manchester United in the first leg of their tie but, following impressive back-to-back victories over Barcelona in the past week, Jose Mourinho’s side are rated as a 5/1 (6.0) chance with BetVictor to claim Champions League glory.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are chalked up as a 17/2 (9.50) shot with the same firm to regain the crown that they last won in 2008.
Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw in their first leg tie against Shakhtar Donetsk but, with home advantage in the second leg, Jurgen Klopp’s men are warm favourites to progress to the quarter-finals and can be backed at 15/2 (8.50) with BetVictor to claim Champions League glory this term.
There may be value, though, in backing Italian champions Juventus to claim the crown.
Antonio Conte’s men qualified as winners from a tough group which included Shakhtar Donetsk and last year’s champions Chelsea, to take their place in the last 16.
A thumping 3-0 win in Glasgow over Celtic in the first leg of their last 16 clash to all but seal their place in the last eight of the competition and they look decent value at 9/1 (10.0) with BetVictor to claim glory in this year’s competition.
With that in mind, the 6/1 (7.0) quote from BetVictor for Italy to be this year’s Champions League “winning nation” is the value pick, with Germany rated as the 11/8 (2.38) favourites to provide the tournament winners with the same firm while the 7/4 (2.75) on offer from BetVictor for Spain to provide the winning team is sure to garner plenty of support.
With an open draw from the quarter-finals onwards, a large slice of luck is required to work out the potential permutations for tournament finalists at this stage but the 20/1 (21.0) quote from BetVictor for Juventus to face Manchester United in the final is appealing here while the same firm’s 16/1 (17.0) quote for the Italian champions to line up against Bayern Munich in May’s showpiece final is worthy of consideration for value hunters.
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