After the first leg matches in the Champions League last 16, we have seen a couple of sides make huge claims for the trophy, with the Spainish Giants from Madrid standing out
After the first round of matches in the last 16, we have seen a number of teams facing huge battles to stay in the competition, with an English presence in the competition resting on Chelsea’s shoulders.
With Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all losing their first legs 2-0, only David Moyes’ side are being given a realistic chance of staying in the competition.
Barcelona breezed past a Sergio Aguero-less Manchester City side, with Bayern Munich also easing to victory against Arsenal. United were on the end of a shock loss against Olympiakos, but have a home leg to come and try and resurrect the tie. It’s worth avoiding these three English clubs, who all have mountains to climb to progress. United are now 35/1 (36.00) to win the trophy, Manchester City are 66/1 (67.00) and Arsenal 125/1 (126.00).
Despite a strong start against Galatasaray, Chelsea fizzled out and ended up drawing the first leg 1-1. Jose Mourinho is somewhat of a Champions League specialist, but with the Blues lacking a prolific striker, they may not be able to challenge the top teams. Paddy Power price them at 12/1 (13.00) to win the Champions League outright.
The holders Bayern Munich have been sensational this season in all competitions, and it’s no surprise they are favourites to retain their trophy. Pep Guardiola’s side are in a comfortable position against Arsenal and look set to progress to the next round. Paddy Power price them at 2/1 (3.00) for outright glory.
Barcelona are joint second favourties behind Munich with Paddy Power pricing them at 7/2 (4.50) and they, like the Germans, looked very impressive against their English opposition. Messi and Co. take a two goal advantage back to Camp Nou, and they too should comfortably find themselves in the quarter finals.
The stand out performance of the last 16 first legs though came in Germany, where Carlo Ancelotti’s men destroyed Schalke 6-1. Real Madrid were ruthless against the Germans, with Ronaldo, Benzema and Gareth Bale all netting to leave the opposition needing a miracle.
Madrid have been sensational this season and certainly have their eye on this competition, with the trophy not being won by Los Blancos since 2002. Ronaldo has made it clear that he wants to win this tournament, and with the current Ballon d’Or holder scoring for fun, it’s tough to see any defence stopping him.
If stopping Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t enough, with the likes of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema also finding their scoring boots, Madrid’s front line is the most deadly strike force in Europe. Paddy Power price them at 7/2 (4.50) to win the Champions League.
With seven matches played and 26 goals scored, Madrid are the form team and the ones every other team will want to avoid. Ancelotti’s side had to come through a tough group and although their last 16 opponents aren’t the strongest, they have been the side who have impressed this season.
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