The Champions League: Barcelona and Real Madrid lead the way

Ahead of Friday’s last 16 draw, Ed Malyon previews who are the favourites with the bookmakers and who might be a worthwhile longshot to claim the crown.

With some of the high-profile casualties of the competition last week, the betting market for the winner of the Champions League just got a lot more interesting.

Manchester clubs United and City were both among the favourites for the competition, so seeing them drop into the Europa League has seen the prices for clubs like Bayern Munich and Chelsea improve substantially.

The favourites are unsurprisingly Barcelona (8/5), who are looking to retain the trophy they won with such style last year. Following their victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, their odds shortened slightly as it reminded punters of what Barca can do to even their greatest rivals, and what they did in this very competition last year.

Real are, of course, second favourites, and can be found at 5/2. Their squad is arguably deeper than Barcelona’s, which may give them the edge if the Catalans were to suffer any serious injuries, especially to a certain Argentine forward.

Bayern Munich, a side that so perfectly melds class and fluidity with an efficient grittiness, are priced as third favourites in this market at 11/2, and it is worth remembering that nobody has scored more than Mario Gomez in this season’s competition, and that they won a very difficult group.

Chelsea, who boast a manager who has proven that he can do it on the European stage by negotiating a tricky group this year after winning the Europa League last year, are the most fancied English side.

At 11/1 they are not overly fancied, but with a significant recruitment drive expected in January, we are more likely to see an ‘Andre Villas-Boas side’ in 2012, and on past evidence that bodes well for the Blues.

Of the longer-priced picks, AC Milan look interesting at north of 20/1, especially given their performance at the Camp Nou this season. Benfica are interesting at around 40/1 given that they won a group including Manchester United. As a result, they should expect an easier draw for the next round, and therefore have a great chance of advancing to the later stages of the competition. And having drawn two games against a side of United’s calibre, they will be hard to overcome for any side in this tournament.

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011

1 Comment

  1. Anny
    December 18, 2015

    I made my first entry but I “violated” some rules (my bad) so I am not linking (good girl) ;-)I’ll try to post antoher one (pure B&W only)next week…I think the photos in the gallery are dramatic. Just the way that B&W is.


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