Manchester City are on course for the Champions League final as we look towards the quarter-finals of Europe’s biggest football competition.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best sportsbook sites bettors will find that Manchester City, the pre-tournament favourites, is the top-rated UCL contender at 3.00, although they are closely followed by Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Chelsea and Real Madrid are around 10.00 with the rest of the contenders rated at 20.00 or higher and French club Lille are the outsiders at 501.00
Who Made it to the Last Eight?
Four of the eight Round of 16 games have already been completed with the other four scheduled for March 15 and 16.
Manchester City were not at their best in the second leg against Sporting Lisbon, but they didn’t need to be with a 5-0 lead from the first game, and a 0-0 draw ensured their spot in the final eight. Internazionale had Liverpool work a bit harder in the second leg at Anfield, scoring with an hour to go, but the Reds held on for a 2-1 aggregate triumph.
Real Madrid and PSG drew the most attention in the Round of 16. The French team won the first leg 1-0 and scored first in Madrid, but were undone by a Karim Benzema hat-trick in the last half-hour, which knocked them out of the competition. Bayern Munich, the German champions, advanced to the final eight following a 7-1 demolition of Red Bull Salzburg at the Allianz Arena.
UCL Main Contenders
Manchester City remain the tournament favourites, but there are multiple reasons for bettors to be wary of betting on them to win the title. It’s impossible to disregard their proclivity for finding a way to lose in this event, which may be tied to the pressure of never having won the competition. Furthermore, recent Premier League performances have allowed Liverpool to reduce the gap in the second position, suggesting that City will have to continue to focus on both competitions.
Of course, this will also have an impact on Jurgen Klopp’s team in the remaining weeks of the season, therefore Liverpool may no longer be a good bet in the UCL Winners’ market. Chelsea, the other key Premier League challenger, has yet to earn a place in the final eight, so can’t be recommended.
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are the best two remaining possibilities among the primary contenders. The German champions lead their domestic competitors by nine points and have a depth of expertise in the final rounds of the league that their opponents lack. Real Madrid is in a similar situation, and although they haven’t been in peak form this season, they have a large domestic lead and a manager in Carlo Ancelotti who has extensive experience at the highest level of European football.
Underdog Bets for the UCL
Manchester United and Atletico Madrid are tied at 1-1 after the first leg, and both have excellent histories in this competition, but neither is in good form this season, and both would be significant underdogs against the majority of the remaining clubs, so they don’t seem to be solid bets at this time.
Instead, the two clubs to watch are Juventus and Ajax, who will both need to win their round of 16 matches in the second legs.
Juventus struggled at the start of the season due to poor domestic play and persistent financial issues, but they haven’t lost in Serie A since the end of November and are currently fourth in the rankings, only seven points behind league leaders Inter. They got a respectable point in the first leg of their Round of 16 encounters against Villarreal and will be favourites to advance with home advantage in the second leg, and their roster is capable of taking on any of the major clubs.
Ajax may lack the depth of squad of some of their tournament competitors, but they have a great recent record under manager Erik ten Hag, who has been considered as a major contender for the Manchester United post by many. Ten Hag’s youthful squad came near to reaching the Champions League final not long ago, and with two away goals already, they will be expected to win their Round of 16 encounters and go to the quarter-finals, much like Juventus.