We are down to eight teams in the Champions League and the quarter-final draw has a fairly mouthwatering look to it, so it’s a good time to assess the betting and look for some value.
The tie of the round looks to be the clash of Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side hold a monster advantage on the Reds in their domestic league but there’s no doubting City will be highly wary of Liverpool.
The meetings in England have been contrasting, with City thumping ten-man Liverpool at the Etihad in September and Jurgen Klopp’s side turning the tables as they ended the unbeaten run of the champions-elect at Anfield.
That the home side raced into a 4-1 lead that afternoon is all the warning Man City should need. The Merseysiders are a European force and, with its glorious tradition, special things tend to happen at Anfield.
At 17/10, Liverpool are overpriced to dump City from Europe.
Holders Real Madrid are coming good after a poor start to the season, with Cristiano Ronaldo typically to the fore.
They ousted money-bags Paris St-Germain in the last-16, in what can hardly be described as a victory for the small man!
They face a much different test now in Juventus, the Serie A champions having shown their ability to extricate from an impossible position in overcoming Tottenham at Wembley.
I can’t help but conclude the PSG made some novice mistakes, defensively, in the first leg against Madrid in the Bernabeu. Even in Paris, there was a lack of nous about the Ligue 1 team.
Juve won’t be found wanting in that department and in former Madrid goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain they might have the ace-card. His eye for goal, coupled with Juve’s brilliant defence and will to win can see them eliminate the champions at odds of 8/5.
The Italians also look a fair price at 19/4 to reach another Champions League final.
Sevilla took care of Manchester United in the last-16 or, in truth, Jose Mourinho’s side took care of themselves. There was a shocking lack of attacking threat from the Red Devils home and away and the Andalusians merely took advantage.
Bayern Munich will pose tougher questions and, as they have done in times past, the Spanish side will probably come up short at the business end in this competition. They are serial Europa League winners but this is a tougher school.
At 15/4, the Bundesliga champions remain my idea of the eventual winners and they are flying under the radar to some extent with Real’s renaissance.
In the last of the quarter-finals, 5/2 tournament favourites Barcelona should be able to overpower a Roma team that was fortuitous to get past Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous round.
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