Mon, Dec 18, 9:49am by Staff Writer
The UEFA Champions League has reached the knockout stage following the conclusion of the group stage. Highlighted by impressive performances from English sides who dominate the last 16 draw with five sides represented for the first time. Many of those will be pleased with their opponents in the matches that will commence from 14th February 2018 (AEDT).
As in the EPL, Manchester City dominate the prices for the Champions League. City are on the search for their first ever Champions League win. Pep Guardiola was hired by City to give them the best opportunity of sealing European silverware. The way in that they are playing at the moment means that they look good value at $4. This, however, is new territory for City and the mindset with have to be perfect. At this stage of the competition they should overcome Swiss side Basel who hold the biggest price to win the tournament at $226.
City will face plenty of pressure from several clubs with lots of European pedigree. Bayern Munich stand at $4.50 but face a tricky trip to Besiktas ($91). The Turkish side could well provide a huge upset, but Bayern should have too much quality over the two legs. Bayern where unable to top their group but arguably got the easier draw coming second.
As Paris St Germain’s reward for topping Group B is an extremely tough task against Real Madrid. Both sides have squads filled world class talent, providing the stand out tie for the round. A certain spectacle for neutrals who follow the Champions League. PSG edge out Real in terms of prices to win the tournament. With PSG standing at $5.50 compared to Madrid at $8. Rivals will have been pleased to see this draw, as one real contender for the title will out of contention following the last 16.
One side looking to benefit from that will be Real’s domestic rivals, Barcelona. Despite the loss of Neymar to PSG in the transfer window, they have aspirations of winning a trophy that they have failed to do so since 2015. They stand at $8 but face a difficult last 16 match against current English Champions Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s men are not in their best form but can be formidable on their day and are priced at $26.
Historic European heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool have been absent from the Champions League in recent years. They are both back this year and showed in the group stages that they are not here to be also rans. They stand at $14 to win the tournament, although both will have to overcome potential hazards in the last 16. United face Sevilla ($91) whilst Liverpool will take on Porto ($91)
Last season’s beaten finalists, Juventus will be aiming to go one better this year. They are priced at $19 and will meet Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16. Spurs have produced some scintillating football so far this year especially in the Champions League. Consistency is their enemy at the minute and are priced at $26.
Roma will take on Shakhtar Donetsk in a clash that is unlikely to see the eventual tournament winner proceed. Although both sides could well be a real threat to lower priced teams in the latter stages. Roma are priced at $34 with Shakhtar at $101 to win the Champions League.
Champions League 2017/18 Outright Winner – Sportsbet
Man City $4
Bayern Munich $4.50
Real Madrid $8
Man Utd $14
Shakhtar Donetsk $101
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