By Isla Knightley | | 8 mins
Champions League 2021-22 Odds, Best Bets & Predictions
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Liverpool and Manchester City are through to the final four of the UEFA Champions League, set to take on Villarreal and Real Madrid, respectively, in a blockbuster semifinal round of Europe’s top-flight club competition. A place in the much-anticipated final at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28, 2022, is on the line.
Bookmakers went to press with early Champions League odds at the conclusion of the quarterfinals. Manchester City re-opened as the top favorite to win its maiden title but, for the first time during the knockouts, Liverpool joins City at the top of the soccer odds board across multiple online sportsbooks. Champions League stalwarts Real Madrid come as the third-best bet with odds of +600 at bet365 while Villarreal are the long shots of the competition at far-flung odds of +2000.
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Man City vs Real Madrid Prediction
- First leg: Tuesday, April 26 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester
- Second leg: Wednesday, May 4 at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Manchester City eked out the 1-0 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid after earning a scoreless draw on Wednesday in the Spanish capital. However, the tense second leg of their tie was marred by mass brawls, hair tugging, head-butting and downright shameful behavior on both sides. The late-game shenanigans resulted in 12 minutes of nerve-biting stoppage time that tested Pep Guardiola’s side and despite some close calls, City were able to rise to the occasion and cling on to the narrow victory.
In keeping with the overarching soccer betting outlook, City is installed as the favorite to win the first leg of its tie with Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on April 26. Bet365 tips Man City to win at -200 while the Spanish giants are priced as the +500 underdogs. The draw is trading at +333 at this sportsbook. The market for this tie across both legs has Man City priced at -225 to qualify and Real Madrid priced at +200 to qualify.
If Real Madrid can overcome PSG against the odds, coming from a 0-1 hole in the first leg to win the R16 tie 4-2 on aggregate, then survive a ferocious fightback from the reigning champions Chelsea in the quarterfinals to advance 5-4 on aggregate, one has to consider that Real Madrid may well fancy its chances even if the oddsmakers don’t.
Pick: Real Madrid To Advance at +200 with Bet365
Liverpool vs Villarreal Prediction
- First leg: Wednesday, April 27 at Anfield, Liverpool
- Second leg: Tuesday, May 3, at Estadio de la Cerámica, Villarreal
Liverpool advanced into the final four after beating Benfica 6-4 on aggregate. The Reds were in the ascendancy after taking a convincing 3-1 win in the first leg. Things started brightly for Liverpool in the second leg, too. Roberto Firmino scored twice halfway through the second half to lift the Reds into a commanding aggregate lead. A couple of late goals by the visitors set up a nervy final few minutes of the game for Liverpool, but the Reds progressed 6-4 on aggregate after a 3-3 tie on the night.
Villarreal are the surprise package of this year’s Champions League knockouts, eliminating the Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich 2-1 on aggregate. To say the result was a stunning upset is the understatement to end all understatements.
The betting odds on sports betting apps were stacked against Villarreal, even though they’d taken a 1-0 advantage from the first leg. Few expected the La Liga hopefuls to back it up in the return leg at the Allianz Arena – one of the most formidable stadiums in European soccer. Tale told, they did. It was thanks to Samuel Chukwueze's goal two minutes from time, which sent Unai Emery’s side through to the Champions League semis at the expense of Bayern.
Villarreal are the long shots of the Champions League at +2000 to win it all. Even if it's to somehow overcome Liverpool, it'd have to beat either Manchester City or Real Madrid to clinch the coveted title. That’s quite a big ask for most top European clubs, never mind the Yellow Submarines.
Thus, predictably, this semifinal tie is cornered with Liverpool. Bet365 tips the Reds as the -500 favorite to win the first leg. Conversely, Villarreal are long shots at +1200 to take an early advantage. Even the draw appears to be an improbable outcome, priced at +550 in the first leg. In the broad spectrum of this tie, the market prices Liverpool at -700 to qualify and Villarreal at +500 to qualify for the final.
Jurgen Klopp guided the Reds to Champions League glory in 2019 as Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in an all-Premier League final. That experience, along with Liverpool’s successes ever since Klopp took over the reins at Merseyside, underscores their massive odds.
Pick: Liverpool to Advance at -700 with bet365