Champions League Odds To Back Following Quarter-Final Draw
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With the Champions League now entering the business end of the tournament, the quarter final draw was eagerly awaited on Friday morning.
Four English teams remain in the competition, making it increasingly more exciting for those rivalries, as well as the neutrals up and down the country.
Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United all made it through to the Champions League last eight, but what are their chances of going all the way?
Tottenham vs Manchester City
The most interesting tie from an English standpoint, Tottenham entertain the first leg of this tie in their brand new stadium.
Nerves will certainly play a part, but Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that his players adjust accordingly to their new playing turf quicker than those of West Ham managed when moving to the London Stadium.
Spurs have had a turbulent season with injuries and wasted opportunities against mid-table teams in the Premier League, but if there were ever a time to shift into top gear, this would be it.
Under the lights in their state of the art stadium, Tottenham have a great chance of upsetting the odds and masterminding their way into a Champions League semi-final. BetVictor price them at 18/5 to overcome the Citizens at home in the opening match.
Pep Guardiola is a meticulous manager and will make sure that his side are not distracted by the ongoing Premier League race that is taking up a lot of their attention.
With their squad depth and immense amount of talent brimming out at all angles, they find themselves as favourites out of this all-English tie after being offered at 1/5 to reach the semi-finals with William Hill
This tie is certainly going to be one to remember with the game entering a period of chaos and a lack of considerate defending. Tottenham can get under the skin of City, but it all depends on whether Guardiola’s players can truly battle on all fronts.
Manchester United vs Barcelona
Arguably the fixture of the quarter-finals, Manchester United face Barcelona once more in the Champions League.
Many fans of the Red Devils will still have a deep-rooted heartache from their losses in the final to the Catalan giants in 2009 and 2011, but will also remember Paul Scholes’ thunderbolt of a strike that sealed the win and advancement onto the biggest stage of all in 2008.
There is such a rich history ingrained into both of these sides, with too many legends to name taking part in their respective legacies. One player, however, is still in the form of his life and can be considered one of the best ever to kick a ball: Lionel Messi.
After his two goals and two assists in their latest knockout game against Lyon, the Argentina international will be in the mood to cause the Man United defence to crumble and be at the mercy of his mercurial talent.
While Barca are overwhelming favourites at 2/7 with Coral to qualify, it would be a mistake to write off Manchester United just yet.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reinvigorated this squad and with their win against Paris Saint-Germain away from home that sealed the tie, the Red Devils might just relish their chances being the underdogs. The Norwegian’s side is priced at 11/4 with Coral to make it through to the semi-finals.
Liverpool vs FC Porto
This was the tie that Liverpool fans were crossing their fingers for. The Reds now have a brilliant chance of reaching the last four for the second time in as many years with a favourable draw against the Portuguese behemoths.
Jurgen Klopp will feel confident, but he knows that complacency is what can cause major upsets in highly-pressurised matches, just as fans have seen with Ajax knocking out Real Madrid in the last round.
While Porto are joint-level on points with Benfica and gunning for the Primeira Liga, they will feel inspired having seen some of the ‘lesser teams’ make it through against tough opposition.
Even with Sergio Conceicao’s side given odds of 7/2 with William Hill to qualify, the Portuguese manager has a knack of overcoming tough opposition.
Both sides will have one eye on their domestic titles as well Champions League qualification, so this tie might just come down to who priorities the competition more.
It should, theoretically, be a comfortable two-legged affair for Liverpool – hence why they are backed by Coral at 1/6 – but football doesn’t always go the way of the bookmakers.
About the Author
An NCTJ-qualified sports journalist, Liam Canning covers European football for Bookies.com.