The Champions League last 16 has finally concluded and what a round it was! After four first-leg defeat turn arounds, a 7-0 win and the winners for the last three years knocked out, we now know who our final eight are.
This years final is being held at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, which is Atletico Madrid’s stadium. Unfortunately for them, they fell victim to one of the four comebacks so won’t be playing there in June. Paddy Power has odds on all of the remaining eight teams to win and we’re going to go through each team and look at their chances.
Man City – 5/2
City are the favourites for the Champions League and after winning 7-0 at home and 10-2 on aggregate who can blame them? Peps side has an unbelievable squad with world-class players in every position. The only thing that could hold them back in their inexperience. Not a single one of them have won a Champions League and only Gundogan has played in a final. However, this is where their manager comes in handy. He has won two Champions League trophies and can be the missing piece. City looks the best team and 5/2 is a good but fair price.
Barcelona – 7/2
Barca has won the competition five times, 3 times in the last ten years. They won the second leg of the last round 5-1 and played some magnificent football. Messi looks like he is in unbelievable form, but then again when isn’t he! Barca’s has so much experience in the Champions League and when they are on form they can beat anyone. Their only issue may be injuries. They don’t have a solid starting 11 and change various players a lot. However, a team with Messi, Suarez, Pique, Coutinho, and Busquets to name a few is not one to bet against. 7/2 could be a great price before the draw on Friday.
Juventus – 7/2
If you backed Juve before the second leg then lucky you! They were around odds of 16/1 as it looked like they were heading out. But Ronaldo did what Ronaldo does best and rescued his side in the Champions League. They have a very good squad and will have learned from their away leg at Atletico that they cant be so defensive away from home. This can bring the best out of Juve and Ronaldo. They have a very experienced squad who have been in two finals in the last five years. It does seem all geared up for Ronaldo to move clubs and take the trophy with him to Juventus.
Liverpool – 9/2
The only other five times winners left in the competition. Liverpool got to the final last year and have got to the quarters this year after a brilliant second leg display. Their squad is much improved last year with the addition of Fabinho and Alisson. They still have Gomez and Oxlade-Chamberlain to come back who will only make them better. They also have the experience of going far from last year. Their downfall could Klopp’s lack wins in finals. He hasn’t won any of his last six and pressure will be mounting. Couple that with their hunt for the Premier League it could be difficult. But with their squad, anything can happen.
Man United – 10/1
They couldn’t, could they? When Mourinho was in charge everyone said there was no chance and then when Solskjaer took over it wasn’t even worth thinking about. But since their form has changed and after they made history beating PSG 3-1 away after being 2-0 down the first leg, who would bet against them. Man United do look like they can concede goals though. However, De Gea has shown he can carry his sides multiple times so could do it again. It would be a fairytale six months for the man who won United the Champions League in 1999 if they went all the way. Oles at the wheel at and 10/1 they could be worth a punt.
Spurs – 16/1
Spurs have shown they can be right up there with best in Europe. They have also shown then can bottle almost anything. The new stadium is ready for the next round and this could be a huge boost. An inform Harry Kane is the best striker in the world and this is what they’ll need to go all the way. Spurs won’t be expected to win this competition but with 16/1 odds they could make for interesting betting.
Ajax – 25/1
The team who did the unthinkable and turned the current holders and winners for the last three years over at their own ground. Ajax looked unbelievable that night and have some stars for the future in their team. They have won the competition four times but this could be one too many. Their side is very young but sometimes inexperience and naivety can bring the best out of players. If their good enough to beat Madrid, they can beat anyone, right?
Porto – 80/1
Porto got through thanks to a last-minute penalty against Roma to complete a comeback from being 2-1 down in the first leg. The group they were in was deemed the easiest group of them all. They’re joint top in their league at the minute but given they have had the easiest route here don’t expect much from them. Could be worth a go depending on who they draw.