Could the Champions League be void entirely of any Premier League representative by the quarterfinal round? A grim prospect, indeed, but not entirely out of the question.
The knockouts are underway
Chelsea are down but not out of their tie with PSG, which sets up a rather intriguing showdown when they resume hostilities at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight. Next up is the tandem of Arsenal and Man City when they get their Champions League knockout campaigns underway next week. Is one or both a better wager to reach the quarterfinals than Chelsea? Or will it be a case of the blues for all Premier League representatives at the conclusion of the first leg?
Should I lay or back Arsenal at 4.33 to reach quarterfinals?
Arsenal, meanwhile, are sat in second place in the table, and following last weekend’s win over league-leading Leicester City they are only two points adrift of the coveted position. Of the Premier League triplet, they are in the best form and go into Europe this week riding evocative momentum. However, they’ve drawn their Achilles heel in Champions League action yet again, Barcelona, and it would take a massive effort by Arsene Wenger and his delicate lads, oft criticised for lacking the pluck and gumption to stand up to the heavyweights of the game, to derail Barcelona in the R16. As such, they are matched at 4.33 (+333) at Bet365 to reach the quarterfinals.Need more be said?
Should I lay or back Man City at 1.25 to reach quarterfinals?
Manchester City emerge as the best bet of the Premier League triplet according to odds makers to reach the quarterfinals, a happenstance underscored by their solid, but not impressive, Premier League season and furthered along by a date with Dynamo Kiev in the R16. As it is, they are matched at 1.25 (-400) to reach the quarterfinals. If Man City accomplishes the feat, it’ll mark the first time they reach the quarterfinal stage of the competition. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of their chances, even if their draw smacks easy. Sometimes the easiest draws prove the trickiest to navigate particularly if Man City take a complacent attitude into this two-legged tie.
Let’s not forget, Dinamo Kiev enjoyed a rather stellar account in last term’s Europa League, defying the football odds in no uncertain terms with a run all the way into the quarterfinals after beating Guingamp (R32) and then Everton (R16) – the latter of which featured a come-from-behind win to clinch the two-legged tie 6-4. Although the Ukrainian side fell to Fiorentina in the quarterfinals, they left an indelible impression on football fans across Europe and the world. Nowhere were they more convincing than at home and if they get off to a bright start against Manuel Pellegrini’s Citizens in the chilly Ukrainian capital, don’t be surprised if they run away with the tie even before the pair resumes hostilities at the Etihad.
Table 1: Champions League Futures According to Bet365 Ahead of R16
|Team||Champions League Futures|
|Zenit St. Petersburg||+8000|