The Champions League quarter-final draw has been made, and football fans can look forward to some mouth-watering clashes between Europe’s finest teams. Barcelona and Bayern Munich should be overjoyed with the outcome as they landed comparatively easy ties against Roma and Sevilla, respectively.
But there was no such luck for holders Real Madrid, who face a repeat of last year’s final as they play Serie A champions Juventus. And arguably the pick of the ties is an all-Premiership clash between Man City and Liverpool. Both teams are exceptional going forwards and they should prove to be monumental clashes. Bet on each match at BMR’s green-listed bookmakers.
Liverpool are the only team to beat Man City in the Premiership this season, securing a thrilling 4-3 victory over Pep Guardiola’s men at Anfield. That should give them confidence heading into the game, but Man City should still progress at the Reds’ expense. City have long been Champions League favourites as they have been playing magnificent football under Guardiola this season, with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne conducting a sumptuous orchestra from deep lying midfield roles. Both teams to score and ‘over’ 2.5 goals should be a profitable bet in both games between these two sides.
It means the Premiership is guaranteed a representative in the semi-finals, but it is a dismal return for the league considering it had five teams in the last 16. Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham have all crashed out of the competition, and Spain is now the clear favourite to yield the winner. Barcelona have overtaken Man City to become the outright favourites to win the Champions League after securing a comfortable draw against Roma, who are well off the pace in Serie A.
The Italian team have a strong midfield of Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan, but they are highly unlikely to be a match for Lionel Messi and Co. Barca are still unbeaten at the top of La Liga, marrying newfound defensive nous with their hallmark attacking brilliance.
Barcelona are looking good at 3/1 with Sun Bets to win the Champions League, and they are clear favourites to qualify for the semi-finals at Roma’s expense. Bayern, who have gone in to 4/1 with Betfred and Betway, also have a clear route to the semi-finals as they landed a tie against Sevilla, who are fifth in La Liga and poor on the road. Man Utd’s defeat to Vincenzo Montella’s men was inexplicable, and Bayern are highly unlikely to make the same mistakes.
Real Madrid’s clash with Juventus looks a lot tighter, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. should enjoy a psychological advantage as they battered Juventus 4-1 in last year’s final. Spurs had Juventus on the ropes for large periods of their last 16 tie, but lacked the big-game experience to kill them off. Real Madrid should not encounter such problems. They have won the Champions League twice on the bounce, the only team to ever do so, and they are closing in on a hat-trick. Ronaldo always seems to raise his game for the Champions League fixtures, and he is by far and away the top scorer in this year’s competition. A midfield of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Isco could overwhelm Juventus, as it did in last year’s final, and Real Madrid look a good bet to qualify.
Right now, a four-fold of Man City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to qualify for the semi-finals looks like an attractive bet. That would be a phenomenal semi-final line-up, and it would really represent the pinnacle of club football. You will have to look at handicap betting to gain value from the Barcelona and Bayern Munich ties, and giving them both a -1 Asian handicap looks attractive, while Man City’s tie with Liverpool should see plenty of goals, so a specials markets look good. A straight Real Madrid win over Juventus also appeals, simply because Real Madrid are just so good when it comes to this competition.