How did the CL Draw Affect the Betting?

Manchester United’s unlikely 3-0 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League earlier this week looks likely to be their swansong in the competition, after David Moyes’ men were handed arguably the worst possible draw for the quarterfinals, in the defending champions, Bayern Munich.

The beauty of the Champions League is that it is difficult to claim an easy ride through the competition. If Munich or Barcelona stumble in the group stages, the likes of PSG and Real Madrid will still offer resistance to any club in the world.

That statement was never more evident than in today’s draw:

On April 1, Barcelona will take on familiar opposition in Atletico Madrid, a team who cemented their Champions League credentials by dismantling beleaguered Italian side, AC Milan, earlier this month, and drawing 2-2 with Real Madrid domestically.

Barça are the natural favourites for the clash, coming in at a worthless 4/9 with Betfair, despite ranking below Atletico in La Liga, and struggling to a 0-0 draw with Diego Simeone’s team in early January. Madrid are 7/1 to offer any resistance at all, while a narrow victory for Atletico is an enticing 18/1.
Chelsea led the charge for England on Tuesday, defeating Didier Drogba’s Galatasaray 2-0 for a 3-1 aggregate win. In the quarterfinals, Jose Mourinho’s Blues have arguably benevolent opposition in a Paris team fronted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The last time Chelsea faced PSG with the ‘Special One’ in charge, they drew 0-0 after a 3-0 away win; that was nearly ten years ago, however. Chelsea, 14/1 for the European title, are nevertheless 14/5 for the victory with bookmakers, compared to dead-certs, PSG, at 1/1 with Betfair.

Moving on, Real Madrid will fancy themselves to topple Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and, indeed, are the bookies’ favourites, at 1/3. Jürgen Klopp’s yellow outfit – last year’s runners-up - have a mountain to climb against the Spaniards, who put nine goals past Dortmund’s neighbours, Schalke, earlier this season.

Fans who are sceptical of the German team’s prowess should remember that Dortmund surprised everyone last season, winning 4-1 against Ronaldo and co. in the Champions League semi-finals. They are currently 8/1 to progress.

Returning to Manchester United, the Reds are 5/1 with Betfair to overcome Bayern Munich, in a match reminiscent of the 1999 European final. Unlike PSG and recent casualties, Olympiakos and Galatasaray, the Germans have no trouble with English opposition, brushing aside Manchester City and Arsenal so far this campaign.

Bayern remain strong favourites for the title overall, along with Real and Barcelona. United gained a modicum of support from the bookies, courtesy of Dortmund’s pairing with Madrid, but they are still rank outsiders, at 33/1.

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