Following the draw for the Champions League Quarter Finals on Friday, Bet123.net has decided to take a look at the latest odds for each of the teams to go on and win the tournament, and see if there is some value to be found.
Barcelona, 7/2 (Ladbrokes) - Barca have a pretty easy tie in the Quarters against minnows Schalke 04, and should progress safely into the semis, where they will face the winners of the Roma/Man United tie. They currently trail Real Madrid by eight points at the top of the Spanish Primera Liga, but have been strong in the Champions League this year, and remain unbeaten in the competition.
Manchester United, 7/2 (Boylesports) – By contrast, United have a tough Quarter Final draw, against a Roma side that knocked out Real Madrid in the last round, and the test that this tie will bring is not reflected in their price. This could well be United’s year for the Cup, but I feel they are not as good as their odds suggest – If you can get 4/1 of above, then grab it.
Chelsea, 7/2 (Boylesports) – Chelsea face Fenerbahce in their Quarter Final ties, and will go on to face the winner of the Arsenal v Liverpool tie in the semi, meaning there’s a very strong chance of at least one English team being in the final (The odds of an English team winning the trophy is currently just 2/5, with Boylesports). Again, given Chelsea’s recent wobbles in Cup competitions, I don’t think 7/2 represents good value, but you can be sure that this competition is now Chelsea’s number one priority, unlike Arsenal, Manchester United (Prem League) and Liverpool (Fourth Place qualification for next years tournament)
Arsenal, 6/1 (Bet 365) – 6/1 doesn’t look bad value for an Arsenal side who have topped the Premier League for long periods this season. The Champions League is the one trophy that has eluded Arsene Wenger’s reign as Arsenal manager thus far, and how he would love to add it to his collection. To do so, they may well have to beat all three remaining English teams.
Liverpool, 7/1 (Bet 365) – Liverpool fans would love to collect their sixth European Cup victory, and you only have to look at the similarities between this season and their triumph in this competition in 2005. Again, 7/1 looks tempting, and there’ll be a few scouse pounds staked at that price. As one of Arsenal or Liverpool is guaranteed to be in the semi-finals, it may be worth covering both bets.
Roma, 14/1 (Paddy Power) – Having disposed of Spanish champions Real Madrid in the last round, Roma will fancy their chances against Manchester United in the two-legged Quarter Final. Winning the tournament would likely mean they would also have to overcome Barcelona and one of Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal, and will be a step too far I think.
Fenerbahce, 50/1 (Boylesports) – 50/1 is about right – The Quarter finals should be as far as Fenerbahce go in the 2008 Champions League, and I wouldn’t expect them to overcome Chelsea.
Schalke 04, 50/1 (Boylesports) – Schalke are the rank outsiders in the tournament, and there won’t be many serious punters outside of Germany staking money on them, even at 50/1. This is the first time they have ever appeared in the Champions League Quarter Finals, and this should be as far as they get – Barcelona should be far too strong for them. I wouldn’t bet my pocket money on them at 1000/1, let alone my hard earned money at 50/1.