Champions League Last Sixteen Betting Preview: Real Madrid odds on to beat Man United
The Champions League is moving towards the business end of proceedings and there is huge betting interest in who will emerge victorious this year. Barcelona remain 21/10 favourites to lift the famous trophy after missing out last year, while their Spanish compatriots Real Madrid are second favourites at 9/2, with Man United (12/1) and Arsenal (33/1) the only remaining English hopefuls.
There are some mouth-watering last-sixteen ties, which take place over two legs, to come and we've taken a look at how the qualifying betting is shaping up for each tie.....
Celtic (3/1) v Juventus (1/5) - 1st leg: 12th February; 2nd leg: 6th March
Celtic might not be setting the world alight in the SPL after the demotion of Rangers to Division Three but they have been performing miracles in Europe. They drew and narrowly lost to Barcelona en route to finishing ahead of Benfica and Spartak Moscow in their group and they must defy the odds once more against Juventus. The Serie A champions and league leaders edged out Chelsea to qualify for the last-16 and PaddyPower make them 1/5 odds on to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Valencia (11/8) v PSG (8/15) - 1st leg: 12th February; 2nd leg: 6th March
French side PSG are 8/15 odds on favourites to qualify for the quarter-finals after spending big-money to compete at the top table of European football, although things aren't quite going to plan in the French Ligue 1 where they are yet to dominate as they would expect. They take on Valencia in Europe next though and the Spanish side are 11/8 to go through after a poor season in La Liga.
Real Madrid (4/7) v Man United (5/4) - 1st Leg: 13th February; 2nd leg: 5th March
The most eagerly anticipated of all of the last-sixteen ties is undoubtedly Real Madrid v Man United and the sight of Cristiano Ronaldo taking on his old side. Jose Mourinho will also return to English shores, although he is under pressure as Real look like failing in their quest to retain the La Liga title. They are 4/7 on to make it past a United side who are dominating the Premier League.
Shakhtar Donetsk (6/4) v Borussia Dortmund (1/2) - 1st Leg: 13th February; 2nd leg: 5th March
This looks like an intriguing tie as the Ukrainian champions and surprise package Shakhtar take on Borussia, who have won the Bundesliga for the last two years. Shakhtar lost star player Willian to Anzhi during January though and they are 6/4 to make the quarter-finals, while Borussia are 1/2 on after making it through a 'group of death' that included Real Madrid, Man City and Ajax.
Arsenal (2/1) v Bayern Munich (1/3) - 1st Leg: 19th February; 2nd leg: 13th March
Arsenal are making their 13th successive appearance in the Champions League last-sixteen but they face a tough task to go further after they drew Bayern Munich. The German side are amongst the favourites to win the trophy after finishing runners up to Chelsea last year and they are 1/3 odds on to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Porto (5/6) v Malaga (5/6) - 1st Leg: 19th February; 2nd leg: 13th March
The bookies are struggling to separate Porto and Malaga for this tie as each are priced 5/6 to qualify for the last-eight. Porto were expected to struggle after they lost Hulk to Zenit last summer but they have continued to excel, while Malaga are enjoying a fine season that has been based on a superb defensive effort that looks ideally suited to these knockout situations.
AC Milan (7/2) v Barcelona (1/7) - 1st Leg: 20th February; 2nd leg: 12th March
This fixture has the look of a classic tie between two of European football's greats, although current form dictates that Barca are 1/7 odds on to make it past Milan. The Italian side aren't the force they once were, even if they have recovered from a poor start to Serie A, and without the cup-tied Mario Balotelli they face a tall order against the La Liga leaders.
Galatasary (6/4) v Schalke (1/2) - 1st Leg: 20th February; 2nd leg: 12th March
Schalke may be favourites in the latest betting with paddypower for this tie after they qualified from their group unbeaten, although they have endured a tough season in the Bundesliga and Galatasary could take advantage. The Turkish side qualified second in Group H behind Man United and they have been bolstered by the canny signings of Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba during the past month.
Latest Outright Champions League Betting
9/2 Real Madrid
7/1 Bayern Munich
7/1 Borussia Dortmund
12/1 Manchester United
18/1 Paris Saint-Germain
33/1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com.
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