With the draws for both the Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals completed, the bookmakers have updated their odds accordingly.
We now have a clearer picture of what might happen over the next few months in the biggest club competition in Europe.
Four English clubs made it through to the last eight with Manchester United’s victory in Paris probably the stand-out result of the Premier League sides.
But Ajax beating Real Madrid 4-1 — in the Bernabeu — was possibly the result of the season, and now even the largest of outsiders will fancy their chances of progressing in what has been a completely exhilarating tournament this season.
I’m going to take a look at the updated prices for the remaining clubs before taking a look at the quarter-final ties themselves.
Latest Champions League Odds
UEFA completed its draws for the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, meaning that the bookmakers could take more information into consideration before announcing the latest outright winner prices.
Here’s how Betway has the Champions League now.
Manchester City remains the favorite to lift the trophy at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid at the start of June, and it’s not hard to see why.
An all English Premier League quarter-final may not be an easy draw for Pep Guardiola’s side, but it has avoided Barcelona, potentially until the final, and an away win against Spurs could see its price shorten still further.
Apart from the long shots’ prices drifting, the major change from before the draw is Liverpool experiencing a narrowing of its odds.
The Merseyside club’s price dropped from 6.50 to 5.00 because of the pairing with Porto, but a very tricky semi-final against either Barcelona or Manchester United awaits, and a wager on Jürgen Klopp’s men to win the Champions League at this stage seems unwise.
Not much hope is given to Porto, but Ajax might experience a change in its price if the Dutch club gains a favorable result in its first-leg tie at home to Juventus. But even considering the incredible achievement of knocking out the holders, this year seems too early for this Ajax team to go all the way and win the competition for the first time since 1995.
The 2019 Champions League Quarter-Final Draw
The Champions League never fails to disappoint, and each of the four quarter-finals are fascinating in their own way.
- Ajax vs. Juventus
- Liverpool vs. Porto
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City
- Barcelona vs. Manchester United
With four English clubs through to the quarter-final stage, there was the potential for two all Premier League ties. In the end, only Spurs and Manchester City were paired together, and these clubs will now play each other three times in the space of 12 days as their quarter-final games are followed quickly by an already-scheduled Premier League fixture.
Manchester City will be the more confident of the two as its recent form has been simply outstanding, and even with Harry Kane at his very best, I don’t think Mauricio Pochettino’s side can cope with the all-out attacking threat of Manchester City.
Manchester United’s reward for sensationally knocking out Paris Saint-Germain in its own stadium is to come up against Barcelona. Lionel Messi once again orchestrated the demolition of Lyon in the round of 16 second leg, and even with the resurgence of United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it would seem that this is the end of the road for the Red Devils.
The prospect of a semi-final against bitter rival Liverpool may act as an added incentive to the United squad, but this tie could be all over by the time the Old Trafford game begins. For all its recent success, United is still a team on the return to the top — potentially. Barcelona is already there.
Liverpool will be the happiest with the quarter-final draw, as it will face the 67.00-priced outsider, Porto. The Premier League side came up against a very ordinary-looking Bayern Munich team in the previous round and now has a very good chance of making it to at least the semi-final stage. Porto surprised some by knocking out Roma in the round of 16, but not many will fancy the Lisbon club of repeating the trick against Liverpool.
Ajax vs. Juventus has the feeling of a classic European Cup tie from days gone by. The youthful speed and style of the Dutch team could cause Juventus problems — especially in the first leg — and this matchup is not as much of a foregone conclusion as the online betting sites seem to believe. Much will depend on the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been the main reason why the Italian giant has gotten this far.
My Current Champions League Betting Picks
Manchester City is still understandably the favorite for the Champions League this season, but given its recent form and results, Barcelona at 4.00 to lift the trophy seems like very good value to me.
Even with the best efforts of Atletico Madrid, the Catalan club is cruising to its second consecutive La Liga title — and its fourth in five years. As Real Madrid attempts to restructure after a trying domestic season and an incredible capitulation in the Champions League, Barcelona has carried on winning, and the 5-1 second-leg crushing of Lyon showed the team at its very best.
Messi may have been instrumental in the victory, but Philippe Coutinho, given increasingly more time these days, showed amazing skill and poise to supply his teammates with opportunities and score one himself. Anyone coming up against Barcelona will need to realize that if they somehow manage to stop Messi, they still have Coutinho, Suarez, Rakitic, Arthur, and Dembele to deal with as well.
If Barcelona beats Manchester United — and I believe they will — their price to win the Champions League will narrow, so now is the time to get behind Ernesto Valverde’s side.
With eight of the finest soccer clubs on the planet left, it’s getting harder to find the value in the betting markets. Each team has so much talent in its squad that games are far more evenly matched than earlier in the competition.
Looking at the early prices for the quarter-final first-leg matchups, the longest odds are for Porto, who is quoted at 9.00 to beat Liverpool at Anfield.
But with Sadio Mane in the form he is in — and even with Mo Salah misfiring somewhat — I would not bet against Liverpool winning fairly comfortably. The Anfield crowd will be a huge advantage for the Premier League side, and this is another tie that could be all over before a second-leg ball is kicked.
The real value for me is Betway offering 3.75 for Ajax to beat Juventus in their first-leg game. Erik ten Hag’s side was absolutely immense in the Bernabeu, and Frenkie de Jong has become a Barcelona favorite, even before his move in the summer, thanks to his part in the 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid.
But there is skill and speed all through the Ajax team, all marshaled by its outstanding 19-year-old captain Matthijs de Ligt. The pace of Hakim Ziyech and David Neres is wonderfully complemented by the vision of Dusan Tadic, who has now been given the freedom to orchestrate the Ajax attack that succeeded so well in Madrid.
That’s why I feel that, with the home Amsterdam crowd behind it, Ajax will shock Juventus in the first leg and outperform even their talismanic Portuguese star. The Italian side may well ultimately make it through to the semi-final against either Tottenham or Manchester City, but I feel Ajax could take a first-leg lead to Turin.
The feverish anticipation of the quarter-final draw ended up only being beaten by the revealing of the ties themselves. Not all of these eight clubs were expected to make it this far — and we have seen some very big names sensationally knocked out — but now there are four ties to really savor.
The results of the first legs will determine a lot, but at the moment, every single one of the quarter-final matchups looks intriguingly close. Look out for more of my betting market updates to come, but for now, enjoy the games!
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Betting on the 2019 Champions League – Odds and Predictions Following the Quarter-Final DrawMarch 18, 2019