Bayern and Barca still the teams to beat in Champions League
Coral have cut odds on holders Bayern Munich becoming the first team to retain the Champions League in the modern era from 3/1 to 15/8.
Like competition second-favourites Barcelona (7/2), Pep Guardiola’s Bayern ousted Premier League opposition to book quarter-final berths.
Arsenal and Manchester City (7/4 for the top-flight title) both found 2-0 losses in their first legs too great a deficit to overcome.
Barca’s El Clasico rivals Real Madrid, who crushed Bundesliga outfit Schalke 6-1 in Gelsenkirchen and still have to play them at home, are next in the market at 4/1.
French Ligue 1 leaders PSG are a tempting 10/1 to lift the European Cup after battering Bayer Leverkusen by the same scoreline on aggregate.
Chelsea, who won the Champions League in 2012 and hold a slender away goal advantage over Turkish giants Galatasaray (300/1), are the Premier League’s best bet in this competition at 12/1.
Atletico Madrid, managed by notorious ex-Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone, are the same price after handsomely overcoming Clarence Seedorf’s AC Milan 5-2 on aggregate.
Beaten finalists last term Borussia Dortmund are 14/1 shots to go one better this season and are 4-2 up on Zenit St Petersburg (1500/1), who recently sacked head coach Luciano Spalletti, in their last 16 encounter.
Premier League champions Manchester United come next at 40/1, but must overturn a two-goal deficit after a shock defeat in Greece to 125/1 outsiders Olympiakos.
The Champions League Golden Boot race looks to have five contenders in it. Usual suspects Cristiano Ronaldo (odds-on favourite at 1/2), Lionel Messi (5/1) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9/4) are joined by 16/1 shots Diego Costa and Robert Lewandowski. Bar those, it’s 40/1 and longer.
Punters and bookmakers alike await the quarter-final draw on March 21st with bated breath. No matter the outcome of that, however, PSG look a decent outside bet with the prolific Ibrahimovic up front, and an energetic and experienced midfield behind him. Take 10/1 before the price shortens.