The Champions League is heading into the second legs of the round of 16, and the usual suspects are at the top of the list in terms of the favorites. However, there is one major favorite that could be in big trouble and might not make it to the next round.
Manchester City are the favorites right now at +333 and they’re rolling through to the next stage as they’re returning home with a 4-0 lead over Basel. City are clicking on all cylinders, led by Kevin Bruyne’s creativity in midfield and Sergio Aguero being ruthless up front. However, City can be caught out at the back and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when they run into a team that can turn defense to attack quickly. Liverpool showed they could be had when they beat City in the Premier League in January.
Bayern Munich are next at +450 and they have a 5-0 lead over Besiktas, and it doesn’t really matter that they’re going to Turkey for the second leg. They’re quietly going about their business, but Bayern has all the tools to win the competition for the first time since 2013. Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world, and Thomas Muller seems to be playing better. They do have their issues, but Bayern might be the most complete team left in the Champions League. Also, like Manchester City in England, Bayern basically has the German Bundesliga sewn up. That means they can focus on Europe.
The Spanish duo of Barcelona and Real Madrid are next at +500 and +550, respectively. Barcelona is tied 1-1 with Chelsea going home for the second leg, and they won’t have Philippe Coutinho available as he is cup-tied after playing in the competition for Liverpool. However, they still have Lionel Messi and that always gives them a chance. Meanwhile, Real Madrid seems to be playing better in Europe than they do in Spain, and Cristiano Ronaldo leads the competition with 11 goals. They have won three of the last four Champions Leagues, so they get the benefit of the doubt.
The big question mark is Paris Saint-Germain, who are down 3-1 against Real Madrid. PSG does host the second leg, but they’re likely going to be without Neymar due to foot and ankle injuries. This is why PSG paid a world-record fee for Neymar; to win the Champions League. They’re still very good without him, but are they a Champions League winner? Just getting past Real Madrid will be a huge hill to climb.
Then you have Liverpool at +900, Tottenham at +1200 and Manchester United at +2000. Liverpool should go through to the next round as they lead Porto 5-0 going home, and their attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are playing as well as anyone in Europe. Tottenham came back to draw 2-2 at Juventus (who are at +2800) and they’ll host the second leg, but they need to play their very best to beat the top teams. Manchester United drew 0-0 at Sevilla and are going home, but they need to figure out a way to get Paul Pogba going.
Looking for the latest odds on Champions League matches? Visit Play Shangri La to get all of the odds, including the betting lines to win it all.