Spring is just around the corner, and we all know what this means! Depending on what your passions are, the answer to may vary, of course – but since you’re stumbled across this article on this particular website, we can assume that you’re a football fan.
Domestic leagues are quickly coming to an end, cups are playing finals and final stages, and even the big competitions are down to the last eight: the Champions League and the Europa League.
That being said, fluff and sub-par clubs are all out the window. Only the best of the best have remained in contention for the biggest club trophy in the world. Out of these 8 teams, almost all have a realistic shot at winning the trophy, maybe excluding Roma and Sevilla.
Not because these teams don’t have the quality or aren’t in their best form, but because they might lack top-notch experience and maybe even some history and tradition winning the Champions League.
And although they might start with a bit of a handicap in the race to win the trophy, the other teams are almost neck-to-neck. Today, we’ll analyse the quarter final draw, each team’s chances and even leave a few betting tips in the end.
Champions League 2018 – Outright Winner Odds
Barcelona – 5/2
Manchester City – 3/1
Bayern Munich – 4/1
Real Madrid – 9/2
Juventus – 10/1
Liverpool – 12/1
Sevilla – 66/1
Roma – 66/1
Liverpool vs Manchester City
About the tie: Premier league teams are not commonly found in this phase of the competition in recent years, yet alone realistic challengers for the trophy. This year, however, there is one crucial difference: Pep Guardiola has taken Manchester City to a whole different level of gameplay.
They have killed the title race in the Premier League since winter, and nothing can stop them there – meaning that they are free to concentrate on the Champions League.
The squad has some of the most in-form players at the moment, like De Bruyne, Sane or David Silva, and can always count on Aguero to produce goals. Lots of advantages are on their side, but Liverpool surely won’t just move out of the way.
In fact, Liverpool are the only team (alongside Wigan) to beat City in a match that meant something this year. They’ve won against them in the league, and Jurgen Klopp has a great record against Pep Guardiola: out of their last 12 encounters, Klopp has 6 wins and 1 draw.
In spite of this, Liverpool do start with the second chance in this tie but have a few genius players of their own who can decide a match: Salah, Firmino and Sane are their main leaders, after Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona.
When will the match take place: 4th of April @ Anfield Road and 10th of April @ Etihad
Favourites to progress and odds to win: Manchester City at 2/5 odds to qualify from the tie.
Other odds worth mentioning: We don’t expect home ground advantage to be very important in the tie, so we recommend giving a look at the “away team to score” bet in each encounter. We expect goals all around, so both games to have over 2,5 goals is not a bad idea either.
Barcelona vs. Roma
About the tie: Barcelona have been around the top for so long, people still think of them as the team of 09/10, or the team of 2015. In fact, their current roster and playstyle looks like none of those teams.
Under Ernesto Valverde, they’re not as spectacular and have maybe lost a bit of their flair, but have gained another big advantage: pragmatism, which can prove to be essential in winning competitions like the Champions League.
This year’s iteration of Barcelona has many faults but losing often isn’t one of them. And to top it all, Messi seems to be in the form of a lifetime.
Roma, although not a bad team, seem to have some handicap to overtake. The biggest issue is that they’ve already overachieve qualifying for this stage of the competition, and are surely more focused on the domestic league, where they desperately need to finish in the top 4.
Moreover, they have a horrible record of scoring away from home, meaning that they will probably end up with quite a goal deficit after the game at Camp Nou.
When will the match take place: 4th of April @ Camp Nou and 10th of April @ Olimpico
Favourites to progress and odds to win: Barcelona at 1/7 to qualify.
Other odds worth mentioning: For the first game, we recommend a handicap bet, maybe a -1,5 on Barcelona – we don’t expect Roma to score and the Catalans will do everything in their power to close the tie from the first game.
Sevilla vs. Bayern Munich
About the tie: On paper, this seems like the most unbalanced tie of the quarter finals. After all, Bayern are the biggest German club, sure-fire winners of the Bundesliga this year, and have been nothing but impressive so far in the Champions League.
Their only loss was in Paris against PSG, and they quickly dispatched of surprise Besiktas in the round of 16 with a double win, both home and away.
Sevilla are surely better opponents than the Turkish side, but maybe this doesn’t even matter – at the top of their game, there are few teams capable of withstanding the German’s attacking force, especially in Munich.
On the other hand, though, Sevilla were victims against Manchester United as well as in their group, too. They managed to tackle all those issues with a sense of calm, and now find themselves in front of their best Champions League performance in history.
They might be underdogs in this tie, but they will certainly give it their all. And with a few good counter-attacks and hints of luck, they might produce an upset.
When will the match take place: 3rd of April @ Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and 11th of April @ Allianz Arena.
Favourites to progress and odds to win: Bayern at 1/7 to progress.
Other odds worth mentioning: We expect an “under 2,5 goals” game when Sevilla play at home, because the home side will be focused on not losing, while Bayern know that they can win the tie at home.
Juventus vs. Real Madrid
About the tie: The re-enactment of last year’s final and the most balanced tie of this year’s quarter finals. Despite this, neither team looks as dominating and powerful as they did in Cardiff last season.
Juventus have had long periods during their games against Tottenham when they were the second-best team on the pitch, and the consensus is that the Spurs maybe deserved to progress.
The team is still searching for leaders and game plan ideas, but the sheer value of their squad is usually enough to tank them through most of their games. They are also in a very hot title battle with Napoli, so they still must focus on more fronts.
On the other hand, Real have little to play for this year except the Champions League. Zidane has tried a lot of different squads and formations, but recent results have shown that he might be on the right track with an old, classic 4-4-2.
Unfortunately, his side has the habit of conceding goals, which is the last thing you want against Juventus, specialists in closing games after they score once or twice.
When will the match take place: 3rd of April @ Juventus Stadium and 11th of April @ Santiago Bernabeu.
Favourites to progress and odds to win: Real Madrid at 4/9 to progress.
Other odds worth mentioning: Juve to score in both games, and maybe even a home win bet for their domestic game. We expect a very close tie.
Betting odds are presented at the time of writing. Please check them with the respective betting site. *Terms and conditions apply to betting offers. Gamble responsibly, 18+.