The Round of 16 battle gave us all a taste of blood already, and there’s more where that came from. With the quarter-final following shortly, we can expect proper survival games: this title is the ultimate goal of the season for most of the competitors. Victory is not going to come easy even for the best of the lot, but there are still a few teams that are the most likely to run out into the legendary San Siro stadium come May 28th.
Easy Going for Barcelona?
The defending champions are going into the QFs as the strong favourites to win the entire tournament. According to the TonyBet bookies, the Spanish team‘s odds for crowning their season with the Champions League title are 2.60 which puts them a fair bit ahead of their contenders. Ever since the group stage Barça has been displaying excellent results, although to be fair, they did get a rather easy group to play in.
In any case, Barcelona advanced to the next round without any hiccups where they pretty much reduced Arsenal to ashes. The quarter-final will have them battling it out with a fellow Spanish team, Atlético Madrid, who are hot on their heels in their home La Liga. The duo have met twice already this season, and both times the scenario was exactly the same: a 2:1 Barcelona victory.
Of course, Atlético is well versed in their upcoming opponent’s gameplay, and even though the Messi, Neymar, and Suárez combo is potentially deadly, Diego Simeone’s lads may be the ones who can puncture Barça’s armour. Even though the latter may go on to prove that beating them is not a feat that everyone can manage, the battles that will await them in the semis and the final are going to be that much tougher. Can the Spanish team win the Champions League? Provided their key players remain fit, it is a very strong possibility.
Germans In It to Win It?
The next in line for the title is Bayern Munich. In their home Bundesliga this team has not been lower than in the second position for the entirety of the season. The only other squad that managed to somewhat catch up with them is Borussia Dortmund, who is currently following five points behind. Bayern was tough to beat in Champions League as well where they confidently advanced to the next round after coming out first in their group.
According to the bookies, their odds at winning the whole tournament are 3.60 which doesn‘t put them all that far behind the favourites Barcelona. Now in Round of 16 the Germans had a very tough nut to crack with the games against Juventus, but they managed to prove that they can come back from the verge of losing to claim the victory. On top of that, they‘ve been dealt an easy opponent in the QFs – the Portuguese Benfica.
Of course, it‘s not exactly wise to devalue a contender before a match, but even though Benfica is a force to be reckoned with back in Portugal, it took some luck for them to get to the Champions League QFs. Meanwhile Bayern terrifies even the strongest teams of Europe and it looks like they‘re going to go to the semis with a bang. While the further results will depend on the health of the squad and the upcoming opponents, the Germans definitely have what it takes to triumph internationally.
Real Madrid – Back to Glory?
Even though Madrid has ten Champions League titles and nobody managed to achieve the same yet, the TonyBet bookies are a bit less generous about their chances to triumph this time. The odds for Real‘s victory are at 6.00 which makes them a very solid third-in-line. Coincidentally, that‘s their position in La Liga as well and even though the second place is within reach, they are 10 points behind the leading Barcelona.
However, Madrid did better internationally. They came out first in their group and soundly beat Roma in Round of 16, and are set to play against the German Wolfsburg in the QF. The latter isn‘t very impressive in Bundesliga, however, they‘ve been playing fairly well in the Champions League and managed to place first in their group, as well as soundly beat the Belgian Gent in the following stage.
Even though Madrid should have no trouble advancing to the semis, you can‘t really say that Zizou‘s team has had a perfect season. Still, Wolfsburg is an obstacle that they can get through, while the games after that will require a more solid gameplay. The Spanish team can still win the Champions League – but they will need luck, too.
The quarter-final is set to be pretty interesting, and even though the outcomes of a few games may seem pretty obvious, there can always be a match that will surprise everyone. Right now, the favourites are pretty clear, and it looks like we will see the strongest four teams go through to the semis to meet there. But until then, there’s brilliant football to be watched!