Sep 7, 211 days ago

2016/17 Champions League preview

2016/17 Champions League preview

78 clubs from 53 countries entered this season’s Champions League and after some big names were eliminated in the play-offs, 32 teams now remain in the group stages.
Leicester City and FC Rostov make their debut in the competition and they join the usual suspects in this season’s group stages. Keep reading for our preview of this season’s Champions League.

Spanish giants head Champions League betting

Considering that La Liga provided three of last season’s Champions League quarter finalists and the Europa League winners, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Spanish clubs feature highly in this season’s betting.
Despite changing their manager mid-season, Real Madrid won their 11th European Cup title, eventually overcoming their city rivals in a penalty shootout in Milan. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 16 goals on the way to the title and Real have been given a decent draw this year.
Their matches against Borussia Dortmund should be a highlight and they should overcome Legia Warsaw and Sporting Lisbon in Group F. Real Madrid are 11/2 third favourites.
As ever, Barcelona are this year’s favourites having reached the semi-finals or better in seven of the last nine years. The 2014 champions continue to boast the best forward line on the continent and have an excellent recent record in the tournament.
Luis Enrique’s side have a slightly tricky draw – they face Manchester City, Borussia Monchengladbach and Celtic – but are worthy favourites at 11/4.
A better bet may be the team that has ended Barca’s chances in two of the last three seasons. Atletico Madrid have reached two of the last three Champions League finals, losing to their city neighbours on both occasions. Diego Simeone’s side have excellent European pedigree and look good each way value at 14/1.

English sides looking for good European run

One of the main reasons that Manchester City appointed Pep Guardiola this summer was to pursue an elusive first Champions League title. City reached the semi finals last season and will be hoping that the Spaniard’s experience will be enough to see them reach this season’s showpiece at the Millennium Stadium.
City face one of Guardiola’s former clubs in the group stage and they will also have to overcome strong German opposition and the Scottish champions. City do offer decent value at 11/1.
Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are regular fixtures in the Champions League knockout stages and the pair will meet in Group A of this season’s competition. Both will be expected to qualify ahead of FC Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad although PSG offer better value at 14/1 than Arsenal at 20/1.
Tottenham have a tricky group but will be hoping to reach the last 16 although a better bet may be Leicester City whose style of football may suit European competition.
The draw has been kind to the Foxes, pairing them with Porto, Club Brugge and FC Copenhagen and Claudio Ranieri’s side should be confident of reaching the knockout rounds. They look a decent bet at 50/1.
In many ways Sevilla might prefer to be in the Europa League, having won that tournament for three years in a row. They were in a tricky group last year but could well overcome Juventus, Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb this year and their experience of winning tough European ties could stand them in good stead. Los Rojiblancos are 66/1.

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