- The Champions League quarterfinals have been set
- Is the Barcelona versus Manchester United tie the toughest to call?
- Does either side offer good value to lift the trophy?
The Road To Madrid has been set for the 2019 Champions League final with the next round beginning on April 9.
The final eight teams and quarterfinals matches have been released including a match between title contender Barcelona facing Manchester United.
While Barcelona, as well as Juventus, each own the second-shortest average odds to win the tournament at +340, both Barca and Manchester United’s Champions League futures odds each faded after drawing each other.
2019 Champions League Odds
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken March 16
While neither side had their best performance in the first leg of their Round of 16 ties, it was Manchester United which looked dead and buried after suffering a 2-0 home defeat to PSG.
United’s average odds following their leg one loss had ballooned out to as high as +11000.
Traveling on the road to the French capital without the suspended Paul Pogba, as well as with a squad full of rotational players, their Champions League dreams seemed to be coming to an end.
However, Romelu Lukaku came through big with two goals in the second leg. With United up 2-1 late into the match, a controversial stoppage time penalty by Marcus Rashford sent United through on the away goal tiebreaker in a 3-1 win.
With the huge comeback complete, Man U’s average odds quickly adjusted to a more reasonable +1000, but drifted back to +1400 once drawing Barcelona.
Messi and Barcelona Thrash Lyon To Reach Quarters
While fellow French side Lyon were able to hold off Spanish giants Barcelona 0-0 in leg one, it was a different story on Wednesday.
Barca were up 2-0 by the 31′ minute and took that lead into the half. While Lyon managed to pull one back early into the second half to make it 2-1, that’s where the comeback ended.
Barcelona added three more goals to win 5-1, led by a brace and two assists by Lionel Messi.
Lyon captain Nabil Fekir with an accurate description of what it's like to face Lionel Messi 🔥 pic.twitter.com/jaOhfTy0h7
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 14, 2019
While Barcelona were already one of the betting favorites, their odds did lengthen just slightly after drawing United. Compared to some of the other sides like Porto or Ajax which they could’ve drawn, the move seems justified.
United Offering Value Heading Into Quarters
With the top four favorites being drawn alongside each of the bottom four underdogs, on paper there are some heavily lopsided ties upcoming. However, this looks to possibly be the closest of the four quarterfinals matchups.
The leg one loss to PSG was United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first loss with the club since taking over. United quickly got back to winning ways defeating Chelsea in their next match, before earning a point off Liverpool the following game.
Solksjaer finally lost his first EPL match last week against Arsenal 2-0.
22 – Lionel Messi has scored 22 Champions League goals against English clubs; more than any other player in the competition. Devilish. pic.twitter.com/DnfOQ5fga9
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 15, 2019
Barcelona are in fine form themselves sitting at the La Liga summit. They are a full seven points clear of second place Atlético Madrid.
There is no one in United’s roster that comes anywhere near the level of Messi, who has dominated English teams during his career in Champions League games with 22 goals. In fact, he’s scored more goals against English teams in the Champions League than against any other nation.
Messi has scored more goals against English teams in the Champions League than against any other nation.
With odds as high as +2000 at Bovada, United may not be favorites to win the final, but they should be worth a value bet. Solksjaer has this team playing with confidence and they must be feeling like they’re playing with house money after the comeback against PSG.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that his Manchester United side have the quality needed to win the Champions League after their stunning comeback against PSG. They face Barcelona in the quarter-finals: https://t.co/iUMR7G3ZGz pic.twitter.com/WCRIZQjK42
— AFP Sport (@AFP_Sport) March 15, 2019
Barcelona has drawn three times during this Champions League campaign so they haven’t proven invincible. Furthermore, they just drew on the road to Lyon, so a draw or even loss at Old Trafford can’t be out of the question.
Should Man U advance to the semis, their likely opponent would be Liverpool, who is playing Porto. That all-English matchup would see them face an opponent they know well and one they’ve only lost to once in their past seven competitive matches.
Best Value Bet: Manchester United +2000
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 15, 2019