- Real Madrid have seen their UCL odds drop dramatically after drawing into Round of 16 matchup with Manchester City
- Real paying the price for their slow start to the campaign
- City remain perched as sturdy +375 chalk, and are likely to focus on UCL following shaky start to Premier League campaign
The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw has produced a clash of titans with Manchester City now set to open the knockout stage against Real Madrid. With the road to glory for these clubs now looking considerably tougher, both sides have taken a dip in the Champions League futures, with Real Madrid tumbling to +2000 while City have slipped to diminished +375 favorites in the Champions League odds.
Odds to Win UEFA Champions League
Odds taken on Dec. 16.
Real Suffering Consequences of Slow Start
Real are now paying the price for their slow start in group stage action. UCL champions in three of the past four years, Los Blancos saw the uneven results that marked the early weeks of their La Liga campaign extend to the Champions League. Victory eluded them in their first two matchups, including a lopsided 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain and a disappointing 2-2 draw with Club Brugge, dooming Real to a second-place finish in Group A.
Real Madrid bs Paris saint germain 3-0 pic.twitter.com/dAO6fDQZyq
— Madridista13🏆 (@Obaid00578745) September 19, 2019
Despite their shaky start, and seeing their Champions League odds tumble from their position at +1533 at the conclusion of the group stage, the situation is far from dire for Real. Zinedine Zidane’s side have shown signs of a turnaround since narrowly escaping defeat in their date with Brugge. The club has piled up a 9-3-1 win-draw-loss in 13 contests across all competitions since that contest and has shown steady improvement on defense, keeping clean sheets on nine occasions and surrendering just nine total goals during that stretch after allowing that many markers over their first five matches of the campaign.
Barring any unforeseen incidents, Real should also be in a far healthier position by the time they open their Round of 16 clash at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on February 17. If all goes well, the club should have both James Rodriguez and Eden Hazard back in the lineup by then. Los Blancos also enjoyed steady success in past dates with City in major international tournaments. Real has gone undefeated in four previous Champions League meetings with the Citizens including a pair of victories on home turf.
City Remain Clear Favorites
While City supporters would have much rather preferred to see their side come out of the Round of 16 draw with a more favorable matchup, the club has largely maintained their momentum in Champions League futures wagering, where they still sit well ahead of the +475 average odds they sported following the UCL group stage draw.
Could watch this allllll day 😍
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 12, 2019
And while City were forced to settle for 1-1 draws with both Shakhtar Donetsk and Atalanta in the group stage, they remain a potent offensive force that will severely test Real’s defenses. This has been illustrated in the Premier League with their leading 47 total goals through 17 matches, capped by last weekend’s 3-0 rout of Arsenal in league play. The key for City will be to put their recent struggles behind them. The club has struggled with inconsistency since early November, compiling a middling 4-3-2 record in nine outings across all competitions, and now sit well off the pace on the Premier league table, trailing first-place Liverpool FC by 14 points.
City’s league woes may prove to be beneficial to their quest for a first-ever Champions League crown. With the hope of a third straight EPL title quickly melting away, the Citizens are likely to turn their focus to success in Europe, adding value to their slightly diminished +375 odds
However, City’s league woes may prove to be beneficial to their quest for a first-ever Champions League crown. With the hope of a third straight EPL title quickly melting away, the Citizens are likely to turn their focus to success in Europe, adding value to their slightly diminished +375 odds.
PSG Poised for UCL Breakthrough?
Of course, there remains no shortage of other challengers bidding for this season’s Champions League title. The Reds sit second to City at +400 in the UCL odds, just ahead of FC Barcelona at +500, while Paris Saint-Germain sport +650 odds after posting an impressive 5-1-0 record in group stage action and drawing into a favorable matchup with Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16.
PSG’s last three games:
vs. Montpellier: Neymar assists Mbappe
vs. Galatasaray: Neymar assists Mbappe (and Mbappe assists Neymar)
vs. Saint-Etienne: Neymar assists Mbappe twice
This connection ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/eil5wWoRWp
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 16, 2019
With Neymar back to full health and quickly reestablishing his special chemistry with Kylian Mbappe, the Parisians have started to assert their dominance on offense, averaging an impressive three goals per game in their past 13 overall matches. And with little resistance expected from a Dortmund side that has struggled this season particularly against top-flight opponents, including lopsided losses to Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Inter Milan, this may finally be the season that PSG enjoys their long-awaited breakthrough in Champions League action.
Pick: Paris Saint-Germain (+650)
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