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Manchester City Favored to Win Champions League Entering Quarterfinals

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero leads Man City into the quarterfinals of the Champions League as the favorites. Photo by Rodolfohdz2419 (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • Manchester City defeated Schalke 04 10-2 on aggregate in the Round of 16
  • The UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw took place Friday morning
  • Man City remain the favorites to win the Champions League

Before a ball had even been kicked in this season’s UEFA Champions League, Manchester City were the bookmakers’ favorites and literally nothing has happened since to alter that view.

Odds to Win 2019 UEFA Champions League

Team Quarter-final Opponent Odds to win UCL at Bovada
Manchester City Tottenham +220
Barcelona Manchester Utd +340
Juventus Ajax +340
Liverpool FC Porto +420
Manchester Utd Barcelona +1400
Tottenham Manchester City +1900
Ajax Juventus +2900
FC Porto Liverpool +8200

*Odds taken March 16

The longest odds to win the Champions League Man City has seen all year was the +600 they opened at. They were at an average of +290 heading into the Round of 16 and +240 before the quarterfinal draw.

It’s worth noting how rare it is to not see one of the Spanish giants quoted as favorites for the competition – albeit Real Madrid have already exited stage left after being humiliated by Ajax – but that City are regarded as the ones to beat says as much about the inconsistency of Barcelona as it does about the Citizens’ quality.

City’s Comfortable Path to Last Eight

City actually lost their opening game of the competition – a 2-1 home defeat by Lyon – but what followed was an imperious march to the knock-out stages with the only slight blemish on their record being a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture in Lyon.

Their round of 16 tie was managed with ease and despite going behind in the away-leg against Schalke 04 – they eventually won 3-2 –  they won the tie 10-2 on aggregate after an emphatic 7-0 win in the second leg at the Etihad.

Modest Record in Europe

Let’s not forget, Manchester City has never won the UEFA Champions League in any of its forms and, in fact, has only ever won one European trophy in its history – the old European Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1970.

And, in truth, for a club with such financial clout – the club has been owned by Sheik Mansour of the Abu Dhabi United Group since 2008 – their Champions League record is a very modest one.

Man City’s Champions League Struggles

Only once have they made it as far as the semi-final – in 2016 when they lost 1-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid – and, 2016 aside, last season was the only other time they made is far as the last eight, when they were blown away over two legs by Liverpool.

So, Pep Guardiola’s men still have much to prove at the top European level, which to us suggests that their position as favorites for this season’s Champions League is not offering the bettor great value.

Domestic Success

They undoubtedly have a great manager in Guardiola, and in Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Raheem Sterling, have a squad that contains some of the best players in the world.

They have also proved themselves in domestic football, with three English Premier League titles in the last seven years and possibly another to come in the next couple of months, but Europe has been a much tougher challenge for them.

Little Value in City

This makes their odds of +220 not particularly appealing, especially as they have a very tricky tie with Tottenham coming up before they can even contemplate a semi-final.

Make no mistake, Spurs will make it very difficult for City and shouldn’t be dismissed as semi-finalists. Plus, it’s worth also remembering that City are still in the running for four different trophies. Burn out may become an issue.

As ever, the Champions League is a difficult competition to call, but for the value, we’d be looking at Liverpool (+420), whose tie with FC Porto offers them a great chance of a place in the semi-final and beyond.

Pick: Liverpool

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Once just a sports fanatic, fan-turned-writer Gary Gowers has been featured on European television and radio networks to discuss several professional football clubs. His work can be found in an assortment of publications like The Metro, MyFootballWriter.com, SBO.net, and BBC Radio Norfolk.