Champions League predictions: City favourites but Real the best bet
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Cameron Pope
Spotlight
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is looking to win the competition with the Citizens for the first time
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is looking to win the competition with the Citizens for the first time

- City short priced favourites after landing RB Leipzig
- Worth taking a chance on Real Madrid despite Reds draw
- Recommended bet: Real Madrid to win the Champions League

The eagerly anticipated draw for the last 16 of the Champions League has been made, and amid much excitement, Manchester City have dodged the likes of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are to lock horns with Real Madrid in a tantalising encounter, while Bayern Munich meet French champs PSG.

City in the driving seat

While overcoming Leipzig is by no means a foregone conclusion for the Cityzens, a two-legged encounter with the German side to kick off the knockout phases is about as favourable a tie as Pep Guardiola's men could have hoped for.

Marco Rose's unit fought hard to pip Union Berlin into the Bundesliga's fourth spot last term, but they are already chasing the leading pack this time around, lying sixth at the 13-game mark.

City's opponents looked likely to miss out on progression from Group F at one stage, losing their opener to Shakhtar Donetsk before rallying into second place behind Real Madrid. But the Mancunians will fancy their chances of reaching the quarter-finals for a sixth year in succession and lead the outright tournament betting at 17/10 with LiveScore Bet.

Bayern face early battle

Another Bundesliga outfit, reigning German champions Bayern Munich, trail City in the outright market at 6/1 with LiveScore Bet. Their route to a seventh Champions League win has been made more arduous by a tough draw against French title holders PSG, for whom back-to-back stalemates with Benfica on matchdays three and four meant they ultimately fell into an unseeded berth.

With identical records in the group, Benfica's nine goals in away matches to the Parisians' three meant they took top spot, earning them a two-way tie with Club Brugge, the outsiders for the competition. However, the Portugal representatives themselves remain underdogs to win the tournament, and they are ninth in the pecking order.

Reds ready for fiery knockout baptism

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool must get past Real Madrid if they are to win the Champions League
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool must get past Real Madrid if they are to win the Champions League

Liverpool's chances of a return to European glory have been dealt an early blow; the Reds are set to take on competition holders Real Madrid in a re-run of last season's final.

Jurgen Klopp and his side are at 8/1 with Livescore Bet to lift the trophy, tied with PSG. Still, they must squeeze through arguably the pick of the last-16 ties if they are to dream of reaching 2023's Istanbul final, 18 years on from their famous comeback win over AC Milan on the same Ataturk Olympic Stadium turf.

Fringe contenders keen on causing a stir

Napoli pipped Liverpool to Group A's top spot, and their reward is a tie with Eintracht Frankfurt. Oliver Glasner's side are not expected to pose much of a threat, though, as they try to better their runner-up finish in 1960.

Chelsea and Tottenham face Dortmund and AC Milan, respectively.

Prediction

While on-form Manchester City are understandably commanding the outright betting market, Real Madrid should not be counted out at 11/1 if punters favour them to emerge unscathed from the Liverpool ties.

Another side worth considering at a double figure price are Napoli, who are expected to go about their business against Frankfurt. The Italian side have been in incredible form of late and are 12/1 with LiveScore Bet to go all the way this season.

Tags

Champions LeagueManchester CityReal MadridSSC NapoliRB LeipzigLiverpoolBayern Munich
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