Champions League: Sizing Up The Field

The 2019-20 Champions League will soon be down to eight teams. But before the second leg of the Round of 16 matches begin, let’s break down the contenders, pretenders and everything in between.

Bayern Munich (+375): Bayern has been in top form of late, only dropping one match in the calendar year. They beat Chelsea, 3-0, at Stamford Bridge in Leg 1, positioning them well to advance despite the absence of Robert Lewandowski for the return leg, as they still have Serge Gnabry to provide a spark.

Manchester City (+260): While Liverpool is controlling the Premier League, Man City is well-positioned after an impressive 2-1 away victory over Real Madrid to begin the Round of 16. Despite their recent setback in The Derby, they just won the Carabao Cup, are still alive in the FA Cup and are certainly setting their sights on this trophy as well.

Liverpool (+600): While it may be a shock to see Liverpool fall into the second tier, their recent results have been less than inspiring, evidenced by a 2-3 record in their past five matches across all competitions. They’re currently +105 just to move past Atletico Madrid, who shut them out in Leg 1.

Juventus (+1100): The odds would indicate Juve’s alive and well, as they’re essentially a pickem to advance to the quarterfinals. However, an uninspiring Leg 1 performance against Lyon – after which Ronaldo and Dyabala were caught blaming the midfield for the lackluster showing — combined with Coronavirus concerns that have kept them off the pitch could portend danger going forward.

Barcelona (+700):
While they’re level with Napoli, Barca secured an away goal and now get to head home as prohibitive favorites to advance. They still need to shake the taste of that Liverpool loss last year, but given their price point, Messi & Co. don’t appear to be getting the market respect they deserve.

PSG (+900): Despite trailing Dortmund, the French powerhouse was nonetheless able to secure a crucial away goal and sits right around even money to advance. With Mbappe on the pitch, they have more than enough firepower up top to overwhelm any team. Put another way, +900 is a value-laden price given the danger this team poses to any foe.

Borussia Dortmund (+2500): Erling Haaland is really all that needs to be said for a Dortmund side that’s been firing on all cylinders in this tournament with him in the lineup. He has 10 CL goals — one shy of Lewandowski’s 11 — including his Leg 1 double. As long as he continues his absurd pace, Dortmund should continue on as well.

Atalanta (+2800): Atalanta may be the surprise team at this stage, but with the way they’re scoring at ease, they’re a virtual lock to advance forward. If their balanced attack keeps finding the back of the net, Atalanta will be a threat to the big names.

Atletico Madrid (+2000): As mentioned above, Atletico hold the cards. If they can secure an away goal at Anfield, it could mean all the difference. Time will tell if they can hold off what will surely be a Liverpool team playing with much anger – but notably helmed without Alisson in net.

Real Madrid (+3300): They performed well in El Clasico, but a late collapse against Man City may prove costly in their pursuit of a 14th Champions League title. Now their back is against the wall a bit at the Etihad, and Zidane’s side will need a strong offensive output to skate past a hot Man City squad.

RB Leipzig (+2000): Led by Timo Werner, Leipzig is charged up. They capitalized in Leg 1 against a depleted Tottenham side missing their firepower, and they should be able to duplicate that success at home.

Lyon (+8000):
They were able to get a win in front of their home crowd, and now the goal is to find a tally on the road. If they are able to move past Juventus, it will be momentous for the French club, but the path forward will be no easier.

Tottenham (+5000): Injuries to Harry Kane and Son are concerning, to say the least, which is why they’re currently +500 simply to climb out of their hole against Leipzig.

Napoli (+8000): They are tied with Barca, which is a positive. But they are heading to Camp Nou, which will be incredibly difficult — especially since Koulibaly will be absent for the reverse fixture.

Chelsea (+25000): The one positive for Chelsea is that Lewandowski won’t be able to create more nightmares for their backline. But the damage has already been done.

Valencia (+25000): Valencia ran into the offensive buzz saw that is Atalanta, and Leg 2 will be played behind closed doors, taking away any home-field advantage and all but sealing their fate.

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