Champions League – 31 March 2014

This entry was posted on Monday, March 31st, 2014

It might be April 1st and many may be suggesting Mr Moyes is a fool, but he’s navigated his United side into the final eight of Europe’s elite competition and as Arsenal and Manchester City can tell you, that’s no mean feet. Welcome to the return of Europe’s premier competition and it’s quite possibly the highest calibre of quarter-finalists that we’ve ever seen.

That Manchester United v Bayern Munich is such a mismatch in terms of the betting indicates much about how the Red Devils have fallen away as they have stuttered to seventh in the Premier League. Amazingly Bayern Munich are a best priced 1.5 with Betfair to win at Old Trafford and even though we expect they will win, it’s not a price we can back. Instead we’ll turn our attention to the goal markets and with Bayern having secured just one clean sheet in their last seven, we’ll back both teams to score at 8/11 with Bet365 and over 3.5 goals at 6/4 with PaddyPower.

The all Spanish affair between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid takes place on Tuesday night as well and many punters may like the look of 8/15 with PaddyPower on first inspection, but there could actually be value in the draw at 10/3 with Bet365. The matches between the top two in La Liga have been cagey of late – the most recent of which finished 0-0 at the Calderon back in January. Braver punters may fancy the Madrid + 1.25 on the Asian Handicap betting at 1.68 with Bet365.

The most evenly matched quarter final is between Paris St Germain and the 2012 winners Chelsea, with most bookmakers unable to split the pair in the to qualify market. The Betfair sportsbook makes Chelsea 8/11 favourites with PSG available at a very tempting Evens.  PSG arrive into the game with nine wins on the bounce and five clean sheets in six. Chelsea by contrast were dealt a major blow to their title hopes with defeat at Crystal Palace. PSG at 11/10 with PaddyPower looks the value price and we can’t ignore Evens on the Parisians to qualify with the Betfair sportsbook.

Two defeats in a row against Barcelona and Sevilla  leave a La Liga title looking unlikely for Gareth Bale and co but there’s still every reason to believe they can secure their first Champions League success since 2002. They have an opportunity to avenge last year’s Semi-Final defeat and they are a best-priced 1/4 with Ladbrokes to make the final four. Goals have to be the way forward for bets on this game with Dortmund only failing to find the net in one of their last 18 matches. Over 2.5 goals looks a steal at 1/2 and over 3.5 could prove value at 6/5 with Ladbrokes.

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