The CL group stage is done and dusted, at last. The 16 teams who made it through are the usual suspects plus some interesting dark horses:
A very strong-looking line-up. Here’s how the bookies (Paddy Power) see it:
Real Madrid 11/2
Man Utd 13/2
Bayern Munich 18/1
AC Milan 20/1
CSKA Moscow 100/1
That seems about right, though given how well they qualified, Bordeaux look an each-way bargain at 33s. Fiorentina could also be worth a small punt at the same price, while Seville are a very dangerous team and look slightly overpriced at 18/1.
Jose Mourinho is a manager with a magic touch and his Inter team has enough quality to go deep into the competition also – 12/1 looks a trifle long for them, whereas 8/1 for an Arsenal side without the services of Robin van Persie is no value at all; I just can’t see Wenger’s boys going all the way this season.
Chelsea and Barcelona co-favourites? I guess so. They are probably the two strongest teams in Europe right now, albeit for very different reasons.
A lot depends on the luck of the draw now, but which team do you fancy to win it, based on what you’ve seen in the group stage?
Neck on the block, I’m going for a C-Ron-inspired Real Madrid to beat Seville in an all-Spanish final.
Let’s ‘ave your predictions…