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(UK time) 19:10:05

Champs League

17 March 2012

Real Madrid to face Barcelona or Chelsea in Champions League final

Jose Mourinho cannot complain after being picked alongside Apoel Nicosia in the last eight

Real Madrid to face Barcelona or Chelsea in Champions League final

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Chelsea are odds-on to progress to the semi finals of the Champions League after avoiding the big guns in the last-eight when picked out alongside Benfica.

It is 4/6 in the Champions League odds that Chelsea qualify from the tie, but they would be foolish to underestimate the opposition.

Benfica drew both games with Manchester United in the group stages of this year’s competition, while they have progressed through both previous European ties with London clubs.

The reward for Chelsea if they do progress beyond Benfica will be a tough semi final with either the Spanish or Italian champions.

Barcelona facing AC Milan is certainly the monster showdown of the draw and the pair have already showcased their talents in the group stages this year when putting on two eventful encounters.

In terms of the winners’ market in the Champions League odds, it is Real Madrid who have shortened the most of receiving what appears the easiest draw on paper.

Real Madrid are now 7/4 from 12/5 to win the Champions League as they were drawn against Apoel Nicosia, who entered the last eight as the supposed weakest team left in the tournament.

However, it may not all be plain sailing for Jose Mourinho, as a semi final with Bayern Munich awaits, assuming the German champions can defeat Marseille first.

The good news for Real Madrid is that if they are to meet Spanish rivals Barcelona, it can only be in a one-off game in the Champions League final, where they are far more likely to triumph than if clashing over two legs in an earlier round.

Barcelona remain favourites to win the Champions League, but have drifted slightly from 1/1 to 5/4, while Chelsea have also weakened slightly from 9/1 to 10/1 despite what appears a reasonable draw.

If nothing else, Chelsea will almost certainly be buoyed by the possibility of facing Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the final.

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editors@ladbrokes.co.uk

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