The Champions League quarter-final draw was favourable to the tournament’s four frontrunners.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid have all been kept apart in the last-eight, meaning there’s a distinct possibility that the semi-finals of the competition will be contested by the Spanish and German behemoths.
When seeking value in the ‘Winning Nationality’ Champions League market, looking beyond either of these countries would be an adventurous tact, yet not an entirely sensible one.
With Real Madrid facing Galatasaray, only a minor miracle will prevent them from reaching the last four for the third season in succession under Jose Mourinho. A similar statement could be applied to Dortmund’s clash with Malaga – while Jurgen Klopp’s men aren’t quite of Los Merengues’ stature, a failure to oust the Spanish surprise package would be something of a shock.
Barcelona’s clash with Paris St-Germain looks a tricky one but, over two legs, it would be difficult to see the Parisians, who are from the finished article, getting the better of Barca.
Unquestionably, it’s Bayern who have the toughest tie, facing one of the two unbeaten sides remaining in the competition, Juventus. The Old Lady definitely have the capabilities to sink FC Hollywood, but the immense scoring power the Bavarians boast makes it easy to see why they’re fancied.
Assuming all four favourites advance, the 5/2 on offer that a German side hoists the trophy at Wembley looks an excellent price.
While Bayern have been runners-up in two of the previous three years, it’s Dortmund who represent the best chance of ensuring this bet cops.
They’ve been granted a more fortuitous path to the semis than their compatriots and after advancing from the ‘group of death’ unscathed – which included taking four points off Real Madrid – they’ve already laid out their credentials for success this year.
At 2/5, backing Spain to be the country where the trophy resides next season is too short. Real and Barcelona are the two teams to beat, unarguably, but Dortmund have already showcased their ability to better the former, while the Catalans have to tread carefully around a potential quarter-final banana skin.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date