Since Manchester City became a Champions League team luck hasn’t been a word often associated with them.
Fortune in Europe’s premier club competition has been found in short supply for the Etihad outfit during their previous four Champions League campaigns, but as the draw for the 2015/16 knockout stage arrives, things could finally change.
After exiting at the group phase in their first two seasons having shared a mini league with Bayern Munich and Napoli in 2011/12 and Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid the following year, City have since been rewarded for last-16 qualification with consecutive ties against Barcelona.
When they drew last season’s runners-up Juventus and Europa League champions Sevilla in Group D this term, it looked to be more of the same ill fate for the Citizens. However, a group win for the first time in their history means the chance of a plum draw in the first knockout round is a real possibility.
Paris Saint-Germain, who finished second to Los Blancos in Group A, loom as the only real threat to Man City’s progression to their first Champions League quarter-final, with Dynamo Kiev and Gent surely the two teams the Citizens want most.
As common as City’s poor fortune has become, Arsenal’s progression into the last 16 long precedes it. Unfortunately for the Gunners, that qualification has all too often come as group runners-up and once again Arsene Wenger awaits the last 16 draw as a sitting duck.
All three Spanish teams – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – pose a real threat to the Gunners’ further involvement in the tournament, while Wolfsburg and Zenit St Petersburg rate as easier options, but in supreme form.
Speaking of form, Chelsea’s patchy results are likely to be viewed by the batch of unseeded sides as a nice opponent for the last 16. The Blues could draw either PSG or Juventus in the next round, with all possible opponents given a 9/2 price by Ladbrokes.
The full Champions League draw market can be found here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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