Champions League winner nationality tips: Strong claims for Spain again
Jamie Clark | 12 December 2016
Champions League winner nationality tips: Side with Spain odds
Now we know the 16 sides that will contest the first knockout round of this season’s European Cup, and the fact teams from the same country cannot be drawn against one another on Monday, December 12, it’s time for Champions League winner nationality tips.
Spain odds sit at the head of this special market offered by Coral at 5/6, because La Liga has four representatives in the last 16. That quartet includes El Clasico rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, who have won the last three elite European club crowns between them.
Atletico Madrid, beaten finalists in both 2014 and 2016 to city rivals Los Blancos, also represent Spain as winners of their group, while Europa League experts Sevilla complete their quartet of representatives.
Barca are 11/4 outright favourites, while holders and record 11-time winners Real are 11/2 in that market after failing to top their pool. Given their strength in depth, it is very hard to look past Spain odds when giving Champions League winner nationality tips.
Germany an alternative gamble through Bayern
Three German teams are through to the knockout phase, headed by Bundesliga big boys Bayern Munich (7/2 outright second-favourites). Carlo Ancelotti’s crew could only finish second in their group behind Atletico, but are also very dangerous indeed as non-seeded in the draw.
Borussia Dortmund were famous Champions League winners in 1997 (14/1 shots to repeat 20 years on) and topped their pool ahead of Real after racking up some big scores. Bayer Leverkusen complete the Bundesliga trio.
Any side from Germany to lift the European Cup is a 5/2 chance and, while five of the last six Champions League finalists have been Spanish, four German teams (Bayern three times, Dortmund once) have appeared in the last seven finals.
Munich have a real Champions League expert in the dugout in three-time winning coach Ancelotti. His nous in Europe’s elite club competition could count for a lot.
Patriotic Premier League punt on England?
An English team to lift the trophy at 13/2 might be one to avoid when it comes to Champions League winner nationality tips, because of the remaining entrants’ records in Europe.
Leicester City are certainly enjoying their continental campaign, but the group stage ended on a sour note when they were battered by pool runners-up Porto. As Premier League opposition has proven this term, Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes will get found out at some stage.
Arsenal tend to find the last 16 an insurmountable obstacle and this season’s Champions League may be no exception, as the Gunners could get Bayern or Real, despite topping their pool ahead of PSG.
Manchester City are thus better value if backed at 12/1 in the outright betting, with Catalan coach Pep Guardiola hired for a Champions League tilt after a couple of successes at Barcelona and his subsequent serial semi-final appearances with Munich.
Italians and others have too much to find
Juventus and Napoli lead Serie A’s charge in the Champions League with an Italian team 11/1, though neither look likely to make an impact at the business end.
As 14/1 outright shots and 2015 runners-up, Juve would really need to punch above their weight when you consider who has been lost from Turin in that time.
Midfield, in particular, has been decimated by the sales of Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba, plus the loss of playmaker Andrea Pirlo. Gonzalo Higuain is an asset up front and Miralem Pjanic can pull plenty of strings in the engine room, but the Old Lady’s defence is ageing.
Napoli sold Higuain to Juventus this summer and purchased Poland poacher Arkadiusz Milik to replace him, but a serious injury has scuppered his season.
Of the rest, a collective 12/1 to win the Champions League, you’re looking at French champions PSG (better outright at 22/1) as the only credible victors after four consecutive quarter-finals appearances.
The Parisians are under new management with Sevilla’s successful European campaigner Unai Emery installed at the Parc des Princes, but the loss of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Luiz is an obstacle.
Monaco and Portuguese pair Benfica and Porto look little more than making up the numbers, though Champions League finals in years that end in 7 have produced shocks in the past. Dortmund’s triumph over Juventus in 1997 springs to mind, alongside Porto shocking Bayern in 1987.