Manchester United now face brilliant Bayern in Champions League
Be careful what you wish for! Manchester United fans were wondering whether all the drama and the nail-biting of the 3-0 victory over Olympiakos was ultimately worth it when Luis Figo paired them with the mighty Bayern Munich in this morning’s Champions League quarter-final draw.
Yes, it should be another great night in Manchester when the Reds welcome the Germans to Old Trafford for the first leg next month, but there is the real danger that they will be given the runaround by the reigning European champions.
Coral reacted to the draw by clipping favourites Bayern to 7/4 and pushing out United to 28/1 from 20/1 and certainly David Moyes’ team will need to step it up a couple of gears if they are going to make a game of it with a team even Barcelona and Real Madrid were desperate to avoid at this stage.
The draw has been kinder to Chelsea, who play the French champions, PSG (the first leg in Paris). Jose Mourinho might have wished for a better pairing, but it could have been a lot worse, too, and the Blues will fancy their chances of keeping Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet and progressing to the semi-final.
Coral have eased both teams out from 10/1 to 11/1, but that partly reflected the good draws given the big three, Bayern, Barca and Real Madrid.
Barcelona (still 7/2) take on Atletico Madrid (16/1 from 12/1) in an all-La Liga affair, while Real (16/5 from 4/1) will be well up for revenge against Borussia Dortmund (28/1 from 14/1), not as strong as they were when they knocked out the Spanish giants in the semi-final last year.
So, though just okay for Chelsea and extremely daunting for United, the Champions League draw looks really good for the neutral with the best sides kept apart until what promises to be two epic semi-finals followed by a grand showdown in Lisbon.
The Europa League is also shaping up very nicely for a classic final in Turin after the four best teams left in the competition (according to Coral’s odds) were drawn against the four others.
Juventus, 6/4 favourites to win the final in their own stadium after getting through a difficult all-Italian tie with Fiorentina, will be happy to be playing French side Lyon and have shortened to 13/10, while Benfica, conquerors of Spurs, have been clipped to 100/30 from 7/2 after being handed the easiest draw of the round on paper against Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar.