Champions League glory for the Premier League?
It’s so far so good for Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United at the midway point of the Champions League group stage, but suddenly everybody’s biting their nails at Arsenal.
Coral rate Jose Mourinho’s team and the two Manchester clubs pretty much certainties to get through to the knock-out phase, but it is by no means so straightforward for the Gunners following their home defeat to Borussia Dortmund last Tuesday.
After winning their opening two games so impressively, Arsenal now find themselves level with Dortmund and Napoli on six points and scrapping it out with them for just two available places in the last 16.
Coral go 8/15 that they make it, but they certainly have work to do now; this may even be one of these rare occasions when ten points isn’t enough. It may all come down to Matchday 6 on December 11th when Arsenal go to Naples. What a night that could be.
As expected, Bayern Munich (14/5 to retain their trophy), Barcelona (9/2) and Real Madrid (5/1) are sailing through qualification, while PSG (14/1) and Athletico Madrid (18/1) are emerging as likely outsiders with some impressive displays.
PSG slammed Anderlecht 5-0 in Belgium and will be a danger to any team if Zlatan Ibrahimovic turns up in the same goalscoring mood. His four goals (which included a breathtaking 30-yarder for his hat-trick) brought his tally for the tournament to six and brings the Swede right into contention for the 2013-14 Champions League top scorer award.
This is a prize that has been dominated in recent times by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have won it between them for the last six seasons. Both were on the mark again in midweek, Ronaldo’s brace against Juventus taking him into the lead on seven.
Messi is trailing with four, but Coral rate the brilliant Argentine a 3/1 chance to win the award for a fifth time behind Ronaldo (1/2) and Ibrahimovic (5/1).
Sergio Aguero (three goals to date) is the most likely Premier League striker to break the Ronaldo-Messi duoply, according to Coral, who have clipped Man City’s on-fire front man to 16/1 following his double at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.
Athletico Madrid are mixing it with Barcelona and Real Madrid on the domestic front this season and have carried their splendid La Liga form over into Europe. They, too, are led by a brilliant striker – Diego Costa, scorer of two of their three goals in Vienna in midweek to help maintain the Spanish side’s 100% record in Group G.