City still favourites for Euro glory de­spite Real dif­fi­cult draw...

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - FRED DONE

CITY re­main favourites at Bet­fred to win their Holy Grail – the Cham­pi­ons League .

They are 4/1 to win the com­pe­ti­tion, while hold­ers Liver­pool are 9/2 – just ahead of 5/1 Barcelona – while Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s Ju­ven­tus are 10/1 shots.

Pep Guardi­ola’s team, ju­bi­lant af­ter the hum­bling of Arse­nal at the Emi­rates, have drawn one of the hard­est pos­si­ble last-16 ties in Europe’s elite com­pe­ti­tion in Real Madrid.

Zine­dine Zi­dane’s aris­to­crats are 13 times win­ners of the Big Ears tro­phy, while for City they are out to make his­tory by winning it for the first time.

Cham­pi­ons League glory is what the club’s Abu Dhabi own­ers crave more than any­thing, but de­spite great suc­cess on the do­mes­tic front City have some­times strug­gled against Europe’s best, although of course it was Spurs who beat them in the quar­ter-fi­nals last season.

Liver­pool also have a tough one against Atletico Madrid, while Spurs take on Red Bull Leipzig – and it is Ger­man op­po­si­tion too for Chelsea, who have drawn Bay­ern Mu­nich (15/2 to win the Cham­pi­ons League).

Chelsea have un­sur­pris­ingly drifted to 40/1 af­ter the tough­est draw of the English con­tin­gent, while Spurs have been cut to 20/1, es­pe­cially as Jose Mour­inho is par­tic­u­larly as­tute at winning one-off, high pro­file matches.

De­spite the bril­liant Kevin de Bruyne in­spir­ing City against out­classed, hap­less Arse­nal on Sun­day, they are still 7/1 for the Premier League ti­tle. Run­away lead­ers Liver­pool are 1/8 – and sec­ond-placed Le­ices­ter are 25/1 at Bet­fred.

Even at this stage it is look­ing like those three will fin­ish in the top four, but the bat­tle for the re­main­ing place be­tween Chelsea, Tot­ten­ham, Arse­nal – and of course mighty United – is get­ting in­ter­est­ing.

Bet­fred have Chelsea 10/11, Spurs 6/5, and the Reds 9/2 for a top four fin­ish with Arse­nal drift­ing to 20/1.

We have no­ticed a sig­nif­i­cant up­surge in the num­ber of goals scored in the Premier League, and in­deed in all the pro­fes­sional and semi-pro leagues this season.

I did think it was some­thing to do with VAR but I’m reck­on­ing it has more to do with the lack of qual­ity de­fend­ers – and teams at last realising it is bet­ter to win one and lose one than draw two.

That’s why the bet of one footie fan from Sur­rey raised eye­brows here at our War­ring­ton HQ.

The NHS worker picked my pocket to the tune of £7,033 af­ter suc­cess­fully pre­dict­ing that seven matches – at Stoke, Wi­gan, Fleet­wood, Carlisle, Craw­ley, Crewe, and Ley­ton Ori­ent – would all end in a draw.

Four of the games ended up goal­less, and three oth­ers 1-1, which meant he was in the money with his re­mark­able, once-in-al­ife­time, permed £24.75p bet.

Pep Guardi­ola’s side are favourites for the Cham­pi­ons League with Bet­fred

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