The second round draw for this season’s Champions League has taken place today. As always, a number of mouth-watering ties have been drawn up among the 16 qualifiers from the Group Stage.
Here’s a look at how the draw went:
Schalke 04 v Manchester City
Manchester City are the competition’s favourites with their odds now down to 11/4 with reputable bookmaker Ladbrokes following the draw. Pep Guardiola’s side will fancy an easy tie versus Schalke 04 who are currently in the bottom half of the German Bundesliga. The Royal Blues have a 33-year-old at the helm who may have benefitted from beginners’ luck in finishing second last season and being in a Champions League group which consisted of FC Porto, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Lyon v Barcelona
Second favourites Barcelona also shouldn’t have a problem inreaching the final eight after being handed Lyon in the second round. Paris Saint-Germain have already wrapped up Ligue 1 for another season whilst Lyon are inconsistent themselves. Although they took four points from Manchester City inthe group they won’t be a match for the Spanish giants. Barcelona are 9/2 to lift the trophy.
Atletico Madrid v Juventus
Juventus’ reward for winning their group is a tie against Atletico Madrid in the second round. The Spanish side have been finalists in two of the previous four seasons but right now they don’t look as good as they did only a couple of years ago. With Juventus adding Cristiano Ronaldo to their ranks over the summer they were automatically placed among this season’s favourites. They are currently 13/2 third favourites.
Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain
Runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain must fancy their chances of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals having been handed Manchester United in the second round. Jose Mourinho’s side were comfortably beaten 3-1 at Liverpool over the weekend, leaving them 19 points behind the Premier League leaders. Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe will fancy a chance with how the United defence has been playing this season. PSG are currently 15/2.
Liverpool v Bayern Munich
Last season’s runners-up haven’t been handed the easiest of ties in facing German giants Bayern Munich. However, the Bavarians are nine points behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and not looking so great under young head coach Niko Kovac. Jurgen Klopp should fancy his chances of progressing of beating the team who were his rivals during his Borussia Dortmund days. Their current odds of 11/1 can expect to take a sharp drop should they progress from this tie.
Ajax v Real Madrid
Defending champions Real Madrid have already changed manager this season with inexperienced Santiago Solari currently at the helm. Will the former player even make it through to the end of the season? Winning La Liga looks slim this season but reaching the quarter-finals should be on the cards when they face Ajax in February.
Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund
This will be one of the most-anticipated ties of the second round. Tottenham Hotspur are an exciting team to watch in the English Premier League,currently battling for a top four spot, whilst Borussia Dortmund have a nine-point lead in the Bundesliga. Lucien Favre’s side are also scoring for fun so this could be end-to-end for 180 minutes over the course of the tie. Both teams are 25/1 to go all the way this season.
AS Roma v FC Porto
Two of the teams with the longest odds go head-to-head for a place in the quarter-finals. FC Porto are top in the Portuguese Primeira Liga currently but it’s not sending many players to the big European leagues like it was a couple of years ago. AS Roma did reach last season’s semi-finals and have been handed a good opportunity to reach the final eight at least this season. The Italian side are 80/1 to win this season’s Champions League whilst FC Porto are 125/1.