The Champions League knockout stage is about to start very quickly. After six tough group matches, the most important part of the competition is ahead of the teams that have advanced to the Round of 16.
According to OLBG’s football punters, Bayern Munich has the biggest chances of winning the title. The bookies think the same, with the reigning champs sitting atop all the favorites’ list with the odds between 3/1 and 7/2. Manchester City comes next, at 4/1, and the English team is the only one placed near the Germans. Liverpool is way behind, 7/1, and Juventus even further, 13/1. The French powerhouse PSG is 14/1, ahead of the duo from Spain’s capital, Atletico and Real Madrid, who have equal chances, 16/1.
All these teams are top contenders for grabbing the silverware, but what is with those who might make some sensation. Are there any sides capable of creating an upset and going all the way?
From our perspective, only two teams can do that, RB Leipzig and Atalanta. They had a nice run last season, with their quest ended by the hand of PSG. Atalanta lost in the quarterfinals, even though having a lead until the last several minutes of the match, while RB suffered elimination in the semis.
Red Bull Leipzig
The Germans now have a massive challenge ahead, as they meet Liverpool in the Round of 16. However, they already eliminated one Premiership team, Manchester United, in a direct match for the advance from the group stage, why not another one.
Liverpool is in crisis now, with multiple injured players and cracked chemistry inside the locker room. Their recent results are not good at all, and that is something RB might exploit nicely.
The first of their two events takes place in Leipzig, and the Bulls are underdogs in the same, according to the bookies. Their win in that event is priced at 13/6, while Liverpool’s is at 16/13. A draw is 14/5. The same bookies believe that this match will see high efficiency, as Over 2.5 goals sit at 8/13. Meanwhile, below that limit is 13/10. In general, Leipzig to advance to the next stage is 5/2, and for the Reds to move to the final eight, 8 is 2/7.
The Germans were often underdogs over the past few years but managed to come out of the same battles as winners, so don’t be surprised if they repeat the same now.
La Dea, or the Goddess, as the fans call Atalanta, has another giant as the opponent in the Round of 16 – Real Madrid. Unlike Liverpool, Real’s downhill is much worse, and they already had several incredibly bad results. For instance, they were eliminated from Copa El Rey against a third-tier team.
So Atalanta has a nice chance to make another pleasant upset and continue its international adventure.
Atalanta shares the same faith as RB, who is an underdog in his own home. The odds on La Dea to defeat Real are 12/5, a draw is 3/1, while Los Blancos’ victory is priced at 11/9. Goals are expected, with odds for three or more hits in this event, 1/2, and for under 13/8. Both teams to score is 4/9, and the opposite 13/8. These numbers pretty much say everything.
In our opinion, Atalanta is underestimated. The bookies gave 11/4 odds on their progress to the UCL quarterfinals; Real Madrid’s are 1/3.
Keep an eye on both RB and Atalanta. Even though it seems pretty odds that such two teams eliminate powerhouses like Liverpool and Real Madrid, who have 20 European titles together, it is really quite possible. Both because of their respective quality and also due to certain factors influencing their rivals.
Always remember that this is the Champions League, where one small mistake has a massive impact and can decide big matches. Both the Bulls and La Dea have the quality to use those mistakes.