Champions League: Will Man City, Chelsea or Arsenal go furthest?

The Champions League has brought Manuel Pellegrini more smiles than the Premier League this season
The Champions League has brought Manuel Pellegrini more smiles than the Premier League this season

The odds suggest that Man City's kind Champions League draw will help them outperform Chelsea and Arsenal...


"Chelsea have improved since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho, going 11 matches unbeaten, but they have won less than half of those and Arsenal remain the only of the 11 sides above them domestically who they have defeated."

Man City find themselves in the unfamiliar position of 2.01/1 favourites in the Champions League "Best of British" market. Betting.Betfair assess the credentials of the three candidates with a leading reason for and against each of them...


The case for backing Man City @ 2.01/1

They have the easiest draw - Dynamo Kiev haven't reached the last eight of the Champions League this century, with this their first venture this far in 16 years, so they stand the best chance of the three English survivors of progressing through this round.


The case for laying Man City @ 2.021/1

They have the least tournament pedigree - This is Man City's fifth Champions League campaign and they have never made it further than where they are right now, exiting in the group stage twice and the round-of-16 twice. They aren't in great form at present either.


The case for backing Chelsea @ 2.6213/8

Is it their absolute top priority - Chelsea are 14 points adrift of the Premier League's top four with 14 games left so, if they are to play in the competition next season, this is the only realistic route. There is a precedent too as the sole other occasion that they finished lower than fourth under Roman Abramovich was in 2011/12, and they responded by winning the Champions League.


The case for laying Chelsea @ 2.6413/8

They haven't looked good enough - The Blues have improved since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho, going 11 matches unbeaten, but they have won less than half of those and Arsenal remain the only of the 11 sides above them domestically who they have defeated. Their opponents Paris St-Germain knocked them out in 2014/15 and have lost once all campaign.


The case for backing Arsenal @ 7.87/1

Their growing big-match confidence - For so often, Arsenal have stood accused of lacking the mentality for the grandest fixtures. However, that critique isn't valid this term, with their five clashes with their Premier League top-four counterparts yielding four victories and a draw. They also felled the hitherto invincible Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Emirates in October.


The case for laying Arsenal @ 8.07/1

They're playing Barcelona - The holders have reached the quarter-finals in each of the last eight years and made it to the semi-finals and beyond in seven of those. They also came out on top in all of the four prior seasons in which they faced Arsenal.


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