Today’s Round of 16 draw for the Champions League has seen Man City paired with FC Schalke in what many see as an effective pass into the quarter-finals of Europe’s biggest club competition.
At 250/1, Schalke are the rank outsiders for the tournament. And, as a result, Pep Guardiola’s side – who were already the bookmakers’ outright favourites for the competition before the draw – have seen their odds clipped from 7/2 to 3/1, as BBC Five Live commentator John Murray described today’s outcome as “the best possible scenario City could have hoped for.”
City will be playing away for the first leg on February 20, with the return leg scheduled for March 12.
Liverpool and Spurs Face Trip to Germany
For the three other British clubs in the competition, the draw has presented trickier obstacles. Liverpool and Spurs have both been paired with Bundesliga sides Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively, whilst Man Utd face PSG in what is likely the most anticipated match of the first of this year’s knock-out stages.
Liverpool remain priced at 10/1 with most bookmakers – and are seen by many commentators as the competition’s dark houses – whilst Spurs and Man Utd remain rank outsiders at 25/1 and 50/1 respectively.
Barcelona’s odds of claiming a first Champions League since 2015 have also dropped, this time from 11/2 to 5/1 as they meet Lyon who, priced at 125/1, will likely not be relishing a revived Catalan team inspired by a rejuvenated Lionel Messi who will be chasing a fifth Champions League medal.