The draws for the quarter and semi-final rounds of the Champions League and the Europa League were made early on Friday.
The quarter-final round is the first in which there is no seeding and no protection against being drawn to play against a team from the same domestic league. With four English teams in the last eight of the Champions League and two in the Europa League, there was a good chance of at least one all-English clash and two derbies were even a possibility; Manchester City and United in the Champions League and Chelsea versus Arsenal in the Europa League. It is nearly half a century since England has had six teams make it so far in the European competitions.
As it turned out, we did get one all-Premier League tie, Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City.
The quarter-final draw
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague)March 15, 2019
The draw for the semi-finals is:
Tottenham or Manchester City V Ajax or Juventus
Manchester United or Barcelona V Liverpool or Porto
Quarter-finals: April 9/10, and 16/17
Semi-finals: April 30/May, and 7/8 May
Final: June 1 at the Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid
(Odds US with the UK in brackets)
Manchester City’s odds on winning its first Champions League have shortened slightly and City remains the bookmakers favorite at +200 (2/1), pre-draw it was +225 (9/4). Not surprisingly, Tottenham Hotspur, City’s opponents in the last eight, has seen their odds lengthen considerably. Before the draw, you could get Spurs at a price of +1,600 (16/1) and now it is +2,500 (25/1).
The odds of Juventus winning the Champions League “improved”. Juve is now +333.33 (10/3) to win it all, down from +400 (4/1). Conversely, the odds on the youngest side left in the competition Ajax have gone from +2,500 (25/1) all the way to +4,000 (40/1).
Barcelona’s odds moved up slightly after being drawn against Manchester United in the quarters and if successful, Liverpool or Porto in the last four. Barcelona has moved from +333.33 (10/3) to +350 (7/2).
However, the change doesn’t seem to be down to a fear of losing to Manchester United. United’s odds have gone from +1,200 (12/1), all the way to +2,000 (20/1).
Liverpool is seen to have pulled a favorable draw and the bookmakers appear to agree. Liverpool is now +400 (4/1) to win Europe’s premier club competition after being +500 (5/1) less than 12 hours before. Porto is considered as the overall outsider at +10,000 (100/1) versus the pre-draw price of +8,000 (80/1).
The quarter-finals draw in full
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague)March 15, 2019
The draw for the semi-finals is:
Napoli or Arsenal v Villarreal or Valencia
Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt v Slavia Prague or Chelsea
Quarter-finals: April 11 and 18
Semi-finals: May 2 and 9
Final: May 29, at the Olympic Stadium, Baku
The post-draw odds affirmed Chelsea as a strong favorite to win the Europa League. Odds of +275 (11/4) fell to +175 (7/4) after being drawn to play Slavia Prague. Slavia Prague is being quoted at +6,600 (66/1) with the next closest team being Benfica at +2,000 (20/1). However, let’s remember that on Thursday Slavia Prague was behind to Sevilla in extra time. Slavia Prague scored twice and managed to pull it off. At one stage in extra time, the odds on Prague winning the Europa League were +15,000 (150/1).
After being drawn together the odds on both Napoli and Arsenal lengthened slightly. In the case of Napoli it was from +300 (3/1) to +350 (7/2); for Arsenal from +400 (4/1) to +450 (9/2). Arsenal was drawn to play the 2ndleg at home but the rotation was reversed as Chelsea was also drawn to play at home in the 2ndleg and received the priority placement on account of winning the FA Cup last season.
Valencia and Villarreal face each other in an all-Spain tie. Valencia is favored at +800 (8/1) to win it all, the same as the pre-draw odds. Villarreal’s odds went from +1,400 (14/1) to +1,600 (16/1).
Eintracht Frankfurt’s odds remained steady at +1,000 (10/1) while the odds of opponents Benfic