It seems that the 5-0 thrashing of Porto in the Champions League Last 16 first-leg was the tipping point where bookmakers really started taking Liverpool’s chances seriously. Before that game kicked off, Liverpool were generally priced around 16/1 to win the Champions League – now they have been nearly cut in half.
While some with think that this is just a natural reaction to the (almost) guaranteed progression to the next round, they must also take into consideration that Man City, who had a similar result to Liverpool, barely moved in the odds. Nor did Munich (5-0 winners over Besiktas) or Real Madrid (3-1 winners over PSG). The current odds for Liverpool and their rivals are displayed below:
Man City 10/3
Bayern Munich 5/1
Real Madrid 11/2
Man United 18/1
Those odds are the latest provided by Betfair after the 1st leg ties have been completed. For a detailed analysis of that bookie, including free bet offers, check out the Freebets.co.uk Betfair brand review page.
Some teams still have a lot of work to do in 2nd leg
As you can see, Liverpool have been made fifth-favourites for the competition. Is this a fair assessment? Most neutrals would be inclined to agree. PSG, Tottenham and Manchester United all have a lot of work to do in the second leg before they can be considered as possible winners. Indeed, Barcelona also look a little ‘short’ considering they have still have a tricky tie (1-1 in the first leg) the Camp Nou against Chelsea.
Some will see Bayern Munich as the value bet from the remaining teams. They have been incredible since the return of Jupp Heynckes to the managerial hot seat at the Allianz Arena. He has had an unmatched 91%-win record in all competitions since replacing Carlo Ancelotti in October. Bayern also have a 19-point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga, so it’s safe to say all guns will be pointed towards Champions League glory.
Some punters will feel that City are much too short
Like Bayern, Man City have more or less got the league wrapped up. They have been favourites with all major bookmakers since they started tearing it up in the group stages. Lots of punters will feel those odds of 10/3 are much to short however. Would they really be that low if they drew Barcelona or Munich in the quarter finals? Guardiola obviously has a brilliant team on his hands, but they lack the experience and guile that can sometimes prove invaluable in the knockout stages.
The key for Liverpool is not only being able to bring out the barnstorming performances as was evidenced in Porto, but also to grind out a result in the matches where they are under pressure. No team will relish coming to Anfield of course, but can Liverpool go to Munich, Madrid or even Manchester and come away with a scrappy 0-0 or 1-1? It’s not always fashionable to say it – but sometimes the barely-deserved result is the making of a team.
9/1 seems about right for Klopp’s men
Above all, most would feel that Liverpool merit to be priced at odds of 9/1. It reflects the fact that the Reds could resoundingly beat any team in Europe, but also the fact that Klopp and his men still have much to learn. Crucially, some problems that were apparent a few months ago, such as defensive and goalkeeping errors, seem to have cleared up recently. That gives Liverpool a big chance. Those odds could point to happy punters and happy Liverpool fans come 26th May in Kiev.