English Teams Top Champions League OddsPublished September 16, 2008 by OCR Editor
Chelsea, Man U, heavily favored as UEFA tournament heads into group stage.
If the current odds are to be believed, English clubs are set to continue their recent success in the UEFA Champions League. Last year's finalists Chelsea and Manchester United are tipped to once again meet in the final, which will be played in Rome's Stadio Olimpico.
Chelsea, who lost last season's title on penalties to their English rival, has been setting the pace on the domestic scene under new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. The Blues are 6.00 odds at UK bookmaker Ladbrokes, just ahead of last year's champion Manchester United, 6.50.
2006 champion Barcelona, 8.00, will be looking to make up for the disappointment of the last two seasons, in which the team has failed to win either the Champions League or Spanish League despite the short odds from bookmakers.
Also listed at 8.00 is the winner of the last three Italian championships, Inter Milan, searching for their first European title since 1965 despite being perennial contenders.
Real Madrid, champions of Europe a record nine times, is 10.00, followed by the last two of English football's power quartet - Arsenal and Liverpool, both 15.00.
With English clubs in such a strong position, Ladbrokes has gone all out in ensuring all betting options are covered. The odds on another all-English final are 5.00. Last year's final was only the third time two teams from the same country had met in the final, and the first time the two teams had been English.
There is also heavy competition for which British team will go furthest in the tournament, with Chelsea 2.50, ahead of Manchester United 2.75, and Liverpool and Arsenal hard to separate at 5.50. The fifth British team in the competition, Scottish champion Glasgow Celtic, is a long-shot of 41.00.
Odds of 21.00 are being offered on the English clubs achieving a first for the competition, by taking up all four semi-final spots. The feat was almost achieved last year when three of the clubs made the semi-finals, but the pairing of Arsenal and Liverpool in the quarter-final draw (ultimately won by Liverpool) meant this could not eventuate.