There was much ado about something after Leicester City earned their place in the Champions League Quarter Finals under new manager Craig Shakespeare. Following the draw earlier today the Premier League champions must now prepare for a showdown with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
The Spaniards have reached the final twice in the past four years, but have fallen at the last hurdle each time. Despite this, having overcome Sevilla in the last round the Foxes should fancy their chances. The first leg is in Madrid on April 11th so we’ll know better where Leicester stand on the twelfth night. Leicester have beaten both Hull and Liverpool 3-1 in recent weeks, and following a confident victory over Sevilla, who it should be noted sit third in La Liga above Atletico, they’ve ever reason to be confident.
To ‘do the impossible’ and win the competition, Leicester are priced as high as 50/1 in places (bwin) with most bookies offering around the 33/1 mark. The odds compilers though would do well to remember that men at some time are the masters of their fates; Leicester have defied the odds before and they could well do it again. The bookmakers however remain doubtful that they’ll even reach the final four.
Sun Bets Spokesman Tim Reynolds commented: “Sadly we doubt Leicester’s chances of getting past Atletico at 4/1, and are offering a mad double of 350/1 that they win the Champions League and are relegated from the Premier League.
“Two fashionable favourites head both the Champions League and Europa League in Barcelona and Man United- and we have laid the pair far too heavily! Barcelona sneaking through against PSG was disastrous for us, and we strongly fancy the Catalans to see off Juve in the next round at 1/2. Barcelona would have been 500/1 to win the Champions League when struggling against PSG, but are now the 9/4 jollies.
“Man United need the Europa League to guarantee Champions League football next season, and they’re 1/9 to see off Anderlecht- and are short favourites to win the competition at 5/4. We’re going best price about all the German teams in both competitions, Merkel might be bossing the EU but we think it’s Catalonia and Salford ruling the roost in the footie.”
Paddy Power Mischief Champion Lewis Davey added a little more hopefully: “Following the draw Leicester have drifted out from 25/1 to 40/1 in the outright market and are 4/1 to make it through to the Semis. Word from the trading floor is they haven’t got a chance of making it past Atletico – but they said the same last season and look what happened. What do they know, eh?”
With Claudio Ranieri unceremoniously shown the door, it would be bittersweet for the team he helped build to go on and achieve an even greater feat without him. Having won the Premier League last season though Leicester know greatness and are not afraid of it; some are born great (Kasper Schmeichel), some achieve greatness (Danny Drinkwater) and some have greatness thrust upon them (Riyad Mahrez).
At 18/1 with 188Bet Leicester City to reach the final could be worth an optimistic punt. Whether this is to be or not to be is one question, but Leicester City will definitely be in attendance at the upcoming Betting on Football Conference in May (3-5). The club’s Head of New Business Mark Davies will be speaking on a session looking at the international reach of the Premier League.
A number of other clubs including Arsenal, Roma, Celtic, Rangers, Wolfsburg, and Liverpool to name but a few will have representation at the conference which is taking place at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge home. You can find out more and secure your tickets here.