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    Champions League returns with 1st knockout stage

    Diego-Simeone-Atletico-Madrid-min

    Football   |   February 18, 2020

    Amid the breaking news of the predicament facing Manchester City, the UEFA Champions League is set to return with the 1st knockout stage, the round of 16.

    Still in contest for the most coveted prize of the European football are four teams from England and Spain, three teams from Germany and Italy, and two teams from France. This time there are not surprise additions like Ajax last season, but there’s plenty of prospective dark horses still in the races.

    The usual suspects of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG and Bayern München are involved as well as the last season’s finalists Tottenham and the winners Liverpool. Challengers feature the likes of Dortmund and Atletico Madrid, while some of the unlikely candidates to push for the title are Chelsea, Valencia, Lyon and Napoli. As newcomers to this stage RB Leipzig and Atalanta are introduced, but might just as well cause an upset as they have in their domestic leagues. Manchester City might be in for their final chance to win the title in a while, if their proposed ban is to go through after the round of complaints.

    As usual the Champions League games will be played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with the first eight teams starting on 18th-19th of February and the other eight on 25th-26th. The second legs will be played respectively on the 10th-11th and 17th-18th February.

    Dafabet is offering match odds for all the Champions League knockout stage games and of course the outright odds for the winner. Liverpool is the favorite to make it a double with odds of 4.40, challenged by their fellow English representatives Manchester City with odds of 4.50. Barcelona, despite their struggles in La Liga, are deemed third favorites with odds of 6.00. The German and French giants come right after the top trio, with Bayern München and PSG both valued at 7.30. Completing the top six is the Italian side Juventus, already 24 years detached from their last UCL championship, with odds of 9.10.

    Napoli, Valencia and Lyon are deemed outsiders, with odds of over 100 to win the trophy. Napoli are pitted against Barcelona, Valencia will face Atalanta and Lyon takes on Juventus to fight against all odds. While it’s unlikely for any of the these teams to cause a stir in the tournament, stranger things have happened as we saw last season with Ajax and Tottenham.

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