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Champions League Odds – Three English giants and some Spanish flavor on the menu

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/25/2012 11:44:48 AM
Champions League oddsThose looking at this year’s Champions League odds will see an English team in the final for the fifth straight year, as Arsenal, Chelsea and defending champion Manchester United join Spanish giant Barcelona to form the last four teams standing. Man U will take on Arsenal while Barcelona and Chelsea square off in the other semifinal, with the sports betting slated to get under way April 28.

Champions League odds: Man U, Barcelona will advance to the final

  • Manchester United, Arsenal renew bitter rivalry
  • Chelsea hope to give Barcelona the Blues
  • Final takes place May 27 in Rome, Italy
  • Manchester United vs Arsenal odds
    First leg at Old Trafford, April 29 at 2:45 p.m. ET; Second leg at Emirates Stadium, May 5 at 2:45 p.m. ET

These two squads are no strangers to each other, but it’s rare for them to meet on the European stage. United needed a spectacular strike from Cristiano Ronaldo to beat Porto 3-2 on aggregate in the last stage, and they have no shortage of attacking options with Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs. United is also very solid at the back, powered by the trio of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar.

Arsenal thumped Villareal 4-1 in their two-leg meeting in the last round, and emphatically sealed the deal with a 3-0 win at home in the second leg. Cesc Fabregas looks to return after missing most of the campaign with an injury, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin Van Persie form a deadly strike duo up front.

United would love to avenge a 2-1 loss at Arsenal in the Premiership earlier this season, and these two will also meet again in the English league on May 16. Arsenal has some injury concerns on defense and they have tough fixtures against Liverpool and Chelsea before this game.

Meanwhile, United has three winnable home games and should be coming into this game with a head of steam. This will be wildly entertaining, but United has the better defense. Bet on Manchester United as your soccer betting pick in this two-legged semifinal.

  • Barcelona vs Chelsea odds
    First leg at the Nou Camp, April 28 at 2:45 p.m. ET; Second leg at Stamford Bridge, May 6 at 2:45 p.m. ET

These two thrilled fans during the 2006 tournament, when Barcelona edged Chelsea 3-2 over two legs in the first knockout stage, on their way to the Champions League title. Barca, which currently leads La Liga right now, pounded Bayern Munich 4-0 at home en route to a 5-1 aggregate victory, and Lionel Messi was a one-man wrecking crew against Bayern.

Chelsea battled with Liverpool for a back-and-forth 7-5 aggregate win, securing the win with a 4-4 tie at Anfield, one of the toughest places to play in the world. The Blues hare a much different side since Gus Hiddink came on board, looking to attack more, and Didier Drogba is finally producing again.

Ashley Cole picked up a yellow card that will make him miss the first leg at the Nou Camp, and Chelsea needs to keep Messi and Thierry Henry under wraps to have a chance at Stamford Bridge. With Henry favoring the left side of the field, Cole missing at the left-back position could be huge.

This will be a hotly contested tie over two legs, but Barca should have a big enough lead after the Nou Camp to survive at Stamford Bridge, where they won in ’06. Bet on Barcelona with your sportsbook pick.

For more analysis of Champions League odds or other online betting, bookmark the Betting Edge at betonline.com.

Are you a fan of “The Beautiful Game”? Then you should try Todd Shale's “Beautiful picks”. Though he enjoys a good rugby match, Todd is happiest when he can handicap a great soccer match - or football match, as he prefers to call it. Thoughts or questions?

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