The seventh and eighth Madrid derbies of 2014/15 promise to be the highlight of the Champions League quarter-finals…
Any fears that the Champions League quarter-final draw would lose something without any English involvement were quashed once the first two ties were confirmed: Paris St-Germain v Barcelona and Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich and Juventus got the draws that everyone wanted against outsiders Porto and Monaco. As a result, Bayern have been promptly backed in even further from 3.45 favourites to 3.185/40 market leaders.
Juventus have moved inwards more dramatically than any other side from 15.5 pre-draw to 8.615/2 in the aftermath. Having been joint-fifth in the betting, they are now clear in fourth and not too far off the frontrunners.
Of course, we’re not underestimating either outsider in the manner that Arsenal were accused of doing to Monaco in the round-of-16, so it is worth pointing out that the draw maintains the slim chance of a 2003/04 Porto v Monaco final repeat.
Monaco are in from 90.0 to 75.074/1 due to avoiding the big three, with Porto out from 46.0 to 80.079/1 on account of landing Bayern Munich.
One final repeat that definitely won’t happen is last term’s Madrid derby after they were paired up in the last eight. Though holders Real Madrid remain shorter for the trophy at 5.49/2 (from 4.7) to Atletico’s 17.5n/a (from 15.5), it is the ten-time champions who are likely to be more flustered.
The neighbours have clashed six times since last year’s Lisbon showpiece and Atletico haven’t lost once. They did a double in La Liga and have beaten Carlo Ancelotti’s men twice in two-legged combat, first in the Supercopa de Espana then the Copa del Rey. They didn’t concede in the three home games.
This is one of several reasons why this writer argued that they were great outsiders to back provided they avoided Bayern Munich, and that wager is even more appealing now that they have floated out to 17.5n/a.
Paris St-Germain have been one of the most dramatic drifters – all the way from 13.0 to 21.020/1 having been handed Barcelona, the 3.814/5 second favourites. They fell at this stage in both 2012/13 and 2013/14, with the Catalan club overseeing their 2012/13 demise on away goals.
They met in Group F this season, with Laurent Blanc’s side winning 3-2 in Paris before losing 3-1 in Spain.
Full quarter-final draw:
Paris St-Germain v Barcelona
Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
Porto v Bayern Munich
Juventus v Monaco
The first legs take place on April 14 and 15, with the return ties on April 21 and 22