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Man City play Barcelona and Arsenal v Bayern in nightmare draws

| 16.12.2013

Manchester City and Arsenal have seen their odds to win the Champions League balloon after being handed horrendous draws against Spanish champions Barcelona and holders Bayern Munich respectively.

If ever there was a harsh lesson to be learned on the importance of claiming top spot in a Champions League group, then it’s the one Man City and Arsenal are left to chew on now.

The Premier League clubs meet the two pre-draw favourites in the last 16 in Bayern and Barca – who are now priced at 11/4 and 9/2 for glory following the draw, from 12/5 and 4/1 before the ties were decided.

After seeing themselves pitted against the holders and last season’s all-conquering treble winners, Bayern Munich, the Gunners have understandably seen their odds rocket out to 33/1 from 20/1 pre-draw.

Arsenal fans will of course seek solace from upsetting the German side in Munich last season and City’s recent triumph over Pep Guardiola’s side.

Man City’s task may be deemed a touch easier against Barcelona, who recently lost two games in a row, though as a manager Pellegrini has a woeful record against the Catalans; having not beaten them in 12 attempts with three different La Liga clubs.

Meanwhile, the balls were far kinder to group winners Chelsea and Manchester United, who were allotted ties against Galatasaray and Olympiacos respectively.

Jose Mourinho’s side have drifted slightly in the betting to 14/1, from 12/1, though the Blues would still have to be well-fancied to eject the Turkish champions over two legs.

United’s victorious Group A campaign was duly rewarded with the plumpest tie of the lot against 250/1 outsiders Olympiacos and the Red Devils’ odds have slimmed to 14/1 from 16/1 accordingly to lift the European Cup.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.