Champions League 2016/17 Last 16


Since the introduction of the new format of the Champions League in 1993, no team has managed to win the competition two years in a row. This statistic is absurd but will it be the same case again this year? Winner in 2016, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane will try to retain the title to the best of his ability, against teams like Barcelona FC, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain!

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The teams to follow

A few weeks before the start of Ligue 1, the PSG fans are still waiting after they went on the offensive in the off season and signed world class players, Hatem Ben Arfa, Thomas Meunier and Grzegorz Krychowiak. As a bonus they got Unai Emery in, the former coach of Sevilla FC. Without undoing the work done by Laurent Blanc, the Spanish coach arrives and guarantees of a successful first season, a clear set of targets and an already impressive record. This year, the capital club will try to topple the giants of European football such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich,the perennial favorites to win the competition. This is the reason why none of these 3 huge clubs could win the Champions League two years in a row! And like PSG, other teams are able to join in this struggle for the European Holy Grail and prevent Real Madrid to make it 2 in a rowJuventus, for example, have had a very succesful off season signing huge players like, Dani Alves, Gonzalo Higuain, Mehdi Benatia, Miralem Pjanic and Marko Pjaca, and will now be feared by many in this competition! It’s the same story for Germany, where Borussia Dortmund have stocked up on quality footballers and hope to challenge Bayern in the Bundesliga as well as the major teams of Europe in the Champions League! Despite the loss of Hummels, Gundogan and Mkhitaryan, BVB have signed Götze, Schürrle, Rode, Guerreiro, Dembélé, Bartra and prodigy Mor! A crazy competition is ahead of us, along with Atletico Madrid led by Diego Simeone, who also adds to the diffculty of winning this competition. He added hardworking players to increase the intensity Athletico bring to games, with arrivals of Kevin Gameiro and Sime Vrsaljko. A mesmirising competition is ahead of us and we can only hope that it will be completed by Manchester City, who have yet to get through the qualifiers. This promises to be a spectacle!

To see: All odds and to bet on the Champions League

The statistics

At the risk of repeating ourselves, the statistics to remember, no club has yet managed to win 2 Champions League titles in a row since the redesign of the competiton in 1993! You would think Real Madrid wouldn’t have great odds, but they are set at 5.50 Bet365,  and not to be excluded from your list of potential winners of the Champions League 2016/2017. Also note that 5 of the last 8 winners were Spanish teams, and a bet on a fourth success in 9 years for Barça (rated at 4) or the first victory for Atlético Madrid after two losses does not seem that crazy after all. That said, given the forces involved and the lack of clubs such as Chelsea or Manchester United, the road to the final is still a tough one having to compete against Juventus (12), PSG (17) or Man City led by Guardiola for their first success, if not outright atDortmund (23)! You will also be well advised to take note of the unusually high average of goals in the Champions League when compared to that of other competitions. For several years, the average has been around 2.9 goals per game, either during the group stage or knockout stage! Do not hesitate to bet on games to be high scoring, especially during the first round, where plenty of goals are scored. There is also a difference between the percentage of home wins in the group stage (over 50% in the last three seasons with a peak of 55% last year) and the second round, which generally ranges between 45 and 48%. The advantage usually lies with the team who plays at home in the second leg.

To see: All live scores for Champions League matches