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Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Chelsea: Can Roberto Di Matteo win the Champions League for the Blues?

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Salomon Kalou’s crucial away goal last week in Benfica has put the Blues in the driving seat for a semi-final place against either AC Milan or Barcelona, but can Roberto Di Matteo be the man to finally fulfil Roman Abramovich’s quest to win the Champions League?

Chelsea host Benfica on Wednesday night in the second leg and the Blues are 6/4 to complete the job in front of their own fans. Before kick-off they will know who will be tasked with stopping their march to Munich, as AC Milan travel to the Nou Camp tonight, but, as I write, Chelsea are 10/1 at bWin to become the first team from London to lift the coveted trophy.

Barcelona beat Manchester United at Wembley last season to win the biggest prize in club football and they were thwarted in their bid for an away goal by a well-drilled and experienced Italian side. With home advantage Barca should progress but you can never underestimate Milan. Pep Guardiola’s men are 3/10 at Paddy Power to see off AC Milan and the bookie also has Barca at 5/4 to retain the trophy. But if you think AC can do what their major rivals Inter managed in 2010 and knock Barca out of the competition you’ll get odds of 12/1 at BoyleSports. If you think AC’s name is on the trophy then Bet Fred is your next port of call as they are offering odds of 22/1 for Milan to be this year’s kings of Europe.

But let’s not write off Benfica just yet. They are 5/1 at BoyleSports to ease past Chelsea and 150/1 at bWin to lift the Champions League in Germany in May.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid’s emphatic 3-0 win at Apoel Nicosia means Jose Mourinho already has one foot in the semi-final where it looks as though he will be facing German giants Bayern Munich. Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben put the men from the Allianz Arena in the driving seat against Marseille and I can’t see the French side overthrowing the Germans on their own back yard.

Madrid are 9/4 at Stan James to win the crown while Bayern are just behind them at 5/1 at Paddy Power.

Here are the best prices on how will win the Champions League as they stand at 9pm on Monday April 2:

Barcelona 5/4 – Paddy Power and Coral

Real Madrid 9/4 – Stan James and Bet Victor

Bayern Munich 5/1 – Paddy Power and Stan James

Chelsea 10/1 – bWin

AC Milan 22/1 – ToteSport and BoyleSports

Benfica 150/1 – BlueSquare and bWin

Marseille 999/1 – bWin

Apoel Nicosia 9999/1 - bWin


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Colin Illingworth



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