Conte and Morata

Champions League: 15/1 Chelsea Worthy Dark Horses?

Two group stage games down, four to go. Chelsea, led by the charismatic Antonio Conte, are in control of their own destiny after winning both matches so far.

The Blues were the better side when beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 away from home at the end of September and based on that performance, Chelsea could go deep into the latter stages of the competition - they are a 15/1 shot to lift the trophy.

At the time of writing, Conte’s men are two points clear of Roma and four ahead of Atletico – giving the Blues breathing space at the top of Group C.

Ahead of October’s double header with Roma, Chelsea are as short as 1/6 to advance to the next round as group winners and it would take a brave man to back against the Premier League champions on current form.

Alvaro Morata has adjusted quickly to life in England and he appears to be enjoying his time in the Premier League.

The Chelsea star has already bagged seven goals in 10 games for his new side and Conte will be very happy with his progress. With a bit of luck, the Spain star could be Chelsea’s difference maker in the later rounds.

Alvaro Morata

Defensively, you know that Conte will have the Blues well drilled and organised; two traits that are required to succeed in Europe.

Conceding goals away from home can be costly and the Italian knows how to get the job done. If nothing else, clean sheets and tight contests should be expected whenever Chelsea are in action.

Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid are 4/1 favourites to retain their European Cup title. Zinedine Zidane’s men have struggled to inspire confidence in La Liga but the holders have won both of their group stage fixtures so far.

Back-to-back contests against Tottenham Hotspur could see Madrid more or less guarantee their place in the next round.

Paris Saint-Germain come next in the Champions League betting markets at 5/1 and plenty of punters will fancy the French side after their 3-0 demolition of Bayern Munich.

With the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar strutting their stuff upfront, PSG are serious contenders to win a maiden European Cup at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

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Following on, we have the usual suspects; Barcelona and Bayern. The Spanish giants are one of European football’s most successful clubs and Ernesto Valverde will look to lead his side to victory this season.

Meanwhile, Munich have turned to Jupp Heynckes in their bid to win the Champions League – the Bavarians are a 15/2 chance to claim their spot at the summit of European football.

How will Chelsea’s domestic rivals fare? The two Manchester clubs are worth considering on current form. United, valued at 12/1, have European Cup specialist Jose Mourinho in charge whilst 9/1 City are led by Pep Guardiola.

Both managers are capable of winning Europe’s elite club competition and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see either Manchester side go all the way to the final.

But in terms of value, Chelsea are arguably the best bet around. The Blues have Champions League pedigree in their favour, as do most of these clubs, but Conte’s passion and desire to succeed could give the Premier League champions an edge.

Only time will tell but we could see Chelsea lifting the European Cup once again in Kiev on May 26th.

 

*All odds accurate at the time of writing - click here for the latest betting markets*