We already know 4 of the quarterfinalists for this year´s Champions League following, impressive results from Manchester United and Arsenal, Bayern Munich coming from behind to claim qualification at Fiorentina, and Lyon ruining Madrid´s 100% home record (and quite possibly their season). The four ties between them managed sixteen goals, and we hope to see just as many as we look forward to this week’s games.
Chelsea (1) v Inter Milan (2)
The return to Stamford Bridge of Jose “The Special One” Mourinho and the Italian league leaders is going to represent Chelsea´s toughest task of the season to date. Chelsea have struggled of late to dominate matches and are missing key personnel in defence. Despite that, their recent home record shows P6 W5 L1 (Manchester City) F18 A8. Chelsea score goals and you will expect them to score at least two against a Milan team who will play a strong defending game and try to score on the counter. Milan has a good away record currently – being unbeaten in their last six (P6 W2 D4 L0 F8 A6) – so this game may well run into extra time. We anticipate Chelsea will be the stronger of the two teams at the end.
Verdict Chelsea win
Seville (1) v CSKA Moscow (1)
Three weeks ago we anticipated that this match would be the one to produce all the goals. As yet it failed to live up to expectations, but now CSKA (who have never progressed this far in Europe before) have nothing to gain from playing defensive football against a side with far from impressive home stats (Seville´s recent home form reads P6 W3 D1 L2 F6 A5. The Russian league is on a winter break). Hopefully the goals will come on this occasion, but it is the European pedigree of Seville and the lack of competitive football for CSKA that lead us to believe the Spanish team will emerge victorious.
Verdict Seville win
Barcelona (1) v Stuttgart (1)
This was regarded as one of the easiest draws Barcelona could have had, but they made hard work of the job in Germany and face a Stuttgart team playing its best football of the season. Having seen Madrid lose their 100% home record this season, dampened the eagerness with which we were going to suggest this was the weeks home banker, but with Barcelona scoring freely at the Nou Camp (recent home record reads P6 W5 D1 L0 F14 A3) against Stuttgart’s solid away form (P6 W3 D2 L1 F11 A9) we still feel that it is the Catalonian team that will be in the draw for the quarterfinals on March 19th.
Verdict Barcelona win
Bordeaux (1) v Olympiakos (0)
Bordeaux are the only team playing at home this week who claimed a victory in the first leg of their tie and Olympiakos now have it all to do. There is little to choose between the two teams on current domestic form (Bordeaux home P6 W2 D3 L1 F10 A6 – Olympiakos away P6 W2 D2 L2 F5 A4) but the Greeks have been a little goal-shy of late, and having to score at least twice to qualify, we are going to stick with our original selection of a French win.
Verdict Bordeaux win
So, nothing really surprising amongst our analysis and predictions, but how can we apply that information to maximise betting opportunities? Spread betting has a reputation for having the potential to accumulate large losses, and caution is always advised in any speculating, however we would like to present a scenario as an example of how the above predictions could be applied to safely win on the spread betting market.
The market is “Who will win the Champions League” and the spread works as follows. Teams are awarded a number of points for progressing so far in the competition. The winner gets 100 points, beaten finalist 75 points, losing semi-finalist 50 points and losing quarter-finalist (the next round) 25 points. All teams already have 10 points for reaching the last 16, and points are not accumulated (ie the winner does not get 100 + 10 etc).
The tie we are going to use as an example is Chelsea v Inter Milan.
Each team is given two prices “Buy” and “Sell”. As in any business transaction you want to buy low and sell high and Chelsea´s current “spread” is Buy 40 – Sell 37. What this means is that, if you feel that Chelsea are going to do well in this year´s Champions League, you buy at 40 (times your £ value). Say, for example that Chelsea beat Inter Milan and progress through the quarter finals and into the semi-finals. You are assured at this point that Chelsea will attain a minimum of 50 points and you will show 10 points profit (ten times your £ value). However, if Chelsea lose to Milan they will finish the Champions League on just 10 points and you will lose 30 (40 – 10) times your unit stake. This may not seem like value, but if Chelsea wins the Champions League you will receive 60 (100 – 40) times your £ value.
On the other side of the coin, you could sell Inter Milan on their current spread of buy 31 – sell 28. If they fail to progress passed Chelsea, you will win 18 (28 – 10) times your £ value. Even if they beat Chelsea and lose in the quarterfinals, you will win 3 (28 – 25) times your £ value. The worst possible scenario is if Inter Milan win the Champions League and you have a liability of 72 (100 – 28) times your £ value, although in a later article we will explain how to dispose of your liabilities and reduce the potential for loss.
We hope this clearly explains the basics of spread betting, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.