Leicester City has advanced to the final eight of the UEFA Champions League, becoming the eighth Premier League to advance to the quarterfinals in the history of the competition.
That’s the highest total for any league in the world, and the Foxes are hopeful to join Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds United as English clubs to make the semifinal since 1991.
With only giants remaining in the competition, the Foxes are certainly a long shot to keep their journey alive. Whether it’s Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus or one of Wednesday’s winners (Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester City, or Monaco), life’s gonna be tough in the quarters.
Consider that, of the teams who’ve currently advanced, these are the average odds to win the UCL:
Barcelona – 11:4
Bayern Munich – 3:1
Real Madrid – 9:2
Juventus – 8:1
Borussia Dortmund – 10:1
Leicester City – 30:1
Consider that Man City and Atletico Madrid, who’ve yet to clinch their spots in the quarterfinals, boast better betting odds than that, and you’ve got the ides. Heck, Monaco trails Man City 5-3 heading into Wednesday’s second leg and has 50:1 odds.
Here are Leicester’s best scenarios.
1) Bayer Leverkusen rallies to beat Atletico Madrid on Wednesday: The Bundesliga side is very much in the Leicester boat, having struggled in domestic play this season while shipping in goals. Bayer is also the closest thing left to Sevilla, who Leicester defeated in the Round of 16.
2) Manchester City holds off Monaco: Familiarity may breed content, but Leicester has already beaten Man City 4-2 at the King Power this season (The Foxes don’t visit the Etihad Stadium until May 13). In last season’s title run, Leicester beat City at the Etihad and drew at the KP.
3) Juventus or Atletico Madrid: It may seem easy to name the clubs not named Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund, but there’s a bigger logic at play here. Leicester’s problem this year has been an older defense. While both Juve and Atleti have weapons that can break apart a back line, they are far from the attacking threats of their opponents. If you’re looking for an opponent who will have the most trouble to come back from a deficit should you score early, you’re choosing one of these two. Consider the domestic scoring records of the remaining squads.
Goals per game in domestic league play
Real Madrid: 2.65
Bayern Munich: 2.5
Borussia Dortmund: 2.21
Man City: 1.96
Atletico Madrid: 1.81
Bayer Leverkusen: 1.54
Leicester City: 1.11