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French fancied at 28/1

French fancied at 28/1 post image

Manchester City’s tie with Barcelona dominated the headlines after the draw for the knockout stages of the Champions League but the value at this stage could lie elsewhere.

Many of the recent trends were repeated this time around as 10 of the 16 qualifiers came from what are undoubtedly Europe’s ‘big three’ leagues – La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League.

Those divisions have not only provided the winners in each of the last four years but also all eight finalists so it’s no surprise that they dominate the betting on the winning nationality this time around, with Spain 11/10, Germany 9/4, England 7/2 – and then 28/1 bar.

However as the tables below illustrate France’s Ligue 1 could be an emerging force.

There’s clearly been an added financial clout in France in the last couple of years and the performances of the two clubs who made it to the group stages – Paris St Germain and Monaco – were eyecatching.

PSG were just shaded by Barcelona at the top of their group while Monaco topped their section despite scoring just four goals but conceding only one.

It all puts them second in the average-points-won-per-game standings and it’s worth reminding ourselves that PSG were only just edged out in agonising late fashion in the quarter-finals last season by Chelsea, with the Blues going through on away goals.

That pair face off again this year in the last 16 while Monaco’s reward is a tie against Arsenal and another glance at the tables would suggest the overall standard of the Premier League has dipped markedly this season so those draws aren’t as daunting as they might have been.

It means that the 28/1 about a French winner of the Champions League looks a shade too big and we’ll make that our first recommendation for this season’s competition.

Spain and Germany are still massively respected – the Bundesliga’s figures are almost identical to 12 months ago despite a high number of goals conceded by Schalke (only Malmo and BATE Borisov let in more in the 32-team group stages) while there’s been a marked improvement defensively from La Liga’s four representatives with just 16 goals conceded in total – but all of that is reflected in their short prices.

Selection:
A French team to win 2014/15 Champions League at 28/1 (Sky Bet).

Draw in full:

Arsenal v Monaco
Basle v Porto
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Juventus v Borussia Dortmund
Manchester City v Barcelona
Paris St Germain v Chelsea
Schalke v Real Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern Munich

Here are the stats from the group stages…

The domination of Spain, Germany and England continues this season in terms of the numbers of last 16 qualifiers – but France look a country on the up…

Country performance - Champions League group stages 2014/15:

Country
Ave pts won per game
Ave goals scored per game
Ave goals conceded per game
First place finishes in group
Second place finishes
Third or fourth place finishes
Spain2.212.080.67301
France2.001.170.67110
Germany1.921.921.08220
England1.671.921.17121
Italy1.251.251.50011

No less than 11 of the 16 qualifiers last year came from La Liga, the Premier League and the Bundesliga – with the table below illustrating the gap between them and the rest…

Country performance - Champions League group stages 2013/14:

Country
Ave pts won per game
Ave goals scored per game
Ave goals conceded per game
First place finishes in group
Second place finishes
Third or fourth place finishes
England2.212.080.875220
Germany1.961.791.13220
Spain1.882.170.96301
Italy1.501.501.06012
France1.081.751.58101

It was slightly less pronounced in 2012/13 – though there was a clear indication that the power base at that point was in the Bundesliga, later underlined by a Bayern v Borussia Dortmund final…

Country performance - Champions League group stages 2012/13:

Country
Ave pts won per game
Ave goals scored per game
Ave goals conceded per game
First place finishes in group
Second place finishes
Third or fourth place finishes
Germany2.172.001.00300
Spain2.042.081.00220
Italy1.671.580.83110
England1.461.751.45112
France1.111.331.55102

Betvictor.com

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