Chelsea cut for Champions League
Chelsea have been slashed across the boards for Champions League glory after they were handed a kind draw on Thursday.
The Blues are now joint third-favourites with Betfred and Sky Bet alongside Barcelona, having been placed in Group G with Schalke, Sporting Lisbon and Maribor, three sides which are all huge odds to win the competition.
Ladbrokes took a stand against Jose Mourinho's men and offer 15/2 that they repeat their 2012 heroics, with most firms offering 7/1.
Real Madrid were also cut for Champions League joy after the holders were drawn in Group B with Liverpool, Basel and Ludogorets. Coral offer 10/3 for Real to defend the trophy they won back in May, while Ladbrokes went 11/4 from 4/1 and the majority of other firms make Madrid 7/2 favourites.
Liverpool remain a best-priced 28/1 with Coral, while Arsenal are 25/1 with Betfred and 888sport but generally 20/1.
Manchester City were the major drifters after they were put in a difficult-looking Group E with Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Roma.
Manuel Pellegrini's side are generally on offer at 14/1, but BetVictor and William Hill go 12/1. Bayern were made standout 5/1 chances with Coral.
“The betting suggests it was a good draw for Arsenal and Chelsea as they are both favourites to win their groups, while Manchester City have work to do as Bayern Munich are odds-on to come out on top in their group,” said Coral’s John Hill.
Sky Bet’s Joe Petyt said: “It looks like another favourable draw for Chelsea and they are our odds-on favourites to win their group, which would obviously leave them in a favourable position heading into the knockout stages, while City, Arsenal and Liverpool face far tougher tasks.
"All four Premier League sides are expected to quality and Liverpool are the worst result in our outright book but we’re holding Jose Mourinho’s side in very high regard this season with a prolific striker in their ranks again."
William Hill make Liverpool 4/1 to win Group B, while Arsenal are 11/10 to win their group. All the English sides are 1/4 to qualify from their groups except for Chelsea, in the easiest of the four groups on paper, who are 1/12.
Hills offer 20/1 for an all-English final and 100/1 that all four English sides fail to qualify.
“In the last few years, we have seen some great Champions League campaigns from our English sides and some frankly woeful ones although you will get long odds on either the best case scenario or the worst case scenario happening this season,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.
- Updated at 0920 on 29/08/2014