Betting Specials: Spain to reign supreme in Europe?

With five of the eight teams still in contention this season coming from Spain, Adam Bate looks at two intriguing doubles for Champions League and Europa League glory
Barcelona have captured the imagination of the public in recent seasons and are strong favourites to lift the Champions League trophy next month.

They have been aided by a favourable draw that sees Pep Guardiola’s men face a Chelsea side that has struggled for rhythm all season.

The Catalan giants will surely reach the final and be expected to deliver another master-class on club football’s finest stage – becoming the first to successfully defend the European Cup since Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan in 1990.

Barcelona can be backed at 5/6 (1.83) with Paddy Power.

Athletic Bilbao have been lighting up the Europa League in much the same way as Barca have been entertaining the masses in Europe’s premier club competition.

A comprehensive dismantling of Manchester United in the last 16 was followed by an engrossing battle with Schalke in the quarter-finals and Marcelo Bielsa’s intriguing side are now favourites to win the Europa League trophy in Bucharest.

Athletic are available at 13/8 (2.63), while the crowd-pleasing Catalan/Basque double of wins for Barcelona and Bilbao is a 15/4 (4.75) shot with Paddy Power.

Alternatively, how about the prospect of Madrid claiming both of European club football’s prizes this season?

Real Madrid have a tough assignment against Bayern Munich in their Champions League semi-final later this month, but in Jose Mourinho they have a coach who knows how to win the biggest prizes.

Real are 5/2 (3.5) to lift the European Cup for a 10th time.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid won the Europa League as recently as 2010 and have made light of their up-and-down league form to mount another serious tilt at the trophy this season.

Atletico Madrid are 12/5 (3.4) to win the competition and the Madrid double is available at 11/1 (12.0) with Paddy Power.

Barcelona & Athletic Bilbao to win a Champions League / Europa League double at 15/4 (4.75)

Real Madrid & Atletico Madrid to win a Champions League / Europa League double at 11/1 (12.0)

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter