Having provided five of the last six Champions League finalists, Al Hain-Cole expects Spain to maintain its dominance in this season's competition
As the only nation with four clubs in the Champions League last 16, Spain looks well placed to maintain its domination of European football for yet another season.
With Real Madrid or Barcelona taking home the trophy in each of the last three campaigns and Atletico Madrid reaching two of the last three finals, Spanish football is currently an unprecedented period of Champions League success.
Considering Sevilla are now plying their trade in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition after winning the last three consecutive Europa League titles, bet365’s 4/5 (1.80) price actually seem rather generous on the trophy remaining in Spain.
While Barcelona face a tricky tie against Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla’s relatively more straightforward draws against Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen and Leicester respectively should ensure a strong Iberian presence in the quarter-finals.
Although an out-of-form Leverkusen team may struggle against Diego Simeone’s men, Bayern Munich and the talented Borussia Dortmund make Germany the strongest challenge to Spanish hegemony.
With Dortmund taking on Benfica and Bayern facing Arsenal, odds of 5/2 (3.50) are available on the trophy returning to German soil after three years in Spain.
That tricky tie for Arsenal and the group stage elimination of Tottenham Hotspur sees England a distant third on 13/2 (7.50) to rule Europe for the first time since 2012, with Premier League champions Leicester in terrible form and an unpredictable Manchester City pitted against a rampant Monaco.
The imperious form of Leonardo Jardim’s side has certainly enhanced Ligue 1 aspirations of international success, with a nation recently reliant solely on PSG now a 20/1 (21.00) shot to return the trophy to French soil almost 25 years since Marseille’s last triumph.
However, Napoli and particularly Juventus’ pedigree makes Italy a more fancied 10/1 (11.00), with Massimiliano Allegri’s hugely successful team expected to make it past Porto in the next stage.
That difficult tie and Benfica’s face-off with Dortmund leaves Portugal as the heavy 66/1 (67.00) outsider to claim a fifth European title, with those two clubs each having lifted the trophy on two previous occasions.