The final round of Champions League fixtures proved too tough for Manchester United and Manchester City but they have been installed as the favourites for the Europa League
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Despite their positive starts to the Premier League season, both Manchester City and Manchester United were dumped out of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
City’s fate was out of their hands and although they saw off a weakened Bayern Munich side, Napoli beat Villarreal to claim second spot in Group A leaving the Citizens in third spot.
Meanwhile, Manchester United only needed a point in Switzerland to secure a place in the last 16 but they were beaten 2-1 by Basel and will join their fellow Manchester club in the Europa League in the New Year.
William Hill now make Manchester City favourites for the Europa League trophy at 6/1 with United not far behind at 7/1. Given the strength of both squads these prices aren’t surprising but will the Thursday night fixtures see heavy squad rotation to allow the best players to be fit for the weekend’s Premier League action?
Tottenham have already shown that they prefer to field younger, more inexperienced sides in this competition but it remains to be seen if Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini will follow suit.
Barcelona remain firm favourites to retain their Champions League crown at 13/8 while their Primera Division rivals Real Madrid are now 5/2. The remaining English contingent of Chelsea and Arsenal are priced at 10/1 and 18/1 respectively to win the competition after they both secured a place in the last 16, qualifying top of their groups.
Jim Knight is a sports enthusiast and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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