3 reasons why Real Madrid are still favorites to win the UEFA Champions League
Following their convincing aggregate victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League last-16, Real Madrid are now among the favorites yet again to lift a third consecutive UCL title come the final in Kiev on May 26.
Los Blancos were originally touted as front-runners for Europe's most prized silverware but a series of poor performances in both La Liga and the Copa del Rey threatened to derail the reigning UCL champion's season.
However, Zinedine Zidane's men are much fancied to defend their crown after a comfortable win over PSG, who were tipped to go deep into the competition this season.
As it stands, Europe's main bookmakers currently have Real Madrid at 5/1 to win the UEFA Champions League, second only to EPL run-away leaders; Manchester City who are currently favorites at 4/1 to take home the title.
#3 All eggs in one basket
Real Madrid have underwhelmingly performed in the league so far. From the dark days of December when a tie against PSG seemed as daunting as anything possibly could, to the optimism of March following their safe passage to the quarter-finals, much has changed for Real Madrid.
They are currently sitting in third position on the La Liga standings with 57 points and are ahead of fifth placed Sevilla by a comfortable 12 points margin.
With automatic qualification for next season's UCL almost guaranteed, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane would want to put all of his eggs in one basket and concentrate solely on defending their UEFA Champions League title.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has affirmed he is keen to avoid the defending champions despite their indifferent form. "I think Madrid are the favorites to win the competition. They're focusing solely on the Champions League and there's nobody else that deals with games in this competition like they do," said the Juventus manager.
It might be a propitious omen for Los Blancos that they managed to win La Novena and La Decima when they finished third in the league with regards the 2001-02 and 2013-14 seasons.