THEY’RE absolutely no good in the English Premier League and they’ve just sacked their coach.
But, somehow, reigning Premier League champions Leicester City are through to the quarter finals of the Champions League.
No one gave them a hope in hell of winning the English competition last year, yet that’s exactly what they did and now they are trying to write their second fairy tale in as many years in Europe’s strongest competition.
The Foxes continued their dream run through the Champions League, knocking off Sevilla in a 2-0 win that also yielded a red card to Sevilla agitator Samir Nasri.
Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton strikes either side of half time were enough to put the Foxes through.
And, at +2500 with Sportsbet.com.au to win the lot, new manager Craig Shakespeare has shown there is plenty of belief around the club.
“We might just be the surprise team,” Shakespeare said.
“We know there’s going to be some terrific teams, as there were in the previous round.
“We have to be delighted with the performance and knocking Sevilla out.
“Their record in Europe is there for everyone to see.
“We’re in there on merit. Make no mistake about that.”
Shakespeare guided the Foxes to the last eight of the Champions League in his first match since taking the full-time position. Leicester is the sole English representative remaining in the European competition.
Leicester have not lost since Shakespeare took over from Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked despite leading the club to the English promised land as a 5000 to one chance last season.
“It was very, very important to get on a winning streak,” he said.
“When you lose, players will lose confidence.
“We needed to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.”
“It (the Champions league run) has to stand up there with all the achievements, because of the quality of the opposition.
“It is only over two legs and when you win the league it’s over a lot more games.”
And even Europe’s power clubs are worried about the looming prospect of the Premier League minnows who became kings.
Legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has singled out the Foxes as the one team his side wants to avoid in the quarter finals.
“Who do I prefer not to play? Leicester, because they are a dangerous and passionate team who can cause trouble for opponents who take the initiative,” the Serie A champion said.
“Against them, we would have everything to lose.”
Juventus are among the favourites at $7 after they knocked off Porto 1-0 this morning to also win their way through to the quarters.
Paolo Dybala’s first half penalty was enough to put Juve through, 3-0 on aggregate against 10 man Porto.
In remarkable scenes this morning, Manchester City was stunningly knocked out of the competition by Monaco ($14).
After losing the opening leg 5-3, Monaco looked absolutely cooked.
But no one told them, as they fired in twice in the opening half, with French prodigy Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho putting them on level pegging. City shot back in front with a goal to Leroy Sane after half time, but it would prove to be short lived, with Tiemoue Bakayoko breaking their backs, evening up the tie at 6-6, but giving Monaco progression thanks to the extra two away goals.
It would become the first time City manager Pep Guardiola has not made it through to the final eight of the competition, following his remarkable run as mentor at Bayern Munich.
Spanish giant Barcelona and German power club Bayern Munich are the joint favourites to win the title at $3.75.
The only way you would not be aware of Barca’s remarkable comeback against Paris St Germain last week is if you had been living under a rock.
Crushed 4-0 in the first leg, it looked as though the French club was about to cause a major boil over.
But Barca burst out of the blocks in the second leg, leading 3-0 and the game was on. An away goal to PSG rocked them and, with three minutes to go – and three goals needed – all hope looked lost.
But, because it is Barca, you can never rule them out. Superstar Neymar took the game by the scruff of the throat, slamming home a superb free kick, converting from the penalty spot and then sending in a delightful ball that was flicked home by Roberto to send the Camp Nou into rapture and put them through, 6-5 on aggregate.
The refereeing in the game absolutely stunk, prompting PSG to petition FIFA to have the game replayed – like that is ever going to happen.
Bayern smoked their English whipping boys Arsenal 10-2 on aggregate to book their place in the last eight.
Reigning champion Real Madrid is $5.50 to go back to back after it crushed Italian club Napoli 6-2 on aggregate.
Bayern has been joined in the last eight by fellow German Club Borussia Dortmund, rated an $11 chance after it slaughtered Portuguese club Benfica 4-0 in the second leg of their round of 16 tilt.
And Atletico Madrid, the only other team under double figure odds, is $9.50 after winning its way through against Bayer Leverkusen this morning.
The Draw for the Champions League quarter finals is set for Friday morning.
2017 Champions League winners market
Bayern Munich ($3.75)
Real Madrid ($5.50)
Atletico Madrid ($9.50)
Borussia Dortmund ($10)
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