Belfast Telegraph

Champions League: Spain in the neck for Chelsea and Bayern Munich

By Robert Fenton

Athletico Madrid have been the 'dark horses' all the way through the Champions League – but now have a marvellous chance of winning it for the first time.

At 9/2 with Ladbrokes, they should be backed before their semi-final clash with Chelsea on Tuesday.

The Spaniards are a fine all-round side, hard to break down and have what it takes to make the final for which they are a generous even money.

Naturally everything will be much better if Brazilian Diego Costa has made a full recovery from his collision with a post during last Sunday's league win over Getafe. All the signs are that he'll be in the starting line-up.

The other semi, featuring holders Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, is much more difficult to call.

Munich made hard work of disposing of Manchester United while Madrid, minus Cristiano Ronaldo, were fortunate to hold on against Borussia Dortmund.

That Real-Munich clash is a repeat of their 2012 meeting which the German side won on penalties.

This one should be just as close but Madrid are worth chancing at 6/5 compared to Bayern's 4/6 to make next month's decider.

The Germans are bidding to be the first to retain the trophy while if Bayern and Chelsea qualify, it'll be a repeat of the 2012 final in Munich which the Londoners won after spot-kicks.

Ronaldo can make the difference between winning and losing and the same applies to Costa, thereby setting it up for an all-Spanish final.

It's evens for the winners to be Spanish and that's a bet worth having.

Meanwhile, Marcus Tregoning has always held Snow Trouble in high regard and he is fancied to make a winning start to what could be an exciting three-year-old campaign in the Betfred Racing's Biggest Supporter Conditions Stakes at Kempton today.

Tregoning, who knows how to handle a good horse, has had a few run nicely recently.

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