Real Madrid and Manchester City are advancing strong and that isn’t surprising. But FC Zenit Saint Petersburg is the big surprise since they are at 100% with no losses and no draws. They’ve won all 5 of their games while scoring 12 points.
They have been in the round of 16 twice before, but never with this kind of momentum. Former Chelsea and Tottenham Manager, Andre Villas-Boas has led them to impressive wins over Lyon, Gent, and Valencia leading many to believe they are headed for a victory and have the best odds. But will it last?
What’s behind Zenit’s success in the Champions League this year?
Hulk has been a enormous part of Zenit’s attack. Several brilliant feats; the early lead against Valencia; a pair of assists for Artem Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov to defeat Gent, a 30-yard thunderbolt in the win against Lyon and brilliantly teed up goals for Dzyuba in the 2nd match, make Hulk a big part of Zenit’s rise through the ranks.
But, it’s never just one player that leads you to victory. Shatov, Borussia Dortmund, Dzyuba, Witsel, Javi Garcia, Ezequiel Garay, Nicolas Lombaerts, and club captain Danny all help make Zenit a force to be reckoned with in the Champions league this year.
So, Does Zenit have the best odds to win the Champions League this year?
Well, they are one of the 9 teams that have clinched a berth in the final 16 with an impressive undefeated record, but they have some strong competition going forward. And soon there will be 7 more teams that qualify. It’s far from over. It will be interesting to see how long they can stay undefeated overall.
Barcelona, Bayern München, Paris, and Real Madrid are all group winners that have advanced to the last 16. Even those teams that are struggling to make the last 16 can turn things around after making the last 16.