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2021 CONCACAF Champions League Quarter-Finals Betting Preview – Odds and Predictions for Each Tie
The quarter-finals of the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League get underway on Tuesday, April 27, with three Mexican teams and five MLS clubs comprising the last eight.
Since its inception in 2008, the tournament has been totally dominated by Mexican sides. Four different clubs have flown the MLS flag in the final, although no team from the US or Canada has been able to end Mexico’s hegemony.
With Atlanta and Philadelphia facing off in the quarter-finals, we are guaranteed at least one MLS representative in the last four this year. But Columbus and Portland also stand a real chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
In this CCL betting preview, I look at the odds for each tie and share my CONCACAF Champions League predictions for the quarter-finals.
Before we get to my CCL predictions, let’s check out the latest CONCACAF Champions League winner odds for 2021.
2021 CONCACAF Champions League Winner Odds
Here are the latest 2021 CCL winner odds. Remember – if you are betting on the CONCACAF Champions League, make sure you’re using the top online betting sites.
Unsurprisingly, the bookmakers expect the three Mexican sides to mount a serious challenge for the trophy this year.
Cruz Azul (4.50) is the current favorite, although Club America (5.00) and Monterrey (6.00) aren’t too far behind.
Columbus (9.50) and Portland (10.00) are likely to be the Mexicans’ closest MLS challengers, followed by Philadelphia (14.00), Toronto (15.00), and Atlanta (17.00).
CONCACAF Champions League Quarter-Final Draw
The 2021 CCL quarter-finals kick off on Tuesday, April 27, with Atlanta hosting Philadelphia and Toronto facing off against Cruz Azul.
On Wednesday, April 28, Monterrey visits Columbus, while the Timbers clash with Club America. The second legs take place a week a later.
Let’s check out the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final draw in full.
- Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union
- Toronto vs. FC Cruz Azul
- Columbus vs. Crew Monterrey
- Portland Timbers vs. Club America
Atlanta’s all-MLS clash with the Union promises to be an intriguing battle. Philly performed far better than Atlanta last season, but the Five Stripes look set to bounce back this year.
TFC faces a tough test against the bookies’ tournament favorite, the Crew comes up against Monterrey, while the Timbers will need to get past 2015 and 2016 champions America.
Right, let’s get stuck into my CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final predictions.
Odds and Predictions for Every CCL Quarter-Final
In this section, I take an in-depth look all the CCL quarter-finals. After assessing the odds, I share my predictions for each tie.
Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union
The Five Stripes were expected to find life difficult against Alajuelense in the previous round. As it turned out, they ended up claiming a 2-0 aggregate win over the Costa Rican champion.
Following a season to forget in 2020, Gabriel Heinze was appointed to steer Atlanta in the right direction. It is still early days, but the Argentine head coach has made a promising start to life in Georgia.
Atlanta dominated Orlando City on the opening weekend of the 2021 MLS season but were ultimately held to a goalless draw. With goal-machine Josef Martinez returning from injury, the Five stripes are only going to get stronger.
Philadelphia also faced a Costa Rican opponent in the last round, making light work of Deportivo Saprissa. Jamiro Monteiro bagged a brace as the U sealed a 4-0 thrashing in the second leg, while Kacper Przybylko also scored twice across the two fixtures.
Having clinched the Supporters’ Shield last year, Jim Curtin’s men will be confident of adding more silverware to their trophy cabinet in 2021.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this proves to be the closest of the four quarter-finals. That said, I’m confident that Philly will be able to get the better of Atlanta over two legs.
Toronto FC vs. Cruz Azul
If the Reds want to reach their second CCL final, they will need to get past the bookmakers’ tournament favorite.
Toronto made it to the showpiece back in 2018, only to suffer a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss.
Still, the core of the 2018 roster is still around today, so guys like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley will be eager to make amends and go one better this time around.
TFC stunned everyone by knocking out Club Leon in the previous round, before suffering a shock 4-2 loss to Canadian rival CF Montreal in MLS Week 1. With that in mind, it is difficult to predict how Chris Armas’ men will fare against Cruz Azul.
You thought this guy was going to settle for a round-of-16 exit?! ? Toronto FC is advancing to take on Cruz Azul in the week commencing April 26, live on http://onesoccer.ca! HIGHLIGHTS ? https://youtu.be/EEfQ0-AgxfU #TFCLive #SCCL21 April 15, 2021
Los Cementeros are the second-most successful CONCACAF team of all time, although only one of their six triumphs has come since the Champions’ Cup became the Champions League in 2008.
The 2014 champions annihilated Haitian side Arcahaie 8-0 in the Round of 16, meaning they are likely to cause Toronto plenty of problems.
Having finished fourth in Mexico’s Apertura, Cruz Azul currently leads the Clausura standings. Not only have Juan Reynoso’s men scored goals at a rapid rate this term, but they have also kept multiple clean sheets along the way.
I expect TFC to put up a fight, but I can’t see Cruz Azul failing to reach the semi-finals.
Columbus Crew vs. Monterrey
The Crew effectively booked their spot in the quarter-finals after beating Real Esteli 4-0 in the first leg of their last-16 clash. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored to ensure that Columbus won the second leg 1-0, but the damage had already been done by then.
It feels like Caleb Porter’s side stands a genuine chance of ending Major League Soccer’s lengthy wait for a CCL title. The 2020 MLS Cup champions were a cut above their rivals last year – and the Crew’s current roster is even stronger.
With Gyasi Zardes leading from the front, Lucas Zelarayan wreaking havoc just behind, and Jonathan Mensah keeping things tight at the back, Columbus could upset the odds against Monterrey.
There is no hiding from the fact that Monterrey has been one of the most consistent performers in the CONCACAF Champions League in recent times.
In fact, Rayados have clinched four of the past ten CCL titles on offer – most recently triumphing in 2019.
However, Javier Aguirre’s men have recorded a series of iffy results lately. They currently find themselves miles off the pace in the Mexican Clausura race, having lost to Guadalajara, Pachuca, and Cruz Azul in the last two months.
I really like the look of the price for the Crew to qualify here. On top of that, I genuinely believe that Columbus can get the better of an off-form Monterrey outfit, espcially over two legs.
Portland Timbers vs. Club America
When I first saw the draw for the CCL quarter-finals, Portland Timbers vs. Club America immediately caught my eye.
Of course, America is the bookmakers’ favorite to advance – and rightfully so. But on their day, the Timbers are capable of competing with the Mexican powerhouses in this competition.
Giovanni Savarese’s men proved that when they crushed Marathon 5-0 in the previous round, sealing a 7-2 aggregate victory over Honduran club. Yimmi Chara netted a hat-trick in the second leg, while Diego Valeri played an eye-catching supporting role.
The Timbers’ 2021 MLS campaign didn’t get off to the best of starts, although I expect them to push America all the way.
|THE TIMBERS’ ALL-TIME CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RECORD|
|Games||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against|
America has secured a record seven CONCACAF titles over the years, sealing back-to-back CCL triumphs in 2015 and 2016. But the Timbers can’t let that affect them.
Led by former Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari, America narrowly scraped past Olimpia in the Round of 16. The tie finished 2-2, with the Mexican giant advancing on away goals.
The Eagles are pushing Cruz Azul at the top of the Liga MX table at the moment, although they look set to miss out on the title.
In all honesty, this matchup could go either way. If you’re looking for a safe bet, go with America. But if you’re willing to take the riskier option, Portland could land you a tasty profit.
Closing Thoughts on the 2021 CCL Quarter-Finals
I’m confident that there will be at least two MLS representatives in the 2021 CCL semi-finals.
As we know, Mexican sides have completely dominated the competition over the years. But it feels like the gulf between Mexico’s top clubs and the best MLS teams is getting smaller.
I can see Toronto struggling to get past Cruz Azul, although TFC did manage to upset the odds against Leon last time around.
The Crew will almost certainly give Monterrey a run for their money, while the Timbers stand a real chance of overcoming America.
ATL vs. Philly will be close, but I can see the Union edging that tie.
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