Champions League Favourites: Who Are The Bookies Backing To Clinch Europe’s Premier Club Competition
Europe’s Premier Club competition is back and the tournament seems to be more open than we’ve known in recent years with more clubs dreaming of producing a mesmeric run similar to Ajax’s last season.
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Real Madrid reacted during the summer by being very aggressive in the window after seeing their dominance in the tournament loosen with an all-English final taking stage at last season’s final.
Real Madrid have added the likes of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic while Barcelona splashed the cash on World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann and Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong. As for Bayern Munich, the German giants have attempted to revitalize their squad with some younger additions – including the €80m arrival of left-back Lucas Hernandez.
The English clubs have mainly opted for stability and there are a few dark horses to keep an eye on, such as Valencia and Red Bull Salzburg.
Below, we take a look at the top five favourites to lift the trophy at the Ataturk Stadium in May.
5) Bayern Munich
Bayern have some of the top talents in the world and are only just emerging from the large shadows created by the likes of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery. The team is now in the hands of Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard and Kingsley Coman.
They do seem to be caught between a shift in a change of culture and may need a few more years before returning to the pinnacle of European Football.
4) Paris Saint-Germain
Despite exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage in the past three seasons, PSG are one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season due to one simple reason – their strike-force.
Any team that possesses a quartet of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Mauro Icardi will be a threat.
The current holders are surprisingly low in the list given that they’ve reached back-to-back finals and seem to have the formula of winning this trophy – ‘they’ve done it six times’.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have largely remained unchanged from last season and focus at Anfield may be on ending their league drought.
Without a Champions League trophy since 2015, the Catalan giants have invested heavily to regain their crown and with the likes of Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez bearing down on goal.
1) Manchester City
Pep Guardiola is set to end his Champions League drought – well at least that’s what the odds say. The former Barcelona coach is, at least as far as the public’s concerned, going to be judged on his performances in Europe.
After clinching back-to-back league titles, Guardiola will be tasked with delivering what he’s essentially been brough in for – turn Man City into a European powerhouse.
Given their vast investment, it’s quite poor that Manchester City have only reached the semi-finals once over the past decade.