Real Madrid broke the rule about “no side ever retaining the Champions League trophy” and now it’s open once again to the entire field. In this article we’re going to take a very early look at the forerunners for next seasons Champions League trophy and see where we can find any value.
Being realistic there is not much chance that any side outside the top 10 will have a chance of winning this competition. That rules out Liverpool, Tottenham and last year’s surprise side Monaco.
Monaco of course have already been weakened by transfers and the rumour mill has another 5-6 players leaving the club this summer. Their coffers will be swelled but their playing ranks will be hurt at the same time.
Borussia Dortmund are the bookies 10th highest rated side and with a new manager they will be wondering if they can improve on last seasons quarter final appearance. With striker Aubameyang on his way out it will be a big ask for Peter Bosz to take his new charges into the semi finals. Of course it could happen if they get a friendly draw but I wouldn’t tip them to win.
PSG are next and this is another side I struggle to see winning the European Cup. They showed a massive amount of naïveté last season when they threw away what seemed an unassailable position. That kind of performance says a lot about a club and I can’t see them even doing as well this time round.
Atletico Madrid are 8th and with their transfer ban I can’t see them being able to attract the kind of players they will need to win. Quarter finals will be good going for them but well thought out purchases in January could change all that.
Then comes Manchester United and this one is tough. Despite having a crazy amount of money spent on the side last season, it appears a similar amount will be spent this summer. Lindelof is already signed up apparently and he and Eric Bailly could make a formidable pairing at the centre of the defence. If Mourinho can find a Carrick replacement then Man U stand a chance of doing quite well.
Chelsea had the benefit of zero European football last season. This time round they will have to juggle European and domestic commitments. I expect them to get out of the group but I doubt they can win.
Manchester City are another side likely to spend big. They’ve already brought in another goalkeeper and a left back but their squad still needs more work. Guardiola looks determined to play a pacy side and that’s a powerful weapon if the players have the right technical skills as well. I’ll call this lot outsiders and will be placing a small bet on them for trading purposes.
Juventus were my tip early on last season but ageing legs may cost them a chance of going one better in 2017/18. I can’t sanction a bet on them at odds of 10 with bet365.
Then things get very serious. If Bayern Munich can attract the likes of Sanchez or Özil from Arsenal then they become real contenders. I do suspect they will make at least one big purchase this season and I don’t mean Serge Gnabry.
Then we have the two sides most likely to win and it’s hard to split them. Barcelona are favourites by a hair but that’s probably only because the market doesn’t believe Real can win it three times in a row. Both are currently being traded at around 6, with Barcelona as low as 5 in some places.
I’m not going to try and split them. Real Madrid will want to make it a hat-trick of Champions League wins and Barcelona will not only want to spoil that party but also show that new boss Ernesto Valverde was the right choice.
Regardless of which team wins it, their seems to be only one decent bet right now and that’s for a Spanish side to be holding up the European Cup next May. That’s at 2.5 with Bet365.