Champions League Futures Betting: Favourites and Dark Horses Assessed

Martin Green

Monday, July 15, 2019 8:20 PM UTC

Monday, Jul. 15, 2019 8:20 PM UTC

Europe's finest teams are preparing for battle!
<div><p>Liverpool finally ended a five-year reign of Spanish dominance when they brought the Champions League back to England in May. The Reds pulled off one of the greatest comebacks of all time as they vanquished Barcelona in the semis before edging Tottenham in an all-English final. The Premier League giants will be emboldened ahead of the 2019/20 competition, but Barcelona and Real Madrid have spent heavily this summer in a bid to return to the summit of club football. Juventus are also looking strong, and you can never write off the likes of PSG and Bayern Munich, so it promises to be another fascinating tournament. Here are the early favourites to lift the trophy:</p><h2>Man City</h2><p>Pep Guardiola’s men have won the last two Premier League titles with record-breaking points tallies and their football has been utterly scintillating. Yet they have fallen short in Europe and their defeats keep coming at the hands of domestic rivals. Liverpool overwhelmed them in the semi-finals in 2017 and Tottenham then dumped them out at the quarter-final stage last season. Could this be the year that Guardiola finally prioritises the Champions League and steers his team to victory. The bookmakers think so, as City are 5.50 (9/2) favourites with <a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Betfred">Betfred</a>. Captain Vincent Kompany has retired, while Fernandinho and David Silva are at the tail end of their careers, but City still boast many magnificent players, including Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling. However, those odds look a little low.</p><h2>Barcelona</h2><p>It is now five years since Barca won the Champions League. They let a three-goal aggregate lead slip against Roma two seasons ago, and lightning struck twice as they beat Liverpool 3-0 at the Nou Camp last season and ended up losing 4-3 on aggregate. Frenkie de Jong is a massive signing, as he should galvanise their midfield, while Antoine Griezmann provides another fantastic option up front. Barcelona are priced at 7.0 (6/1) to win the Champions League, but they could have too many ageing legs to get the job done.</p><h2>Liverpool</h2><p>The Reds look like an excellent option at 9.0 (8/1) to win the Champions League, with Betfred once again offering a market-leading price. They went to the final in 2017 and only lost to Real Madrid as a result of two goalkeeping howlers from Loris Karius. They instantly replaced him with Brazil number one Alisson, a €75 million signing from Roma, and their fortunes were transformed. They were sensational in last season’s Champions League, and the atmosphere inside Anfield against Barcelona was electric. They can turn over any team on Merseyside, and they looked pretty comfortable in beating Tottenham in the final. Their players are all at the perfect age, with Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino improving each year, and they can absolutely defend their crown in 2020.</p><h2>Real Madrid</h2><p>Los Blancos also look like an intriguing option at 9.0 (8/1) with <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a>. They won this competition three years in a row under the management of Zinedine Zidane. He left last summer and the club fell apart. They badly missed Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus, and they paid the price for a failure to invest in their squad as they were eliminated early on by Ajax, bringing their long spell of dominance to an end. Now they have brought Zidane back, invested more than €300 million in new players, including Eden Hazard, and they look like they are raring to go once more.</p><h2>Juventus</h2><p>Bet365 has 11.0 (10/1) on Juventus winning the Champions League and that looks very generous, as some bookies will only go to 8.0 (7/1). They suffered an agonising quarter-final defeat to Ajax last season, but they have more than enough quality to win the tournament. They have twice finished runners-up in the Champions League in recent years, and they now have the world’s most devastating striker leading the line. Ronaldo is a big game player, and if the defence can hold its own then Juve can win this trophy. They may well have signed Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, the man who dumped them out last season, by then. Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot have also joined the fold to provide dynamism in midfield, while legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is back at the club.</p><h2>The Rest</h2><p>It is hard to see any of the longer shots mounting a serious challenge for the Champions League next season. Ajax’s team is being picked apart by vultures this summer, while Atletico Madrid have already lost four key players. Bayern Munich’s defeat to Liverpool last season showed just how far the Bundesliga now lags behind the Premier League, and the same can be said of Serie A. PSG flatter to deceive in Europe, and perhaps a lack of domestic competition means they are unprepared for the massive task faced in Europe.</p><p>Chelsea will surely go backwards after losing Hazard, but Tottenham might be the one dark horse worth backing at 26.0 (25/1). They did very well last season, and they have kept hold of Mauricio Pochettino and all their key men thus far, while bolstering the squad with good new signings, so they might make another splash in Europe. But right now Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus look like the most interesting options in this market and 10/1 on Juve is very tempting indeed.</p></div>
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