Champions League Odds & Preview
The group stage of this season’s UEFA Champions League is well and truly underway and there have been some cracking matches already. Could there be a surprise winner of the tournament this year? Here is a look at the Champions League odds and favourites for this season’s prospective champions.
1. Barcelona 7/2
Barcelona have already sent out a strong message that they mean business this season by thrashing Celtic and Manchester City. They have the most powerful front-line in world football and for any defence it’s going to be a horrid time trying to contain Messi, Suarez and Neymar. It’s not only the deadly attacking trio that makes them favourites but their strength in depth all over the pitch.
On the other hand though, they can be beaten. Manchester City showed this as they beat the Spanish outfit in England. At the moment though, if you are going to back anyone to win it, Barcelona looks a safe bet.
2. Bayern Munich 4/1
The Germans last won the competition in 2013 and their fans will be desperate to win it again this year. They consistently make it to the latter stages of the competition and you can be sure that they will be there and thereabouts again this season. By their standards they have had a poor Champions League campaign so far and finished second spot behind Atletico.
Bayern are, however, managed by Carlo Ancelotti who has an incredible record in the Champions League. He is the only manager that has won Europe’s premium competition on three occasions and this should be a good omen for Munich fans.
3. Real Madrid 4/1
Last season’s champions will want to do it again this time round and will be relying heavily on their main man Ronaldo. The Portuguese didn’t endure the best of starts to the season but in recent weeks has absolutely stormed into form scoring goals at will. Gareth Bale was also having a season to remember but he will be out of action until next year and Madrid will want him ready for the knockout stages of the competition.
Just like the two aforementioned teams, they have a massive squad full of International superstars who can propel them to another major trophy. Madrid hasn’t hit top gear so far this season but once they hit their stride they could destroy any other team on the planet. They are well worth betting on to become champions once again.
4. Atletico Madrid 9/1
The only Spanish team that is able to compete consistently with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Atletico have made a fine start to this season’s Champions League campaign. They faced a tricky group with Bayern Munich being their main rival but they have easily managed to win the group and will be hoping for a kind draw in the round of sixteen.
In recent years they have proved a handful for any European opposition and are a very tricky outfit to break down. Up front it’s obvious who their danger man is. Antoinne Griezmann has become one of the world’s best strikers and is able to score when it matters most. They will be quietly confident of going all the way this season.
5. Manchester City 11/1
Pep Guardiola’s troops come in at good odds if you are willing to take a bit of a gamble. While City have the players to go all the way; there is still a lot of work ahead of them. They have already been taught a lesson as Guardiola’s return to Spain ended in a 4-0 hammering by his former team. They did get sweet revenge however when they beat Barcelona in Manchester but it was still not enough to pip Barcelona to top spot in the group.
City have more often than not been handed tough draws in the competition and it looks as if they will face one of the ‘big boys’ after ending up second in their group. Perhaps Guardiola has a few tricks up his sleeve and his immense experience could help City become surprise champions.
Last 10 Champions League Winners
The UEFA Champions League has been dominated by Spanish teams in the last 10 years, with champions emerging five times out of ten, and six out of eleven if you go one year further back. England and Italy have two wins each in the last ten with the sole Germany win in 2012-13 between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
With the Spanish teams featuring strongly again this year it looks likely they will extend their domination of the tournament, which reflects their favourable betting odds with the bookies.
|2015–16||Real Madrid||Atletico Madrid||5-3 (p)|
|2013–14||Real Madrid||Atletico Madrid||4-1|
|2012–13||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||2-1|
|2011–12||Chelsea||Bayern Munich||4-3 (p)|
|2009–10||Inter Milan||Bayern Munich||2-0|
|2007–08||Manchester United||Chelsea||6-5 (p)|
Most Champions League Titles
Real Madrid top the list of most titles won in the UEFA Champions League with an astonishing 11 titles, four more than their closest competitor in AC Milan, who last lifted the trophy in 2006-07 when they claimed revenge over their loss to Liverpool two seasons prior.
Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Liverpool have all lifted the trophy five times with Ajax next in line at four victories.
Champions League History
The Champions League was once known as the European Cup and originally only the champions and defending champions of the respective UEFA member associations participated. This rule was changed in 1997 to allow the runners-up in the stronger European leagues to compete as well. In addition the defending Champion did not always automatically qualify for the next tournament, but this was changed in 2005.
Spain has produced the most Champions League winners since inception in 1955-56 with a total of 16 victories, Italy and England have produced 12 winners each.