With the transfer windows of the major European leagues reaching a crescendo, some of the biggest sides have spared no expense in their attempt to compete in the biggest European competition, the UEFA Champions League.
Premier League teams Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs are all among the betting favourites, while La Liga giants Barcelona will join defending champions Real Madrid as the Spanish contenders. Italian sides Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus will be looking to avenge a losing streak whereby an Italian side hasn’t won the competition since 2010. They have been priced in betting markets accordingly. European elite PSG and Bayern Munich will be looking to make their mark and have wasted no time in fine tuning and re-invigorating their squads. PSG joins Man City as betting favourites searching for their club’s first-ever Champions League crown.
If you want the best spread betting odds on European football you can find it here. Below we take a look at the teams that could surprise or disappoint with the return of Champions League football on the horizon.
It’s hard to look beyond Manchester City as favourites for the title. City have dominated the Premier League over the last couple of years, winning four out of the last five titles, but they’ve fallen short in European competitions. Could this be the season that changes? Adding starlet Erling Haaland could be the difference maker needed to push them over the hump. City have reached the semi-finals in each of the last two seasons but have lacked a cutting edge to see them through. This may no longer be the case, although concerns about the fitness and depth of their defense could be a cause for concern. It’s only a matter of time however before City reaches the summit of European club competition.
The defending champions have injected their aging squad with a dose of youth, with the likes of big summer signing Aurelian Tchouameni arriving for €100 million and Valverde and Camavinga already at the club. Free agent signing Antonio Rudiger adds some experience to their backline and Madrid look primed to defend their title despite the high profile departures of Casemiro, Ronaldo, Ramos, Marcelo and Garreth Bale that have occurred over the last few years. Re-tooling for the next decade, Madrid could be a savvy pick at some very appealing odds.
Spurs have flown under the radar for the Champions League title, in large part due to their lack of recent Champions League form – a two-year hiatus – and with more recognisable names like City, Liverpool and Chelsea all looking for glory. If Conte can get this Spurs team playing tough and mentally strong football, with a forward line of Son, Kane, Richarlison and Kulusevski looking like one of Europe’s best, they could easily present a threat to any of the more established teams. At around 20/1, they are a solid sleeper bet for Champions League glory.
Despite their financial issues, Barcelona have been busy this summer. After falling off a cliff performance wise last season, Barca have shuffled the deck bringing in top talent across their starting lineup with the hope to return as a contender for a European trophy they last won in 2015. It starts with Lewandowski up front, signed from Bayern Munich, supported by Raphina, Frank Kessie and Andreas Christensen. With a new contract for Ousmane Dembele and also being close to signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla, Barca mean business. Can all this talent gel together in time for a serious Champions League run? This new look Barcelona has some tasty odds at 12/1 if you fancy an alternative sleeper to Spurs.
Paris Saint Germain once again looks like one of the top clubs in Europe on paper. Indeed, so far they have only been good in the Champions League on paper and have a lot to prove despite boasting the most terrifying three-headed attacking monster in Mbappe, Neymar and Messi. Last season injuries and poor form saw their superstars struggle to match expectations and the pressure certainly is on, especially with rumours of front office in-fighting and squad disagreements. PSG may have a great squad that doesn’t have too much competition in Ligue 1 in France, the Champions League is a different proposition however. Until they start to show they can compete with the European heavyweights it is prudent to avoid backing the Parisians at odds suggesting they are one of the favourites.