Last year we were witnesses of a great Champions League season with Liverpool crowned a new European champion. It was the Reds’ 6th title and the first one after nearly 15 years. Fans of the Anfield outfit were proud to see the club lift the “Big Ears” trophy Klopp and his players wanted so much. Liverpool essentially sacrificed the Premier League to become European champion, capping off the incredible season of the Salah-Mane-Firmino attacking trio.
This year, however, things are a bit more complicated. Liverpool has faltered in the group stages already, leaving the door open for a new European champion. Klopp’s team is in danger of missing out on the knockout rounds, although a win on the last matchday would see them progress. However, with that slight possibility of missing out on the knockout rounds, bookies have already propelled several other teams up the table of favourites.
Liverpool’s biggest rival in the Premier League Manchester City sits atop the table with odds of 11/4. Pep Guardiola’s team may be lagging in the PL, but bookies have the club as the frontrunner for this Champions League season. The Blues are right in front of Barcelona and Liverpool with odds of 5/1 and 6/1 respectively. Further below the table are PSG @ 7/1, German champions Bayern Munich @ 8/1, and Juventus with 12/1.
Real Madrid, a winner of three consecutive CL titles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, comes next at odds of 16/1. That’s about it when it comes to the big favourites – all other teams on the list have shorter odds that span from 25/1 (Tottenham) to 750/1 (Dinamo Zagreb). It’s certainly a crowd at the top, and with the CL expected to announce the knock-out matches shortly, it’s a great time to bet on your favourite. Outright CL betting online is very popular right now, and you don’t even have to spend your money to win.
Manchester City may be sitting atop the table of bookie favourites, but experts expect Barcelona to claim the title. The Blaugrana might have been unimpressive in La Liga so far, but many miss one obvious fact – they have Lionel Messi in the team. The Argentine wizard is one of the best (if not the best) players in the history of football and he’s set his sights on this year’s CL. After the heartbreak in the past two years, Barcelona isn’t expected to go down easily this time around. At 5/1, the Catalan pride looks like a great bet.
Of course, no one should diminish Manchester City’s chances or even Liverpool for a repeat. City is a team designed with one goal in mind – to deliver a CL title after years of failure. Led by the great Pep Guardiola, City is nicely covered on all positions and will definitely be the team to beat in the knockout stages.
Don’t sleep on a Liverpool repeat as well. We all know how great a motivator Klopp is. Even with kind of a mixed bag of results in the group stages, Liverpool still has a great squad and is expected to challenge for European silverware.
When it comes to the other teams, experts aren’t sure who can challenge the top 3 teams. Bayern Munich is always a dangerous team, but winning mentality has been an issue for the Bavarians for years now in Europe. History hasn’t been kind to Juventus – the Italian champion has lost more finals European finals than any other club (7!).
We can’t wait for the knockout rounds – there will surely be a lot of great matches but only one will ultimately be crowned the new European champion.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.