Saturday, November 28, 2020

Who are the bookies’ Champions League favourites this season?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 20 Oct 2020

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While Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win against PSG out in Portugal back in August might still be in our recent memory, Europe’s premier tournament gets back underway in midweek.

With Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all getting their Champions League campaigns underway, the bookmakers have already drawn up who are their early contenders to lift the prestigious European title next year.

On that note, we have taken a look at the three teams who have been earmarked as the early favourites to come out on top in Istanbul next May.

Bayern Munich

Only two months removed from their famous night out in Portugal, Bayern Munich were almost universally seen as a deserved winner over last year’s interrupted campaign as they secured a 1-0 win over French giants PSG.

While the defending Bundesliga champions might have been stunned by Hoffenheim as a shock 4-1 defeat on the road brought an end to their remarkable unbeaten run that stemmed all the way back to November, the Bavarians have certainly bounced back in some style.

Heading into their Champions League opener against Atletico Madrid with a 4-1 win away at Arminia Bielefeld over the weekend, Hans-Dieter Flick’s men will enter Wednesday’s heavyweight showdown at the Allianz looking to lay down an early marker.

Earmarked by many to become the first team since Real Madrid to lift back-to-back Champions League titles, Bayern are priced at 5/1 with 888sport to enjoy another European sweep this season.

Manchester City

Opening up their Champions League campaign when they welcome Porto to the Etihad on Wednesday night, Manchester City will be desperate to avoid an early slip-up and put their famous summer collapse in Lisbon behind them.

While Pep Guardiola’s men might have opened their quarter-final meeting against French outfit Lyon as a favourite with many to lift their first European crown, the Sky Blues collapsed in stunning fashion as the former Bayern Munich boss watched his side slump to a 3-1 defeat, a result that sent shockwaves across the continent.

With Guardiola making it clear that he is desperate to end his decade long wait to get his hands back on Europe’s most prized possession, they’re already a red-hot favourite to secure top spot in Group C.

Lining up alongside Porto, Marseille and Olympiacos, the former Premier League champions are also priced at 5/1 with Betfair and are a joint-favourite alongside Bayern.

Liverpool

Having to settle for what was the most controversial of 2-2 draws across Stanley Park over the weekend, their trip to Goodison almost epitomised what had been a rollercoaster start to the 2020/2021 campaign for Liverpool.

Opening up the New Year with that seven-goal thriller against Premier League returners Leeds last month, the defending champions have failed to win any of their last three matchups across all competitions and have been hit with the most devastating of injury blows.

Coming out on the wrong end of Jordan Pickford’s dangerous challenge on Saturday lunchtime, Liverpool have confirmed that Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on an ACL injury and some around Anfield feel their influential central defender could miss the remainder of the season.

Opening up their Champions League campaign with a tough trip to Ajax on Wednesday, Liverpool are priced at 7/1 with Unibet to come out on top out in Turkey next year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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