- Before the group stage starts, bookmakers have made their choice about tournament favorites
- As it turned out, Manchester City is the most likely winner of the Champions League, according to bookies
- Also, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG will compete for the cup
The Champions League group stage kick starts on Tuesday, September 18, and there are already a number of high-profile clashes on the cards.
We took a quick look at the bookmakers odds to identify clubs that could win the title and the teams that should potentially be avoided.
Using the data from the top bookmakers, NAIJ.com prepared the list of team who are being backed to win this season’s Champions League – and you can see the results, ranked from least to heaviest favourite:
Real Madrid - 9,0 (8/1)
Some people think that this is an obvious underestimation, while others believe expectations are too high, but Galacticos open the top 5. With 13-time champions losing leading light Cristiano Ronaldo and head coach Zinedine Zidane this summer, Los Blancos may endure a slight downturn in 2018/19.
On the other hand they still have a very strong squad. Lopetegui is good at using Isco, Bale is about to be the locker room leader, and Karim Benzema is stable at scoring as always.
PSG - 8,5 (15/2)
The French champions have been trying to make themselves known in Europe for years. But the winners mentality isn’t something that comes quick. Bookmakers are sure that PSG will struggle for the play-offs but using Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani it seems not so hard.
In the same time, no one can be sure that the first top club they face wont knock them out of the tournament. Tuchel still has a long way to go with Parisians.
Juventus - 7,5 (13/2)
Juventus has always been one of the main contenders for winning the UCL. And now, when the Old Lady signed CR7 which began to score on this weekend, the chances have increased even more.
Especially important is the fact that Juve has long been unaware of competition in Serie A, and it looks like nothing will change in the new season. So while the others will suffer from the injuries and fatigue of the main staff, they will be able to distribute forces competently.
Barcelona 7,0 (6/1)
Leo Messi remains one of the strongest players in the world so as Barcelona is still a nightmare for any European team.
If Suarez and Coutinho will perform at the same level as at the start of the season, and there will not be sensations like defeat from Roma in spring, they definitely can reach the final.
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Man City - 5,5 (9/2)
According to the odds, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City after two relatively unsuccessful Champions League campaigns can finally improve their results. In the Premier League, not everything is going well. But absence of a leading position in England can become the impulse which Man City now needs.
With Walker, Sane, De Bruyne and Aguero, they have leaders in every section of the field. And no one can do more with that squad then the most successful coach of our time. The chances of winning are excellent, and seems like it’s time to use the potential.
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that the Premier League teams will face their first Champions League opponents.
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