Oct 31, 2016
Oct 31, 2016

UEFA Champions League predictions

Expert analysis of the outright Champions League betting

Which teams have the best chance of winning the biggest prize in European football?

UEFA Champions League predictions
We're now half way through the UEFA Champions League group stage and the 32 teams will soon become 16 as they continue their journey that could end at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff on June 3, 2017. Can Leicester City do the unthinkable? Will Guardiola provide the trophy Manchester City so desperately crave? Continue reading for informed Champions League predictions.

Real Madrid

Despite being the reigning champions and winning the tournament twice in the last three years, Real Madrid is third favourite in Pinnacle’s Champions League betting at 6.12*. With 11 titles in total, Los Blancos are the competition’s most successful club, but it is their recent struggles in La Liga that may have affected their Champions League winner odds.

Failure to win a domestic title since 2011/12 has seen Real Madrid fall behind Barcelona as the dominant force in Spanish soccer. Their infamous galácticos transfer policy (one major signing in the summer of every year) isn’t quite what it once was, but resigning Alvaro Morata from Juventus will certainly add more goals to their already lethal attack.

Whether previous competition form and one summer signing is enough to help Real Madrid be the first team to retain the Champions League in its new format remains to be seen.

Barcelona

In addition to winning La Liga six times in the last eight seasons, Barcelona also won the Champions League in 2014/15. It is no surprise to see them head the Champions League winner odds at 3.91* given their recent success and consistency in performing well against Europe’s elite.

Despite being the reigning champions and winning the tournament twice in the last three years, Real Madrid is third favourite to win the Champions League 2017 due to their La Liga struggles.

Recent acquisitions Lucas Digne, Samuel Umtiti and André Gomes will add even more strength in depth and providing Messi, Neymar and Suarez can continue their remarkable form, Barça still look like good value, even at such a short price.

The only worry for Luis Enrique’s side is another potential showdown with Diego Simeone and Atlético Madrid (12.00*). Despite a less than impressive start to their La Liga campaign, Atlético always seem to perform when it matters most. Having beaten Barcelona twice in the last three years at the quarterfinal stage, it’s a draw the Catalonians want to avoid.

Bayern Munich

Similarly to Barcelona, Bayern Munich have dominated their domestic league for the past few years. As well as winning four Bundesliga titles in a row, they also won the Champions League in 2012/13. They were unable to repeat that success under Pep Guardiola, yet they are still second favourites in the outright market for Champions League betting at 4.05*.

Bayern have been drawn against Atlético - who beat them in the semi-final last year - in group D, but will be confident that new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, and recent summer signings Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches can help them progress further this year.

Manchester City

Since Sheik Mansour’s takeover in 2008, only European glory has eluded Manchestery City. The £800m+ invested in players within that time period has won them the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup in England, but they have only managed a semi-final in the Champions League (2015/16).

Instead of new players like John Stones, Leroy Sané or Ilkay Gündogan grabbing the headlines this summer, it has been the arrival of their new manager, Pep Guardiola instead. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is famed for his possession-centric style of soccer and unique tactical approach.

Man City appear to have adapted quickly to this new style of play and at odds of 10.98* to win the competition, numerous Champions League predictions are suggesting their new manager is already having a positive effect.

Leicester City

Competing in their first ever Champions League, Leicester City will be looking to repeat their shock Premier League success in Europe’s most prestigious soccer tournament. The reigning champions of England are 39.00* in Pinnacle’s Champions League betting.

The quick tempo and counter attacking soccer that helped them achieve what many thought was impossible last season could be the key to European success for Leicester. While losing N’Golo Kanté is a blow, Claudio Ranieri will be pleased that Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have committed their future to the club.  

With a style of play that many of Europe’s elite clubs won’t be used to and a fairly easy group to qualify from, Leicester certainly have the potential to exceed what their Champions League winner odds suggest. At the very least, the price available provides bettors with an excellent hedging opportunity.

The best of the rest

Juventus (11.30*) and Borussia Dortmund (17.50*) are two sides that tend to feature heavily in Champions League predictions, along with Arsenal (29.00*) and PSG (19.00*) - who have been drawn against each other in group A.

One interesting statistic to note is that the past 12 Champions League winners have hailed from Spain (six), England (three), Italy (two) or Germany (one). This stat is reflected in Pinnacle’s Champions League betting, with teams from outside of these four nations being the biggest outsiders; Rostov FK (301.00*), Legia Warsaw (301.00*), Club Brugge (301.00*) and Dinamo Zagreb (301.00*).

Want to put your Champions League predictions to the test? Get the best odds on Champions League betting at Pinnacle, the ultimate bookmaker with the highest limits and lowest margins.

Read our Champions League knockout stage article.

*Odds are subject to change.

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