2017/18 UEFA Champions League Outrights, Betting Tips, Predictions & Odds
It’s the competition that everyone has been waiting for! The UEFA Champions League gets back underway in September with 32 top-class teams battling it out for the European trophy that Real Madrid currently possess.
This year’s draw has thrown up some very interesting groups with some huge matches that all football fans will be looking forward to.
The complete 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw!
— #UCL (@ChampionsLeague) August 24, 2017
So, let’s get straight to our top betting tips and predictions for the UEFA Champions League this year. Here we will cover the outright winner, group winners and top goalscorer.
UEFA Champions Legaue Winner Predictions
The English Clubs
Five English clubs qualified for the Champions League and four of them are currently in the top 10 of the outright market – Man City (12/1), Man United (14/1), Chelsea (18/1) and Liverpool (25/1) with Spurs lying just outside of this group at 50/1 and rightly so as they sit in this year’s ‘Group of Death’. The last time an English club made the UEFA Champions League final? 2011/12 when Chelsea famously beat Bayern on penalties in their own back yard.
I will certainly not be persuading you to back any of the English sides in this year’s competition after the horror-show of last season that saw Leicester City progress the furthest (quarter-finals vs Atletico Madrid) out of the clubs from the Premier League.
Man United and Liverpool have been handed “reasonably easy” groups which should see them progress to at least the knock-out stages but they are simply not as good as some of the other European giants in the competition should (when) they meet one of them in the later rounds.
Man City have been drawn against goal-happy sides Napoli and Feyenoord and are yet to prove that they are solid enough at the back to see themselves through a two-legged tie against a formiddable opponent (6-6 aggregate vs Monaco last year in the round of 16) and they have already seen their captain, Vincent Kompany, miss time through injury this year. They are a different (leaky) team when he’s not playing. An away trip to Ukraine to play Shakhtar Donetsk is always a tricky one too.
Chelsea have got a very tough group as they face Atletico Madrid, Roma and Qarabag. With only two of the four sides qualifying from the group, could we see Conte’s side fail to make the knock-out stages? It’s a possibility.
Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL are the sides that Spurs will face in the group stages. They finished third behind Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen in their group last season and after an inactive summer transfer window, it’s hard to see how they are going to improve in this year’s competition so perhaps we’ll see Wembley hosting more Europa League games on Thursday this year.
The Big Guns
As you’d expect, Real Madrid lead the betting and can be backed at 4/1 – a solid price considering they have reached the final in three of the last four years and most recently became the first club to win the trophy in consecutive years since the Champions League era began. With Cristiano Ronaldo yet to show any signs of regression and the emergence of the astonishing Marco Asensio featuring alongside an Isco in scintillating form, Los Blancos are definitely worthy of a bet to win the title for a third season in a row. They just love to dominate this competition.
You will find PSG second in the market with a top price of 7/1 and I expect alot of people will be backing them now they have a crazy strikeforce of Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani but for me, they are still not strong enough in defence. They play with very attacking-minded full-backs and I am definitely not sold on their goalkeeper situation which sees two young goalies in Areola and Trapp. For sure, they will be fun to watch and the group stage ties versus Bayern will be very exciting but I would not back them at 7/1 though I do praise you if you managed to back them at anything above 10/1 before they secured the transfer of Mbappe.
Bayern Munich and Barcelona are also around this price of 7/1 but I won’t be tipping either of these to win the competition this year. Bayern may have bought in some good players in James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso but their key men, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are now 34 and 33 respectively and I can’t see them being as effective as they rack up the minutes on the pitch. As for Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde looks to be a good replacement for Luis Enrique but I expect it to take a while for him to get his squad set. Ousmane Dembele is an amazing young player and Barcelona will certainly get their money’s worth but he’s no Neymar. Barcelona have been dominated and humiliated by Real Madrid recently and I can see this trend continuing for now.
A bit of value certainly lies with Atletico Madrid at a top price of 22/1. They have reached the final in two of the last four seasons but have now been knocked-out of the competition by their city rivals, Real Madrid, four seasons in a row. Despite this, Diego Simeone is one of the best tactical managers in the world, he’s bound to defeat his nemesis sooner or later? At this price, it’s worth an each-way punt. They have secured the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez to long-term deals and could potentially see the return of Diego Costa in January. They also have one of the most solid defences in world football – these factors, alongside a stunning new stadium, could provide the perfect recipe for their long-awaited success in the UEFA Champions League.
22/1 Atletico Madrid to Win the UEFA Champions League 2017/18
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The Dark Horses
There are a few teams of interest at some big prices; Napoli (35/1), Dortmund (50/1), Leipzig and Monaco (both 80/1), Sevilla and Roma (both 100/1). Borussia Dortmund will have their work cut out early on in the competition as they face the holders, Real Madrid yet again and the Germans are yet to prove themselves in this competition despite topping their group last season. Although they’re a good team, I just can’t see RB Leipzig being experienced enough to beat any of the heavyweight sides. Despite selling many of their key players, Monaco will still be one of those teams that everyone wants to avoid but alot of goals and assists came from the players that recently departed and I don’t see their replacements filling the gaps adequately enough to back them this time around.
I already backed Napoli at 50/1 before the group stage draw was made and I feel this was a very good move now that they have been drawn against Man City, Feyenoord and Shakhtar – they should qualify here and perhaps they can win the group. Although the price has dropped to odds of around 33/1, I am still going to recommend them today. As long as Maurizio Sarri avoids the temptation of joining the Premier League with West Ham (if/when Slaven Bilic gets sacked) then I can see them doing well in the Champions League this year. Sarri has installed a very direct passing style of play in this team and they are a very entertaining side to watch. They have a good mix of talent and more imporatntly experience in their squad with the likes of Pepe Reina, Raul Albiol and influential captain Marek Hamsik playing alongside a very exciting front three of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon who fired them to become Serie A top scorers last season as they scored 94 total goals in 38 games. This stat looks even more impressive as they ended up with a +55 goal difference, the best in the league and keeping hold of Kalidou Kouliably, their big, strong central defender, should aid them to complete something similar this year. Watch out for Napoli in this year’s Champions League.
UEFA Champions League Group Winners Betting Tips
Man United are a short price to win Group A at best odds of 4/9 but with Jose Mourinho’s experience in Europe, the Red Devils should top this one fairly comfortably as they face Benfica, Basel and CSKA Moscow. Add this bet to your group winners acca.
Bayern are slight favourites ahead of PSG in the market for Group B but I am going to tip the underdogs to take this one. PSG have a slight advantage as they are home to Bayern first (their second group game after Celtic away) meaning if they win that one, they can play to not lose in Munich. You will find Celtic and Anderlecht to win Group B at odds of around 100/1!
This is a tough group to call but if I had to pick, I’d be going with Atletico Madrid to win Group C. The matches against Chelsea are going to be tight and it’s basically a coin-flip so I’d keep this one out of your accas. Roma have made some good signings and could be worthy of a bet to qualify at odds of around 5/4. Qarabag away will be tough but they shouldn’t be any match for these bigger clubs.
Juventus already proved their worth versus Barcelona over two legs in the knockout stages of last season and they look good value to win Group D ahead of them, Sporting Lisbon and Olympiakos this year. This is a bet I will be backing as a single and in accas.
The matches between Liverpool and Sevilla should decide who comes out on top of Group E. Another tough one to call but I feel the value is with the European specialists, Sevilla at odds of 15/8. It wasn’t so long ago that they dispatched Liverpool 3-1 in the 2016 Europa League final after all. Spartak Moscow and Maribor could prove difficult away and may take some points but they are expected to prop up the table.
Man City or Napoli really should be winning this group and expect the games between them to be very entertaining though 4/6 on City is far too short for me considering they have failed to win their group four out of the last five years. I will be backing Napoli to win Group F at a tasty price of around 5/2. Shakhtar and Feyenoord will score goals in this group but I don’t see them winning enough points to qualify.
Monaco is another team that I will be backing as a single to win their group. I feel they match up very well with the likes of Leipzig, Porto and Besiktas who I all expect to struggle against their direct style of play. Odds of 6/4 look very appealing.
Despite losing the group to Dortmund last season, I expect Real Madrid to take Group H this year. I can’t see the champions dropping points away at a side like Legia as they did last year as they face Dortmund, APOEL and Spurs (at Wembley!). At odds of 4/9, this is another leg for your accas.
UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer Betting Tips
When it comes to Champions League goalscorers, you cannot look past Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has now scored 105 goals in 140 appearances after adding another 12 goals last season and odds of 4/1 makes him a very solid bet this time around. Real Madrid kick-off their campaign with a home fixture against APOEL, so expect Ronaldo to get off the mark in the Champions League this year nice and quick.
PSG’s front three this season is scary. With the creativity of the likes of Neymar and Mbappe, not to mention Di Maria, Draxler and Pastore, Edinson Cavani should benefit massively this year. The Uruguayan managed eight goals in a season where PSG only reached the round of 16 last year. Expect them to go further this time out and with the likes of Anderlecht and Celtic in their group, odds of 14/1 on Cavani to be the UEFA Champions League top goalscorer look attractive.
Monaco scored an incredible 107 goals in 38 league games last year and after selling some of their best players, look for Radamel Falcao to be their go-to-guy this year. Falcao scored 5 goals for Monaco in the Champions League last season and he should be able to eclipse that tally playing against the likes of Porto, Besiktas and Leipzig in Group G. I feel that a price of 33/1 on a player that looks to have rediscovered his old-scoring-goals-for-fun-self is definitely worth a bet, especially as you can get 1/4 the odds on three places.
After tipping Napoli to do well in the competition this season, I was thinking about mentioning Mertens (50/1) or Insigne (200/1) but I feel that Napoli tend to share the goals about a bit more than these other teams that rely so heavily on one key player. Also, it seems that neither of these players take penalties as Jorginho is currently on spot-kick duties. Having said that, £1 or £2 of your money could be worse off than on these guys.
UEFA Champions League Betting Tips
We will have weekly Champions League accumulators, correct score doubles, anytime goalscorer tips and much more when matchday comes around. Just make sure you head to our Champions League page for all of your Champions League betting tips including detailed match previews of EVERY game!
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Source: Football News