There’s no greater competition in European football than the Champions League. The elite competition is renowned for producing some of the most fascinating encounters, as the biggest clubs throughout Europe set their sights on the biggest club prize in football.
European matchdays are always popular, while English teams are amongst the football betting favourites to win the 2020-21 Champions League. Manchester City are currently fancied as joint 4/1 favourites with Bayern Munich, who lifted the famous trophy last season. Meanwhile, 2019 winners Liverpool are considered strong contenders at 11/2 odds, with Chelsea at 20/1 and Manchester United tipped at 25/1 both viewed as outside options.
Following the recent draw for the group stage of the Champions League, held on Thursday 1st October at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, there are plenty of mouth-watering games to look forward to over the coming months. Indeed, the strength of teams competing in each group could make it extremely difficult to predict which teams might progress to the knockout stages.
The official result of the #UCLdraw! ðŸ¤©
Most exciting group stage match? ðŸ¤” pic.twitter.com/d7ynuEjPq3
— #UCLdraw (@ChampionsLeague) October 1, 2020
Reigning champions Bayern Munich have already lifted five trophies in 2020, and will also be looking to win the FIFA Club World Cup later this year. Nevertheless, the Bavarian giants will see their credentials tested by Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid in Group A, who recently boosted their attacking line with Uruguayan star Luis Suarez. Austrian side Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow will hope to provide stiff competition.
No team has enjoyed more success than Real Madrid over the years, which means they will be eager to impose their dominance again this year. The side managed by Zinedine Zidane will pit their wits against Inter Milan in Group B, while Bundesliga side Mönchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukraine could be difficult opposition for the two group favourites.
Manchester City might be quite pleased with their draw in Group C, as they continue what has become a holy grail of sorts in the European competition. Pep Guardiola will expect to dominate a group that features the always difficult Porto of Portugal, the grit and determination of Greek outfit Olympiacos, plus a Marseille side from France which is packed with potential.
“It sounds like a proper, proper football group.”
The boss reacts to the draw for our @ChampionsLeague group stage in ’20/21 ðŸ™Œ
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 2, 2020
Quality footballing sides will provide tantalising opposition for Liverpool in Group D, because Dutch champions Ajax are always tactical and technical joys to watch. Likewise, modest Italian side Atalanta have risen to prominence in recent years, capable of treating their fans to some really exciting attacking football. Midtjylland of Denmark will aim to make life difficult for all three rivals in their group.
After conquering the Europa League yet again last year, Sevilla will bring their flamenco flavour to the Champions League. They will be tough opponents for Chelsea to overcome, while trips to Russia and Krasnodar are also on the Group E menu. Making their return to the competition after many years, historic French side Rennes hope to cause plenty of upsets.
Group F could be one of the hardest to call, with all four teams capable of progressing to the knockout stages. Dortmund and Lazio are perhaps the slight favourites to go through, although it’s impossible to discount Zenit from Russia, while Belgian side Club Brugge have produced some amazing encounters against top European sides, during the last few years.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 1, 2020
Undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching pairings is Juventus and Barcelona in Group G, setting up a battle between superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two greatest players on the planet. Save for any shocks, Dynamo Kiev of the Ukraine and Hungarian hopefuls Ferencvaros are just making up the numbers, if we’re being realistic.
Finally, Manchester United make their return to the Champions League and with Paris Saint-Germain alongside them in Group H, it will be interesting to see if the Red Devils can topple the big-spending French side. German outfit Red Bull Leipzig shouldn’t be taken for granted and could upset the apple cart, while Turkish debutants Istanbul Basaksehir have nothing to lose.
With so many interesting and exciting encounters we can look forward to, many of us will undoubtedly be trying our luck with some Champions League accas. Whichever teams you favour in multiple bets, enjoy the games and may your picks prove fruitful.