Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: UEFA Champions League: Outright Preview

UEFA Champions League: Outright Preview

Mohamed Salah and James Milner of Liverpool and Neymar Jr of PSG during the Champions League

We preview the UEFA Champions League 2019-20 season that's set to kick off on the 17th of September 2019. 

To Win Outright

  • Manchester City 33/10
  • Barcelona 5/1
  • Liverpool 13/2
  • Real Madrid 9/1
  • Paris Saint-Germain 10/1
  • Juventus 11/1
  • Bayern Munich 12/1
  • Atletico Madrid 20/1
  • Tottenham 25/1
  • Chelsea 33/1
  • Bar & Better 33/1

Group A

Real Madrid 8/10
Paris Saint-Germain 1/1
Galatasaray 16/1
Club Brugge 66/1

Winners: Paris Saint-Germain (1/1)
All eyes will be on Group A, well, at least in South Africa with Percy Tau being the only participant from Mzansi playing in Europe’s elite club competition. In terms of making money and picking a group winner, a Belgian club is not the way to go. Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are expected to battle it out for top spot and it could come down to how the clubs do against each other over two legs. Personally, I’d give the Parisians the edge, especially with this being Thomas Tuchel’s second season at the club, while they also managed to keep hold of Neymar, while adding to their already-star-studded attack in bringing in Mauro Icardi. Real Madrid would be the obvious pick for second, sadly, Galatasaray are tipped to get third spot and make the drop to the Europa League.

Group B

Bayern Munich 57/100
Tottenham 15/10
Olympiacos 20/1
Red Star Belgrade 66/1

Winners: Bayern Munich (57/100)
In what should be another two-way tussle, Bayern Munich are expected to edge Tottenham in topping Group B. Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade will fancy notching a few points at home, but none to deter Bayern from claiming top spot. Last season’s runners-up, Tottenham, let too many of their first-team stars leave without replacing them, reducing their strength in depth. Meanwhile, French World Cup winners, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, will be at the Bavarians for their first season, so too Philippe Coutinho, who joined on loan from Barcelona. Not to mention the other exciting young talents already at Bayern Munich, namely Serge Gnabry, Niklas Sule and Joshua Kimmich.

Group C

Manchester City 1/6
Atalanta 13/2
Shakhtar Donetsk 8/1
Dinamo Zagreb 100/1

Winners: Manchester City (1/6)
In arguably the easiest group to pick a winner from, Manchester City have been handed another trouble-free route to advancing into the knockout stages. Their biggest challenger is Atalanta, who by no means, have the class or pedigree to stand up to the English champions. The Italians should get second spot, while as the betting suggests, Shakhtar Donetsk will follow in third place and grab that UEFA Europa League spot. In terms of picking a group winner, Manchester City at 1/6 will do.

Group D

Juventus 61/100
Atletico Madrid 15/10
Bayer Leverkusen 12/1
Lokomotiv Moscow 66/1

Winners: Atletico Madrid (15/10)
It wouldn’t be labelled as the group of death by many, but Group D is certainly one that will keep us at the edge of our seats. Juventus have the quality on the pitch, but Atletico Madrid have the coach who has the know-how on how to manage big games away from home and do whatever it takes, scrappy or not, to get the necessary result. It could come down to how the pair fare against each other, with Diego Simeone’s men tipped to crack the nod ahead of the Old Lady. Bayer Leverkusen have a good enough squad to finish third, which means Lokomotiv Moscow are my pick to drop out of all European competitions.

Group E

Liverpool 57/100
Napoli 15/10
FC Salzburg 14/1
Genk 100/1

Winners: Liverpool (57/100)
Like many of the other groups, Liverpool and Napoli will be the pair going head-to-head in what is expected to be another two-way battle. Jurgen Klopp’s men have made the last two UEFA Champions League finals, while they also hold the crown of being European champions after winning the competition last season and then going on to beat Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup. Napoli have a serial winner in Carlo Ancelotti, but unfortunately, they don’t have the quality to finish above Liverpool, as was the case last season when the two clubs were pitted together. The fight for third spot is anybody’s guess, really, but I can see Genk sneaking ahead of Salzburg.

Group F

Barcelona 36/100
Borussia Dortmund 7/2
Inter Milan 11/2
Slavia Prague 150/1

Winners: Barcelona (2/11)
In what is considered by many to be the group of death, favourites, Barcelona have the tough task of battling it out with Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan for top spot, while Slavia Prague are no more than the team just looking to spoil the party. I’m not in total agreement of the 36/100 price on Barca, at the same time, I wouldn’t chase value and back against them. With the additions of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, as well as majestic superstar, Lionel Messi, looking to break more Champions League records. It’s going to be tough, but I’d fancy Inter Milan notching second place ahead of Dortmund, who, sadly, will drop down to the Europa League.

Group G

RB Leipzig 2/1
Lyon 9/4
Benfica 9/4
Zenit St. Petersburg 5/1

Winners: Benfica (9/4)
Group G is a bit of a strange one, in the sense that for the first time, we don’t have an overwhelming favourite. In fact, picking two teams to qualify can be just as tricky. As close as it may be, I’d rule out Zenit St. Petersburg from the start, making it a three-way tussle in which I think Benfica will prevail. The Eagles giants bulldozed their way to winning the Portuguese league title last season, and although they did lose Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid, the Lisbon-based side manage to produce top quality players every season. Lyon have been here before and have the know-how on how to get through to the knockout stages, making them my pick for second spot in Group G.

Group H

Chelsea 72/100
Ajax 7/2
Valencia 7/2
Lille 10/1

Winners: Ajax (7/2)
It may come as a shock to many but Ajax would be my pick to top Group H, which is another difficult group to call in the Champions League. They’ve kept their coach, Erik ten Hag, while sticking to their philosophy of bringing in youthful talent – something Chelsea are looking to adopt after Frank Lampard decided to afford plenty of opportunities to the club’s youngsters this term. The Blues haven’t quite mastered the art of bringing in young talent just yet, which could see them fall to second, while Lille are my pick for third spot, leaving no place in a European competition for Valencia.

To Win Outright: Manchester City (33/10)
Picking a winner of the Champions League is never easy. I have four favourites who I expect to really compete and push all the way, namely last season’s winners, Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. If I were to pick one above the rest, I’d fancy Pep Guardiola to finally put his hands back on the big ears. I personally feel that they have the best squad depth in Europe, the best coach in Europe, and after missing out unfortunately in previous seasons, perhaps luck could be on their side this time around.

Written by Jesse Nagel

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