“I don’t feel we played badly, we created chances and we controlled the game,” said Pep Guardiola post Manchester City’s Champions League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Yes, perhaps the Premier League leaders did have 59% possession of the ball but with 10 shots at goal and just two on target, Tuesday night’s performance is just the latest that shows Manchester City aren’t just as clinical as they shown previously. Guardiola’s side have scored 23 fewer league goals this season and with just six Premier League games remaining, it’s unlikely they’ll beat last season’s EPL tally of 106. Continue reading
The UEFA Champions League is one of the biggest competitions in football for many teams around Europe. This league sees some of the biggest teams come up against each other in an attempt to take home the trophy.
This year’s competition kicked off back in June with the preliminary round draw and ends in June with the final. It’s still quite early on in the competition to decide a clear winner but we have put together some of the teams we think will shine as the stages continue. Keep reading if you are interested in this league or would like to place a bet and cash in on the winner.
Last Year’s Winner
Before we get started on this year’s competition, it is important to look at the team who took home the Champions League trophy last year. In the 2017/18 competition, Real Madrid C.F. were the ones who lifted the trophy in Kiev where the final took place. After a successful campaign and a win in the past two years, Real Madrid came up against English team Liverpool FC.
With three wins in the past three years, some people might consider Real Madrid the favourite and choose to place a bet on them when enjoying some sports betting on a site like Stakers who have some great odds. However, there are plenty more teams in the running which we are going to explore below.
One of the favourites to win the Champions League this year is Manchester City. This team have not lifted the cup before but have been strong in their recent matches proving that they are capable. Manchester City is the only English team to make it on our list and this is due to their impressive performance so far against the other teams in the competition. They topped their group which included the likes of Lyon, Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk so they are already entering the next stage with a strong record. Look out for Manchester City this year as they might just be the ones to lift the trophy.
Barcelona FC led by Ernesto Valverde have managed to top their group and beat other teams including Tottenham, Inter and PSV. This team has some pretty impressive players in their line up including Lionel Messi who is the captain this season. While Barcelona haven’t managed to win the Champions League final since 2015, they stand a chance this year with the skills that they have and their past record coming up against these teams.
Another team expected to make it all the way to the final this year is Juventus thanks to their brand new player whose name you might just recognise. During the summer, world famous player Cristiano Ronaldo joined this Italian team for €100m. This team knew what they were doing when they agreed to this deal as Ronaldo has already helped the team top their group which included the likes of Valencia, Young Boys and Manchester United. It is possible that Ronaldo could be coming up against his previous club Real Madrid when the final comes around in June so make sure to look out for this exciting match.
After three successful wins in the past few years of the Champions League competition, Real Madrid could be on track to breaking the record and securing themselves a fourth win. In the group stages, this team came up against Roman, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen – managing to secure the top spot after some wins and a 3-0 loss against CSKA Moscow. It is unclear if this team can boost themselves all the way to the top again but if they manage to beat out the other teams then they will be making history.
Other Teams To Look Out For
In a competition like this, there will always be some teams that stay at the top for many years. It is important to remember, however, that other teams stand a chance and the bookies are already adding odds for other teams that might make it all the way to the top. Look out for teams like Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain who still stand a chance against some of the best teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The group stages of this year’s Champions League competition might be over but there is still plenty more to play for. In February, the round of 16 will start and this will be followed by the second leg of this stage in March. Then, the quarter and semi-finals will take place throughout April and May. The big event is on June 1st where two teams will come up against each other to see who can lift the trophy. The final will take place in Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid this year so if you want to place your bet on the winner now is the time to get started.
It can be very hard to predict the outcome of the UEFA Champions League final when the round of 16 stages hasn’t even begun. Now that many teams have been knocked out, it is easier to see the teams which are ahead of others and a good bet would be on the teams that topped their group. Remember to think about the individual matches and how each team played within their group to make your predictions. We are unsure if Real Madrid will be able to lift the trophy for the fourth time in a row, but this would truly be extraordinary.
This team has shown their strength but with competition like Barcelona and Manchester City, they may have a struggle on their hands. It is interesting to note that last year’s finalists Liverpool didn’t make our list as they have not managed to stand out just yet this year. Make sure to tune into all of the matches in the competition that are coming up and don’t miss out on the final in June!