The Champions League is back underway after being shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the league will run from October through May but will still include the traditional winter break.
This competition pits the National League champions as well as the runner ups in several countries. Last season saw Bayern Munich earn the big prize, and this year promises to be an exciting championship especially since the long delay has many clamouring to enjoy the action.
This is your time to get in on the action as you can place a wager or several on the games coming up. Here are some great value bets to consider.
Who Wins the Champions League Title?
After winning the title last season, Bayern Munich (4.00) rises to the top with the best odds for this season as well. Not only did they retain the vast majority of their roster but added Leroy Sane which improves their attack even more. The only challenge for manager Hans-Dieter Flick will be if he can keep this team motivated and focused on winning back-to-back championships. Everything else is in order for this team to repeat.
The main competition for the German team will be Manchester City (5.50) and Liverpool FC (8.00). Manchester is staying with manager Pep Guardiola and he is on the proverbial hot seat. The manager has two championship league medals to his credit but has yet to get his team past the quarterfinals in any of the last three seasons.
Liverpool has won the competition in 2019 and has won the English Premier League in the 2019-20 season. With the addition of Thiago from FC Bayern Munich and Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton FC, the Reds will certainly be tough to defeat.
Do not sleep on either PSG (13.00) or Juventus (15.00). Both have quality shots to win it all as well. Now, let us take a look at the best value bets for round 2 of the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Manchester City - Olympique Marseille
Les Olympique suffered a disappointing 0:1 loss against Olympiacos Piraeus to begin the league, and now faces the prospect of going against one of the favorites to win the cup. Guardiola cannot afford for his club to suffer any kind of misstep in a contest like this where they are expected to dominate. Manchester is going to come out looking to set the tone early, and they look like the smart wagering contest. Pick the Citizens to win with 2 or more goals difference (2.01).
FC Porto - Olympiacos
I do not look for this contest to be upset in any way. What I look for is a tight contest that makes the total the bet to watch. Set at 2.5, the over may be the smart pick here. While Olympiacos has won back to back 1-0 victories, there have been at least four goals scored in each of the four matches for FCP since play resumed. Olympiacos has played exceptionally well defensively, but they are going to give up a couple of goals in this contest. The over looks like the smart wager here and is priced at 2.08.
Manchester United - RB Leipzig
Manchester United (1.84) comes in as a solid favorite over Leipzig. Both teams are 1-0-0. Since football resumed, Man U is 3-2-0 and Leipzig is 2-2-1. Oddsmakers are not giving Leipzig much of a chance of even scoring in this contest and they are right. Not only should you jump in on Manchester for the victory, but take the prop bet of the shutout as well. Manchester has allowed two goals or less in seven of their last 10 matches, including two shutouts.
Chelsea - Krasnodar
Chelsea FC has never faced FC Krasnodar before, so this will be a unique experience for both clubs. However, it is likely to be more of a nightmare for Krasnodar. Both teams enter the contest 0-0-1 after earning draws in their initial battles. Chelsea is the superior club, and Krasnodar has a major issue with injuries. Plus, Remy Cabella and Evgeniy Markov both tested positive for Covid-19, leaving Krasnodar well undermanned. Chelsea dominates this contest, 3-0.
Lazio - Brugge
SS Lazio hosts FC Brugge with the victor jumping to the top of Group F. Each team enters at 1-0-0 in the Championship League. Brugge is on a six-match winning streak, and are 5-0-0 since play resumed. Lazio is 2-2-1. Brugge reports no major injuries while Lazio will have Manuel Lazzari and Andreas Pereira returning. These are two evenly matched teams where no club has a major advantage over the other. For that reason, I expect a 1-1 draw (3.45), keeping both clubs at the top of the group.
Juventus - FC Barcelona
What preview would be complete without looking at this great contest between Juventus and FC Barcelona? This contest will renew the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. These heavyweights are pitted in Group G and both enter at 1-0-0 after Juventus opened with a 2-0 victory and Barcelona won 5-1.
The rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo has become the focal point of the sport. Ronaldo had been under quarantine earlier this month but tested negative for coronavirus 24 hours ago. Frederico Chiesa had been under a suspension, but he returns, as does Matthijs de Ligt, who had been sidelined by a shoulder injury. Neto will be in goal for Barcelona as Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still sidelined.
This is a contest that should be another classic with neither team wanting to take any major risks. I look for the draw here as well (3.25), 1-1.