The Erling Haaland Effect
Last season, prior to the start of the tournament, PSG was the soccer betting favorite to dethrone Chelsea as UEFA Champions League kings. The Parisians had signed Lionel Messi, so they deserved it. Messi and Co. ended up being eliminated by Real Madrid in the Round of 16.
For the upcoming season, that privilege belongs to Manchester City. The Citizens, who have won four out of the last five English Premier League titles, are offering a +275 price to win the Champions League. What’s the difference this time? Well, Pep Guardiola’s team signed Erling Haaland, considered one of the best strikers in the world at only 21 years old. The Norwegian averaged 20.6 goals per season while playing for Borussia Dortmund.
Haaland joins a squad that last season was the third-best scoring team in the UCL with 29 goals. This could be Guardiola’s last chance to take the Citizens to the promised land. Two seasons ago, they lost the Grand Finale to Chelsea. Last season, they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the semifinals. It seems like crossing paths with Real Madrid isn’t a good idea.
The Reds have played in three of the last five UCL finals, winning once. Last season, they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid despite playing a lot better. Summing up, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was the Player of the Match.
Sadio Mane is gone, as he recently signed a three-year contract with Bayern Munich, but the Reds already found a replacement. We’re talking about Darwin Nunez, who’s expected to get along very well with Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah. Liverpool’s offering a +450 price in the sportsbook.
PSG comes next at +550. The Parisians managed to retain Kylian Mbappe, who now will play in the French capital until 2025. Besides the 23-year-old, PSG’s roster includes Neymar, Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Marco Verratti and Achraf Hakimi, to name a few. In other words, we’re talking about a dream team.
The Parisians will have a new manager as Mauricio Pochettino was sacked after not meeting expectations over the last two seasons. PSG was interested in Zinedine Zidane, but it turns out that the interest wasn’t mutual. Therefore, Christophe Galtier has become the favorite to replace the Argentine.
No Robert Lewandowski? No problem. Bayern Munich still is among the betting online favorites to win the UCL with a +700 price. Why? Well, because they have the talent to spare, including Mane, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka. All of them, except for Mane, have been playing together for years. Bayern’s chemistry is second to none.
Believe it or not, Real Madrid, the team that has won this prestigious competition 14 times, isn’t among the favorites. Therefore, if you were looking for a tempting underdog to include in your soccer picks, you might have found it. Karim Benzema and company are offering a +1200 price.
Los Blancos failed to sign Mbappe, but they signed Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni. Not bad for a team that didn’t need many changes.
Inter Milan, the Italian Serie A runners-up, also come in as a tempting underdog. The Nerazzurri are expected to sign Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala. Putting those two alongside Lautaro Martinez would be a real problem. Plus, they’re offering a +3300 price. Last season, they were eliminated by Liverpool in the Round of 16, but they won 1-0 at Anfield — the only team to defeat the Reds at home.