Real Madrid backed to win Champions League
Real Madrid have won three of the past four Champions League titles, with Los Merengues putting paid to the idea that it’s difficult to retain the European Cup in the modern age.
Zinedine Zidane was a surprising choice as manager after Rafael Benitez had been sacked, although the Frenchman has enjoyed a sweeping success at the Santiago Bernabeu and a recent Super Cup success against Barcelona suggests that they could be top dogs in Europe again.
Real also wiped the floor with Manchester United in the European Super Cup before that 5-1 aggregate win against Barca and the 2-0 win at the Bernabeu was achieved without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo.
The reigning champions are 5.50 (9/2) with bet365 to win the 2017/18 Champions League and some would argue this is an attractive price about a side who beat Juventus in last season’s final and were rarely troubled on their way to glory.
Marco Asensio looks set to become a world-class player and the 21-year-old found the net in both recent games against Barcelona, while Ronaldo remains at the peak of his powers and Gareth Bale could come back with a bang this time around.
Barcelona remain as second favourites at 7.00 (6/1) although there are question marks over a team who shipped plenty of goals in last season’s Champions League, including matches away to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.
The departure of Neymar to PSG certainly weakens the Catalan club who will hope to sign Philippe Coutinho before the transfer window slams shut. However, the defence recently looked porous against Real and could be playing second fiddle again.
Bayern Munich can never be ignored and they have a score to settle with Real after a contentious Champions League tie last season, with the German side disappointed with the refereeing decisions.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are 7.50 (13/2) to claim a first Champions League title since 2013, with Bayern regularly flattering to deceive in this competition despite their dominance in Germany.
Paris Saint-Germain have become very high-profile since the signing of Neymar, with the Brazilian likely to improve the French side and they don’t need to find a lot more as they demonstrated when beating Barca 4-0 last season before that crazy 6-1 reverse.
Manchester City are a 13.00 (12/1) chance and Pep Guardiola will hope that the tightening in defence will lead to improved results in Europe, while Manchester United are 15.00 (14/1) and Jose Mourinho will be confident that his team can go deep on their return to Europe’s top table.
Last season’s finalists Juventus are 13.00 (12/1) to go one better this season and win the Champions League, with English champions Chelsea as big as 17.00 (16/1) despite winning the Premier League last term.
Crazily, Tottenham are a 34.00 (33/1) poke to win the competition and it’s hard to explain why they are that much bigger to win than some of their English counterparts.