The best tournament for club football is nearly back: the Champions League. After Chelsea stunned the world last year and defeated Manchester City in the final, several teams are in the hunt this campaign to lift the trophy high into the sky and celebrate in style. In this piece, we have our UEFA Champions League futures picks and our selection may surprise you.
Paris Saint-Germain are the slight favorites to be the champs
In not so surprising news, Paris Saint-Germain are the slight favorites to be the champs this year. Why, you ask? Well, the team was downright impressive during the summer transfer window. Of all the moves, though, things were highlighted by the addition of Lionel Messi. Messi, who spent 17 years with the Barcelona senior squad, is still one of the best players in the world.
The fact that he’ll now join an attack that also features Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe is wild to think about. There were plenty of rumors that Mbappe would end up leaving this summer, with a move to Spain possibly going down. Mbappe had stated multiple times that playing for Real Madrid would be a dream come true for him. That transfer didn’t go down.
Now, Mbappe is entering the final year of his contract with PSG, and he’s hoping to end things with a Champions League title. Remember, this team made it to the final two years ago and lost to Manchester City in the semifinals last year. Now, the club is poised to get the job done this season. With Messi now in the fold, PSG really feel like threats to get it done.
According to the Las Vegas Sportsbooks, PSG holds +350 odds to win the Champions League this year. Again, with Messi, Neymar Jr. and Mbappe highlighting things, the Ligue 1 side should of course be considered a major contender to win it. Matter of fact, we wouldn’t be stunned if they do lift the cup. Having said that, PSG is not our pick to be the champions.
Look for Manchester City to get over the hump and win the Champions League
From our chair, look for Manchester City to get over the hump and win the Champions League this year. We’re indeed rocking with City as our pick to win it all, as they’ve somehow managed to get even better after their remarkable campaign last year. City won its third English Premier League title in the past four years in 2020-21, making things even better for Pep Guardiola.
Then this summer, Manchester City made history with its transfer of former Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish. With Grealish now on the pitch for Guardiola, this team surely is stacked. Yes, beating Paris Saint-Germain will be an incredibly tough challenge, but City is loaded with so much talent that they really will have what it takes to defeat PSG should they meet.
For City, they still have a sour taste in their mouth after they lost to Chelsea in the final last year. Manchester City was considered the favorite to get the job done, but the blues indeed stunned Man City with the title on the line. It was the first time in club history that Manchester City made it to the final, but they, unfortunately, fell just a bit short. Will that be the case this year?
We don’t think so. Per the oddsmakers, City has been listed with +360 odds. They’re right behind PSG, who has been set at +350. This just shows you how neck and neck this race for the title is going to be. While Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester United will be in the mix as well, we’re going with City as our pick. Do you agree? If so, check out one of our soccer betting sites, including Bovada, and get a wager in.
Bayern Munich will beat Barcelona in their first match of the tourney
When the tournament does start, Bayern Munich will beat Barcelona in their first match of the tourney. That showdown is all set for Tuesday, Sept. 14 at Camp Nou. This matchup is no doubt one of the best ones for the first matchday on the group stage. Bayern vs. Barcelona? This is the kind of a contest that people would assume would take place in a final.
In terms of who will win, this should be close. Per Vegas, Bayern has been given +120 odds, while Barcelona has been set at +210. The odds for a draw are at +270. While Barcelona may be the home team, this is a completely different squad without Messi on the pitch in Catalonia. As soon as it was announced that Messi was leaving, hearts broke all over Spain.
Bayern Munich continues to be one of the top clubs in all of club football. They’re always a threat to win the Bundesliga and don’t forget that they won the Champions League two seasons ago. This is bad news for Barcelona, as they’re still in a bit of a rebuild themselves. With so many question marks for the La Liga team, we believe that Bayern Munich will head to Spain and record an impressive victory.