The much-awaited UEFA Champions League is finally here and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
This time around, there is a lot of action to look forward to – whether it is the Paris Saint-Germain trying to win the league with Lionel Messi or Manchester United trying to reclaim their former glory with Cristiano Ronaldo and their other new signings.
As the tournament kickstarts next week, let’s take a look at our top Champions League Winner Predictions this season – you’ll find top online betting odds and sites listed too!
As usual, there are 32 teams participating in the competition. They will start in eight groups of four and then make their way to the knockouts, quarterfinals, and so on.
To simplify our choices, I looked at:
Squad quality and overall team strength
The league of the clubs (La Liga, EPL, Bundesliga, etc.)
Track record of the managers
Star players/playmakers in each team
Past pedigree in the European competitions
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some possible 2021-22 Champions League winner predictions. You will find great odds on these players across the available online football betting sites in India.
There is a reason why the leading online sports betting sites in India are pegging PSG as the favourites to go the distance in the Champions League this season.
After all, they are fielding one of the strongest teams in the competition (at least on paper). No matter how we look at it, the current Ligue 1 runner-ups have got some incredible talent in all departments. In other words, Mauricio Pochettino has been given everything he needs to make history.
For instance, in goalkeeping, they have plenty of experience in the former Real Madrid man Keylor Navas and absolute raw talent in the rising Italian prodigy Gianluigi Donnarumma – the 22-year-old who helped Italy win the Euro Cup this season. Also, let’s not forget the arrival of Sergio Ramos in the team – the veteran Spanish defender who has numerous Champions League titles to his name already.
In the front, they have the deadly combination of Neymar and Lionel Messi – the two buddies reunited after running riot with Barcelona in La Liga a few seasons ago. With Kylian Mbappe also set to be a part of the starting XI, this undoubtedly becomes the holy trinity of forwards.
Add to the equation the midfield strength bolstered by the likes of Angel Di Maria, Georginio Wijnaldum, Marco Veratti, and others, it is hard to not imagine PSG winning the treble this season in Europe.
Up next on my Champions League Winner Predictions list is Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The English side was the runner-up in last year’s edition, losing to Chelsea by 1-0 in the final.
But the fact that they came so close to it is reason enough to believe that they can try to go the distance once again this season.
And it is not just because of the incredible team that they have, but also due to Guardiola’s track record as a manager. He won the treble with Barcelona in his first year as the manager and later guided the Catalans to yet another Champions League title. He also won three Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich before joining Manchester City.
Since taking over the club, he has set a feat of records including making City the first Premier League team to attain 100 points.
With a squad already firing on all cylinders, the arrival of Jack Grealish to the team should only enhance their prospects further. Interestingly, they find themselves in Group A, right there with PSG.
Chelsea won the Champions League last year – their first such feat in nine years – and later followed it by winning the UEFA Super Cup as well.
The Blues have the advantage of being one of the most defensive teams in the competition – last season, they conceded just two goals in the knockout stage and group stage. Even in the English Premier League, Chelsea had only 36 goals against them – just four behind Manchester City.
The boys are thriving under Thomas Tuchel and now, with the return of the prodigal son Romelu Lukaku, their attack has been given a new life. Lukaku’s time with Inter Milan and Belgium has left him as a much better forward than he was in his previous years with Chelsea. Case in point, Lukaku guided Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in over a decade.
Belgium’s all-time goalscorer will find himself with the talents of Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, and others. With this kind of firepower in attack, complemented by an equally formidable defensive backline, Chelsea have got a good chance of defending their title in the Champions League.
Bayern Munich may have lost to PSG last year in the quarterfinals, but everyone knows that the nine-time Bundesliga champions are not to be taken lightly or ever underestimated.
They won the Champions League the year preceding to last and will fancy a similar outcome this time around too although, under the 34-year-old Julian Nagelsmann.
One of the youngest coaches to command the club, Nagelsmann has an impressive pedigree for his age – he guided RB Leipzig to consecutive top-three finishes in the German top-flight football league (his side was also the DFB-Pokal finalists). Plus, in his first-ever win with Bayern Munich as a coach, he guided the boys to the DFL Supercup against Borussia Dortmund.
And then there’s also the fact that they have a decent-enough squad in Manuel Neuer, Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski, and others. All in all, the Germans have the right set of ingredients – all they need is the will and confidence to deliver against the other giants.
It may be a bit bold of me to say this, but Manchester United have got a very solid chance of winning the Champions League and EPL this season.
While there are several reasons for this statement, the primary one is the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to his former side – the son has returned home after a long stint across Europe where he won numerous awards and trophies (including the Champions League with Real Madrid, back to back).
He will be playing with his compatriot Bruno Fernandes (leading goalscorer for United last season), in addition to Edinson Cavani, English forward Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, and others.
If anything, Ole Solskjaer may have a conundrum at his hands to pick his starting XI, especially with so many stars to go about.
Liverpool, under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp, are known to catch teams by surprise every now and then. They won the tournament in 2018-19 after a dramatic turnaround against Barcelona following a 3-0 deficit.
This is a team that is already at quite a decent strength with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino in the attack, supported by Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk and several others on the team.
But they find themselves in a precarious group with Porto, Atletico Madrid, and AC Milan competing to reach the Round of 16. It will be intriguing to see how Klopp navigates this challenge.
Seven-time Champions League winners AC Milan (Italian record) mark their return to the tournament after what seems like an eternity. The Diavolo finished second in Serie A last season after a long wait of nine years to book the European Cup berth.
With the new signings of Olivier Giroud, Pietro Pellegri, Tiémoué Bakayoko, and Fikayo Tomori, the team is looking to strengthen their squad and be on the course to make history once again.
If there was ever a crazy bet to make, this would be it. Of course, they are in a tricky group but you don’t become the best by beating the best, do you?