Online betting sites have released odds for the 2021-22 Champions League campaign, and despite still being in search of their first European honours since 1970, Manchester City have the shortest odds to lift the trophy next year. Pep Guardiola’s men were also favoured last term, and were odds-on to beat Chelsea in the final but they couldn’t respond to Kai Havertz’s first half-goal which handed the Blues the victory.
As is so often the case, many high-profile names are reported to be on City’s shopping list this summer, so the Premier League champions are going to be the team to beat in both domestic and European competition next season. Among those linked with City are England duo Harry Kane and Jack Grealish, plus Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland, who is arguably the hottest property in world football.
With their inevitable big arrival(s) in mind, the bookmakers have priced City as short as 5/2 in some places to win the Champions League, while the best odds available are 7/2. Bayern Munich come next with a top price of 6/1, and if you claim betting offers through online sportsbooks, you can get even better value on many of your wagers. Dayot Upamecano will arrive in Munich from RB Leipzig in July, but new manager Julian Nagelsmann will be without the experience of stalwarts David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez, all of whom are headed for the exit.
The third-favourites are Liverpool, who had a season to forget in 2020-21, but will have Virgil van Dijk back after rupturing his ACL, and like Bayern, the Reds also have an RB Leipzig centre-back on the way in the shape of Ibrahima Konate. Jurgen Klopp’s side are priced at 9/1, just ahead of the holders Chelsea, who are 10/1 to retain their crown in Thomas Tuchel’s first full campaign in charge.
Paris Saint-Germain not only failed to win the Champions League in 2021, but they were also unforgivably pipped to the Ligue 1 title by Lille. Despite that, they are still among the frontrunners for 2022, and are 12/1 to finally conquer Europe. Also at 12/1 are Barcelona, who had a disappointing 2020-21 season, but did come away with a trophy as they thrashed Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the Copa del Rey final.
Manchester United should have mustered a trophy, too, but were beaten in the Europa League final on penalties by Villarreal. However, they showed plenty to suggest they are on the up again, and it is no surprise to see them priced at 14/1 for the Champions League.
Real Madrid are unusually rather far down the board at 16/1 as Carlo Ancelotti returns to the Bernabeu. Behind them are Juventus (22/1), Atletico Madrid (28/1), and Inter Milan (40/1). The preliminary round gets underway towards the end of June, and the draw for the group stage will take place on August 26th. Saint Petersburg is the host city for the final, which is played on May 28th.
By: Ben Smith
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / David Ramos – AFP