Sep 12, 937 days ago

2014 Champions League Preview

2014 Champions League Preview

The European Cup celebrates its 60th season this year and the competition had begun before this summer’s World Cup had even finished. 77 teams will participate in this season’s Champions League with just two left by the time the final arrives in Berlin on 6 June 2015.

Real Madrid are the favourites to retain the title they won last May. Keep reading for our preview of this season’s Champions League.

The favourites

After their 4-1 victory over city rivals Atletico in last season’s final, Real Madrid would already have been one of the favourites to win this year’s tournament. However, having invested €120 million in the likes of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos the ten-time champions look stronger than ever.

The Spanish giants have kept hold of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema and look to have the most potent attacking line-up in the competition, although they will have to adapt to life without their inspirational playmaker Xabi Alonso. Real don’t have the easiest group stage – they have both Liverpool and Basel – but are worthy favourites at 7/2.

Another team with a tricky group draw are 4/1 second favourites Bayern Munich. They will have to overcome Manchester City, CSKA Moscow and Roma to progress but the German side have arguably been Europe’s best club team for the last two or three years.

As well as boasting the spine of Germany’s World Cup winning side they also have added class this summer. Robert Lewandowski looks like an upgrade on the departed Mario Mandzukic while Mehdi Benatia will bring experience to the defence. Pep Guardiola has also signed Xabi Alonso who could be the key to Bayern’s success.

Last year’s semi-finalists Chelsea have also spent wisely this summer, adding Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to their ranks. Jose Mourinho is a Champions League master and I expect the Blues to reach the latter stages of the competition. They look good value at 7/1 to win the trophy.

Barcelona should negotiate a straightforward group stage by which time they will be able to call on Luis Suarez to partner Neymar and Lionel Messi in a fearsome attack. Big spending Paris St Germain reached the quarter-final stage last year and could go better at 16/1 while the last two beaten finalists – Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund – are both available at 25/1.

Outsiders to watch

No-one gave Atletico much hope of success last season but the Spanish champions ended up being a matter of seconds from lifting their first European Cup.

Could this season’s surprise package be La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao? It’s the Basque side’s first Champions League appearance after finishing fourth in La Liga last season and with a manageable group they could go well.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have lost midfield playmaker Ander Herrera to Manchester United but should qualify from a group including Porto, BATE Borisov and troubled Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk. The San Mames is an intimidating stadium for any visitors and anything can happen in the knockout stages. Athletic are one to watch at 80/1.

It may also be worth keeping an eye on 2002 Champions League finalists Bayer Leverkusen. Having spent wisely this summer Roger Schmidt’s side have got off to an excellent start in the Bundesliga, winning at rivals Dortmund and putting four past Hertha Berlin.

Leverkusen don’t face a major European superpower in Group C – they face Monaco, Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg – and should qualify for the knockout stages. The 80/1 available looks like excellent value.

Champions League betting

Share "2014 Champions League Preview" via

Comments are closed.

More in Champions League Betting
Apr 6, 29 mins ago

2016/17 Champions League quarter finals preview

2016/17 Champions League quarter finals preview78 teams who entered the Champions League have been whittled down to eight, and this year’s quarter finals feature the last six finalists, the leaders of Ligue 1 and the English champions. Leicester City’s bid for an unlikely Champions League final ...

Read   Comments are off
Sep 7, 211 days ago

2016/17 Champions League preview

2016/17 Champions League preview78 clubs from 53 countries entered this season’s Champions League and after some big names were eliminated in the play-offs, 32 teams now remain in the group stages. Leicester City and FC Rostov make their debut in the competition and they ...

Read   Comments are off
Feb 20, 776 days ago

Champions League last 16 preview

Champions League last 16 previewSixteen teams remain in this year’s Champions League and there is a familiar look to the line-up. Many of the big names are there including Spanish, Italian and English giants and as there’s no one outstanding team the competition is ...

Read   Comments are off