The 2018 Champions league kick-offs in the upcoming weeks as the top sides across Europe battle for the trophy. Real Madrid head in looking for an unprecedented fourth title in succession but following the loss of Ronaldo they now have a big task on their hands. So who are leading sports betting favourites heading in?
The English champions start as the favourites under the guidance of Pep Guardiola. This will come as no surprise following the dominance of last season as they broke the 100 point mark. They are a team stacked with attacking talent and will be expected to challenge to the latter stages of the tournament. City have been drawn in a weak looking Group F so anything but topping the group will be seen as an underachievement. They face off against Hoffenheim, Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk.
As always the Spanish champions start as one of the favourites as they look to win their 6th champions league title and first since back in 2015. They are always a major attacking threat and will be expected to progress through as group winners. However Group B is looking one of the toughest to call as they have been drawn against Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham. All sides will see themselves as having a realistic chance of progressing through.
The Italian champions start as one of the favourites and will be hopeful of success as they have signed Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo. He has all but carried Real Madrid to some of their recent titles and is likely to be a major boost to Juventus. They have gone close in recent seasons having been beaten in two of the last four finals as they look for their first champion’s league title since 1996. They will be expected to progress through as group winners but won’t have it all their own way having been drawn against Manchester United, Valencia and Young Boys.
The French champions have struggled in the competition in recent seasons but have possibly the most dangerous attacking line in world football in Cavani, Neymar and Mbappe. They are going to be a major threat to any side they face. They have been drawn in group C in what looks the most competitive of them all. PSG will face off against Red Star Belgrade, Napoli and last season’s finalists Liverpool. Can they continue the incredible run of French football following their recent World Cup victory in Russia?
Real Madrid must make the list as the most decorated side in the history of the competition. They also head in having won the last three in succession and will be looking to lift the trophy for the 14th time. They have of course as previously mentioned lost Cristiano Ronaldo which is going to be a major loss to the Spanish side. You only have to look at the last two competitions with Ronaldo finishing as the top goal scorer in both with 12 goals followed by 15. They have been drawn in an easy looking group so start as firm favourites to head through as group winners. They face off against CSKA Moscow, Roma and Plzen.