The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League draw and winner odds
The UEFA Champions League draw for 2019-20 has been unveiled and the 8 Groups have been announced.
Paris Saint Germain (PSG)
It's quite evident that PSG and Real Madrid are miles ahead of the other two contestants of Group A. Apart from making an easy entry into the Round of 16, both PSG and Real will try to better their performances of last season when they had to exit the premier European tournament prematurely. Galatasaray could cause some problems for the two giants in the group, but at the best the Turkish club could probably hope to qualify for the Europa League in even they fail to make it to the next round. One of the highpoints of this cluster will be the showdown between Eden Hazard and Neymar.
Red Star Belgrade
Few expect Tottenham to repeat their dream progress to the finals of the 2018-19 Champions League where they emerged runners-up. Apart from dealing with the mighty Bayern Munich, Mauricio Pochettino's men will have two very difficult trips to Serbia and Greece to play Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos. Spurs will have to hit top form if they want to make it to the next round. Bayern's progress to the Round of 16 looks a no-brainer.
The going for Manchester City in this cluster looks very easy. For the second place, it looks wide open although Shakhtar Donetsk with oodles of technical ability and near invincibility at home are strong candidates to progress into the Round of 16 along with the English Premier League champions. With a talented striker like strike Duvan Zapata in their ranks, Serie A side Atalanta, too, could fancy their chances.
Atleti may be without their ace striker Antionne Griezmann who has moved to Barcelona, but their acquisition of the Portuguese prodigy, Joao Felix, may compensate for that. The Madrid club had almost knocked out Juventus very early last season, but the going against the Italian giants may prove even more difficult this time around what with the arrival Ajax wonder boy Matthijs de Ligt to Turin, not to speak of the ever-foreboding presence of the great Cristiano Ronaldo upfront. Juventus and Atletico Madrid look the obvious candidates to move to the Round of 16.
Liverpool, the current European champions have been handed a favourable group featuring Napoli (whom they faced at this stage last season), Salzburg and Genk. The last two are not expected to put up much of a fight against Liverpool and Napoli who in all likelihood seem poised to move into the next round with ease.
Barcelona brought in Antoine Griezman over the summer from Atletico Madrid to pair up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to give their attack a powerful edge. Fans are hoping the trio to take beyond the semi-final stage where were ignominiously knocked out by Liverpool last season. Apart from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund will be Germany’s biggest hopes in this year’s competition. The Bundesliga outfit will bank on the guiles of their wonderkid Jaden Sancho to take them through to the next round at least. Inter-Milan with the infusion of Manchester United rejects Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez could be re-vitalized as was evinced in their 4-0 thrashing of Lecce in a Serie A fixture last week. Antonio Conte's side look organized and confident and are definitely a good bet for entering the Round of 16 stage along with Barcelona.
This is the least high-profile Group in the competition. Both Lyon and RB Leipzig are laden with talent to take them ahead with players like Memphis Depay and Timo Werner respectively in their ranks. RB Leipzig with a striker German international Timo Werner and one of Bundesliga's top scorers will be a formidable side to deal with. Expect both Lyon and RB Leipzig to proceed to the Round of 16. But it would be a folly to rule out a side like Benfica who happen to be the reigning champions of the Portuguese Liga. Haris Seferovic and Rafa Silva with 27 and 26 goals apiece will be a handful to deal with. Expect this group to be a pot-boiler.
Ajax, Chelsea and Lille have all lost key players like De Ligt, Hazard and Nicolas Pepe while Valencia have managed to keep its core players together for the most part after winning the Spanish Copa del Rey. It won't come as a surprise if Chelsea were to finish third and qualify for the Europa League and make a back-door entry to the Champions League. Ajax may have lost players like Frankie de Jong and de Ligt, but they still are expected to retain the magic that helped them bundle out heavy weights like Juventus and Real Madrid last year. Both, the Amsterdam outfit and Valencia are expected to make it to the knock-out stage.
Champions League Winner odds for 2019-20
(Bet365 Odds subject to change and correct as of 31/08/2019)
Man City: 10/3
Real Madrid: 9/2
Bayern Munich: 12/1
Atletico Madrid: 20/1
Borussia Dortmund: 33/1
RB Leipzig: 66/1
Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane once again may be worth looking at for a potential fourth title in five years. Ajax will be a wild card and the odds of 66/1 do not justify their abilities.