The Champions League is ongoing. PSG are in excellent form and will likely win Group A. Bayern Munich have been scoring goals left right and centre in Group B while Man City have no serious competition in Group C. Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid have been struggling while Inter Milan are one foot out of the tournament.
But which team will lift the Champions League in May next year? Below is an in-depth analysis of five teams in excellent forms and looking sharp enough to lift the trophy in Istanbul on May 30, 2020?
Pep Guardiola’s side might have won the Premier League back to back and won Carabao Cups severally. But the Spanish manager now has his eyes on the Champions League. He doesn’t have a lot of choices, either.
He’s already won every domestic Cup in England. And with a squad worth £1.5 billion, what’s left for him is to win Europe’s most prestigious football competition.
Luckily, the Citizens lead Group C with arguably the easiest fixtures. They are grouped with Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk. None of these teams poses a significant threat to Man City.
At home, Man City ranks behind League Leaders Liverpool. They’ve lost two matches with eight games played, but that’s nothing to worry about. Of course, every team wants to win a league title. But City’s focus this season is on something bigger.
Whether they win the Champions League, though, depends on whether they can overcome their Semi-Finals curse. They got knocked out of the tournament by Tottenham last season and by Liverpool the season before. If they find a way to reach the finals, this season’s UCL title will be theirs to lose.
They are ruthless in attack. They are clinical and robust as a team. Their defense looks a tad shaky this season, but they still have what it takes to defend the UCL title.
Domestically, Liverpool leads the EPL table eight points clear after eight matches. And having never won a premier league title, winning the EPL could be their focus. Liverpool fans have been waiting too long for a league title anyway, so don’t be surprised if they invest more efforts in winning the EPL.
But which European side wouldn’t want to win the UCL back to back? They might have lost to Napoli, but the Reds will comfortably qualify for the knockout stages. And once there, they have the squad and the depth required to lead them to a seventh UCL title.
Bayern might not be leading the Bundesliga as of yet, but they are having a good time in the UCL. They mauled Tottenham 7-2 away after beating Crvena Zvezda comfortably at home. They face Olympiacos next, and a win will extend their lead at Group B to nine points.
At a similar time last season, Bayern could have worried about Tottenham. But Spurs are a different side this season. Bayern’s competition is yet to come. But based on their clinical nature at the group stages, they look ready to challenge for the title in Istanbul.
Bayern also loves to win in style. They fight for goals from the start to the end of each game they play. So, if you like to bet on football, watch out for the Bundesliga side to score multiple goals per game. Meanwhile, some of the best online casino reviews say you should choose your gambling sites wisely. Whether you want to bet on the UCL or play online slots, review multiple gaming sites before picking the best.
Fine, this might be a stretch, but did you watch Ajax in the UCL last season? Not only did they play beautiful football, but they also knocked out every giant team, they came across until the semi-finals. And still, they nearly got into the finals having beat Spurs away only to lose at home.
This season, the League Eredevise leaders look sharper than last year. Forget they lost their youthful captain Matthew De Light to Juventus and ace midfielder Frenkie De Jong to Barcelona in the summer. Ajax are playing as if they have a better squad than they did last season.
With two wins after two games, Ajax leads Group H with six points. They face Chelsea next. But regardless of what happens in London, the Dutch side will most probably qualify for the knockout stages.
They’ve already defeated their remaining competitors, Valencia and Lille. At the knockout stages, Ajax must hope they get favourable fixtures if they want to make it to Istanbul. Otherwise, they might not get fortunate this season if they face Juventus, Liverpool, Man City or even Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona ranks third in La Liga despite a poor start. In the UCL, the Catalonian side ranks behind Dortmund after snatching a draw against Inter Milan at home. They didn’t look great in that game and nearly lost it.
But with Messi fully fit, Barcelona now boast of one of the best attack lines in Europe. Antoine Griezmann plays upfront while Messi and Luis Suarez attack from the wings. De Jong and Arturo Vidal create chances in midfield while Marc-Adre ter Stegen has everything under control at the back.
To be fair, Barca’s fullbacks can also be stable, but lately, they rely too much on their goalkeeper. That means they can be leaky, which could cost them the UCL and the La Liga trophies this season. So, if they figure out solutions to their backline problems, Barcelona have a reasonable shot at this season’s UCL.
The UCL this season looks as competitive as ever. Liverpool aren’t leading their group and Serie A leaders Inter Milan rank fourth in Group F. Last year’s runners-up, Tottenham, have already conceded nine groups after two matches while Bayern looks powerful enough to chase the title this season.
But who will finally lift the trophy in Istanbul? Man City, Liverpool, Barcelona, Ajax and Bayern have the best odds so far. But that could change depending on how they complete their group stage fixtures. That’s the beauty of the UCL, anyway. It’s tough, features beautiful football, and any side can win.