Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
We’ve already discussed our predictions for the outright winner of the 2018/19 Champions League, but there’s plenty of action between now and the final on the 1st June 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
First of all there’s the flurry of high level football we’re treated to during the group stages, and the draw has afforded us some very enticing looking groups. The likes of PSG and Liverpool will face off in what promises to be a goalfest of a group, while Barcelona, Spurs, Inter Milan, and PSV all occupy the same space in Group B. Defending champions Real Madrid begin life without Cristiano Ronaldo as they look to beat off the competition from last season’s beaten semi-finalists AS Roma, while the legendary Ronaldo looks forward to a trip back to Old Trafford in Group H as Juventus and Manchester United clash heads.
The action inevitably becomes more intense as the knockout stages commence, and the race for the individual accolade of the top goalscorer will heat up. The group stages play an important role in setting up the race for the Golden Boot award though, so there is plenty for us to sink our teeth into as we look forward to next June.
Champions League Top Goalscorer Predictions – Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese legend divides opinion in the footballing world, but it’s undeniable that he is one of the greatest players to ever grace the pitch. He and Lionel Messi have battled it out for close to a decade in La Liga, but this season marks a new chapter in the impressive read of Ronaldo’s ongoing career. He transferred to Juventus this summer, ending a success-laden nine year spell at his beloved Real Madrid to embark on a foray into Italian football.
Since leaving Manchester United for the glamours of the Bernabeu, Ronaldo has lifted two La Liga trophies, two Copa del Reys, four Champions League titles, two Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups. You’d be hard pressed to find a larger medal collection, but it’s his pedigree in the Champions League that interests us here.
While Messi has often got the better of his arch rival in La Liga, the one area that Ronaldo has always excelled is in continental competition. His personal accolades in the competition far surpass any other player’s in history. He is the all-time top scorer in the competition with 120 goals in 158 appearances, and his 15 goal haul last term saw him win the top scorer award for the sixth consecutive season.
The records keep tumbling. The top three records for most goals in a single season belong to Ronaldo, with his highest tally coming in 2013/14 when he netted 17 times. He is the only player to score three hat-tricks in a single Champions League season and he holds the record for most goals in the knockout phase (60) and most goals in the final (4). Last season he set the record for most consecutive Champions League games scored in, starting in the 2017 final and continuing on for a further ten matches, netting 17 goals in this 11 game period. This small selection of the records he holds provide a glimpse into his absolute dominance of football’s most prestigious club competition.
Yes, he has moved away from the all-conquering Real Madrid, but in all honesty he was the main reason that they were all conquering. He’s not exactly bereft of support at Juventus either, with the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa, and Blaise Matuidi behind him. Juventus don’t have the easiest of groups, but Ronaldo almost always delivers in this competition. The fact that he has scored at least ten Champions League goals in seven consecutive seasons is enough to make his odds of 6/1 look attractive.
Read More – Champions League 2018/19 Group Stage Overview
Champions League Top Goalscorer Predictions – Robert Lewandowski
If anybody is to take Cristiano Ronaldo’s title, we like the look of Bayern Munich’s star striker Robert Lewandowski at 12/1. Bayern Munich have been thwarted by eventual winners Real Madrid in each of the last two seasons, and now that their bogey team are without their star man they will be feeling a bit more confident.
Things could have been a lot different for the Bundesliga giants were it not for the brilliance of Real Madrid, and the man at the heart of all their good attacking play is Lewandowski. The Poland international has already scored six goals in four appearances this season, and his Champions League record isn’t to be sniffed at either. He has netted at least five goals in every season since the 2011/12 campaign, and since joining Bayern Munich he has scored 28 Champions League goals in 44 appearances.
The main reason we fancy Lewandowski’s chances are because of Bayern Munich’s group draw though. They will face off against Ajax, Benfica, and AEK Athens in what promises to be a festival of goals. His main competitors for the Golden Boot, such as Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, have comparatively harder group stage fixtures to contest with. Barcelona face tough matches against Spurs and Inter Milan, while Juventus are drawn alongside Manchester United and Valencia.
Bayern Munich’s home match against AEK Athens draws the eye immediately. It could be a demolition job in November, and Lewandowski is a player renowned for banging in hat-tricks. He already scored one in the German Super Cup this season, and he has scored more than one goal in ten games since the start of last season, netting three hat-tricks since the turn of the year as well. He looks a great price all things considered.
Champions League Top Goalscorer Longshot – Sadio Mane
With most bookmakers paying out 1/4 price on four places for eachway bets in the top goalscorer market, it’s definitely worth considering a long shot option for the Champions League.
Sadio Mane is our choice in this regard, and his price of 33/1 seems very generous indeed given the form he’s in. Mane was the joint runner up in the Champions League goalscoring charts last season, netting ten along with his Liverpool teammates Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. Only Ronaldo outscored the deadly trident that Jurgen Klopp has built, so Mane’s odds do look extremely generous when you take into account the eachway terms on offer.
Roberto Firmino is actually a longer price in some places, but Mane is swaying the vote due to his excellent start to the new campaign. The Senegalese international has scored four goals in four appearances so far this season and only failed to find the net against Brighton in gameweek three. He has scored more than Firmino and Mohamed Salah combined so far, and he has scored 17 competitive club goals since the turn of the year. He has found the net in 14 of Liverpool’s 30 competitive games in that period.
His Champions League record is even more impressive. He netted seven of his ten goals in the knockout stages last season, including Liverpool’s only goal in the final back in May. Now he is set to play a pivotal role in a group stage campaign that promises a plethora of goals. They battle for the top spot with a PSG side who conceded nine goals in their final four Champions League games last season, whilst Napoli shipped 11 goals in the group stages last season and kept just one clean sheet and Red Star Belgrade are playing in their first Champions League group stage since 1992 (then the European Cup).
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