Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
The Champions League looks a little different this season, with the six rounds of group games being played over just nine weeks. The group stage will be wrapped up before the 2022 World Cup in November, leaving an extra-long mid-season break before the knockouts begin in February.
We’ve already gone through each of the eight groups and picked out a winner, but here we’re going to look further ahead. There’s a clear top four in the betting, but we’ve looked through the full list to produce two outright winner picks coming in at 5/1 and 16/1.
Champions League outright predictions
Champions League outright winner odds
- Man City – 11/4
- PSG – 5/1
- Liverpool – 11/2
- Bayern Munich – 13/2
- Real Madrid – 9/1
Perennial favourites Man City lead the way yet again, coming in a shade under 3/1 to win this competition for the first time. They’re followed closely by last season’s favourites Liverpool, while French and German champions PSG and Bayern Munich round out a clear top four.
After that are Spain’s big two of Real Madrid and Barcelona at 9/1 and 16/1. The defending champions have been cut post-draw, while they shouldn’t be on the same level as a Barca side who exited in the group stage last term. The Catalans have gambled their future to upgrade their squad, but they haven’t done enough to deserve their place as sixth-favourites for the trophy.
*Odds via SkyBet – correct as of 8pm on Thursday, 25th August
Outright winner tip – PSG at 5/1
PSG have spent big to win the Champions League over the years, but the French giants have never managed to get over the line. The 19/20 runners-up have become infamous for their collapses in this competition, having been 2-0 up on aggregate against Real Madrid before losing to the eventual winners.
However, PSG look like a different beast this season. They’ve looked a class apart domestically so far, winning 4-0 in the Super Cup against Nantes before scoring 17 times across their first three Ligue 1 games of the campaign.
The aftermath of last season’s exit to Real saw PSG adjust their approach, with their chairman promising an end to their “flashy” approach. They turned to Christophe Galtier as their new manager, the man who shocked PSG by leading Lille to the title in 2021.
Galtier has installed a 3-4-3 system with the French champions, which allows their big three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to terrorise defences. However, their wing-backs Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Gomes are also getting a lot of joy down the flanks.
The three centre-halves are protected by two holding midfielders, with Gianluigi Donnarumma behind them in goal. Sergio Ramos has also returned to their defence, adding vital Champions League winning experience to their side.
This setup has finally given PSG the balance they’ve always needed to compete. They no-longer look like the top-heavy, tantrum-in-waiting side destined for a humiliating exit. It wouldn’t be the most romantic story in European football, but I’m backing club football’s biggest trophy to finally head to the city of love.
Outsider tip – Chelsea at 16/1
Thomas Tuchel delivered Chelsea’s second Champions League triumph in 2021 and the coach made an impressive bid to make three straight finals last term. The Blues slipped up at home to Real Madrid but they very nearly overturned that against a side famous for their own comebacks.
The Blues have had a troubled summer, but the deadline day arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, along with Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, mean they have strengthened significantly. The balance of power in Europe has shifted dramatically towards the Premier League, with four different clubs making the final since 2019.
That makes any English side tempting at double-figure prices. Tottenham also start the competition at 14/1, but Antonio Conte’s record in Europe doesn’t stack up to Tuchel’s. The German can also call upon plenty of former winners of this competition in a squad which is stronger now than when they won it.
In truth, there’s a small group of sides capable of a European push and Chelsea are the biggest-priced of those. They clearly have issues to work out after their defeat to Leeds, but all they need to do in the short term is survive the group stage. With signings bedding in, they could be a much bigger threat, not to mention a much shorter price, come February.
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