Champions League 2018/19 preview: Our outright football tips
Adam Drury reveals his football betting tips for the major betting markets, including competition winners, top goalscorer, and a #BetYourWay for each group.
Outright winner: Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Champions League three seasons in a row, and is a good bet to make it four at Juventus.
The Serie A champions have reached two of the last four finals, and now have added the depth and quality required to take the next step.
Joao Cancelo, Leonardo Bonucci, Emre Can and Ronaldo are all eye-catching signings, while they have held on to their manager Max Allegri.
Manchester City, Barcelona, PSG and Real Madrid have not strengthened enough to match the Italians.
Top goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s slow start in Serie A should not affect his Champions League performances.
Eight of his first 10 goals of last season came in this competition, while he scored 15 goals in Europe overall.
He is the competition’s leading all-time goalscorer, scoring at least 10 goals and finishing in the top three goalscorers in all of the last seven seasons.
Winner: Atletico Madrid, runner-up: Borussia Dortmund
Atletico have signed Diego Costa and Thomas Lemar since going out at the group stage last season, so their performance should improve.
They also have a much easier group than a year ago. This time, Diego Simeone’s side and Borussia Dortmund should easily qualify ahead of Monaco and Club Brugge.
Winner: Tottenham, runner-up: Barcelona
After Tottenham beat Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to win their group last season, they could be a good bet to do the same to Barcelona and Inter this time.
Barcelona have not been convincing under Ernesto Valverde, despite winning La Liga last season, so back them to finish second.
PSG and Liverpool to qualify
After losing Maurizio Sarri and Jorginho to Chelsea, Napoli are much weaker than they were last season, when they failed to qualify from the group.
Though Carlo Ancelotti is likely to take this competition more seriously than Sarri, they won’t be good enough to stop PSG and Liverpool.
Winner: Porto, runner-up: Galatasaray
After losing Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka, Schalke’s squad looks weaker than last season.
Instead, Turkish Super Lig champions Galatasaray can take second place in Group D, while Porto should be the best team in the group.
Bayern Munich to finish with 16+ points
Bayern will be favourites to win each of their Group F matches, so should at least finish on at least 16 points.
The Bundesliga champions earned 15 points in a group including PSG last season, and only have Benfica, Ajax and AEK – none of which have much chance of success in this competition – to play this time.
Winner: Manchester City, runner-up: Shakhtar Donetsk
Manchester City will win this group easily, but the battle for second place should be close.
Shakhtar Donetsk are always underrated in the Champions League, though. They have won their last five home games in this competition, and qualified from a group including City and Napoli last season.
Real Madrid and Roma to both finish on 10+ points
CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen are unlikely to make life particularly difficult for Real Madrid and Roma.
The two favourites for the group need only win three and draw one of their games against those sides to reach 10 points, while both have a good chance of beating the other at home.
Winner: Juventus, runner-up: Valencia
Juventus are big favourites to win this group, but the battle for qualification between Valencia and Manchester United should be much closer.
Jose Mourinho’s side were so poor against Sevilla in the Round of 16 last season that Valencia – who are an even better team – should be backed to finish second.
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