Champions League Group B Betting – Can Anyone Stop Bayern or Spurs?
The two clear favorites in Group B of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League are Bayern Munich and last year’s finalists Tottenham Hotspur. Those two look set to progress to the knockout stages, but I’m sure that Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade will be hoping to upset the odds.
I will share my predictions on the chances of each team in this Group B preview. Before we get to that, though, let’s take a look at the latest odds available at the leading online betting sites.
Champions League Group B Odds for 2019-20
Odds to Win Group B
To Qualify From Group B
2018-19 wasn’t the strongest season in the modern history of Bayern Munich, but the club decided to back head coach Niko Kovac despite the average results. The team did win the German title, so they at least met minimum expectations.
Kovac will have to cope with a new Bayern squad in the upcoming season, as a couple of iconic players are now gone, including Mats Hummels, Franck Ribery, and Arjen Robben. The good news is that the board invested heavily in the summer.
The defense received a boost with the arrival of Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, while Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic are expected to bring fresh ideas up front.
The start of the campaign was far from perfect, as Bayern was held at home by Hertha, but the champions went on to demolish their opponents in the next two games.
Bayern’s defense has looked vulnerable at times, but the front line has been devastating. Robert Lewandowski is back to his best and already has six goals, so he will be a key figure for Bayern Munich. I expect the team to win the German Bundesliga rather easily, so Kovac will have the luxury to focus on the Champions League in 2019-20.
I expect to see the best of Bayern in the European competition, and the Germans will target the top spot in the group stage. The only team that could stop them is Tottenham, but the English side will be involved in a tough domestic campaign that could harm their performances in the UCL.
After reaching the UCL final last season, Tottenham certainly believes the tournament is winnable. The Spurs have now established themselves as a regular participant in the biggest UEFA competition, and the expectations are high for them in 2019-20.
The group of players at Pochettino’s disposal should be better this year, as the English club didn’t lose any key members of the squad, Kieran Trippier aside. Tottenham also attracted a couple of solid players such as Tanguy Ndombélé, Ryan Sessegnon, and Giovani Lo Celso.
The start of the year has been inconsistent for the Spurs, as the team has only one late win in the English Premier League. On the other hand, Tottenham showed a lot of promise in the games against Manchester City and Arsenal away from home, drawing them both.
I don’t think the Spurs will be consistent enough to win the first place in Group B, but they should earn the second spot comfortably. Bayern Munich aside, the other teams are simply not on the same level as Tottenham.
The Greek club Olympiacos had to go through the Champions League qualifications to earn a place in the group stages. The team did so with ease, beating Krasnodar with an aggregate result of 6-1 in the last round.
The squad of Olympiacos can’t compare to what Bayern Munich and Tottenham have at their disposal, but the motivation and the fanatic support should elevate the Greek side at least in their home games.
The realistic target for Olympiacos would be to beat Red Star Belgrade for the third place in the group and qualification for the Europa League.
Red Star Belgrade
The budget and squad of Red Star Belgrade are below the level of any of the other clubs in Group B, but this could be misleading. The Serbian side returned to the Champions League last season and won four points in a nightmare group that featured eventual winner Liverpool, Napoli, and PSG.
That’s quite the achievement and a testimony to the desire of the Red Star team. The players from Eastern Europe see the Champions League as a great opportunity to move to stronger European leagues and push their careers.
That works as a powerful motivator, so clubs from the region always give everything in the UCL. On top of that, the support of the fans is fantastic and provides them with an extra edge.
A good example is the qualifying rounds, which saw Red Star win twice under extremely dramatic circumstances. The Danish side Copenhagen was barely beaten on penalties in the third round, while Young Boys were eliminated thanks to away goals in the fourth.
It’s safe to say that Red Star Belgrade is prepared to fight in every single game. That won’t be enough to finish above Bayern Munich or Tottenham in Group B, but the third place is not mission impossible.
Champions League Group B Predictions and Betting Picks
I believe that Bayern Munich will be too strong for the Spurs and will take the top spot in the group. The Germans will be able to rotate before the key clashes, while Tottenham simply can’t afford to do the same.
Those two should be way ahead of Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade. The two Balkan sides will be fighting hard for the third place. The Greek club is the bookmakers’ favorite, but I feel that Red Star’s determination might be enough to edge out the opponent.
What do you think about Group B of the Champions League this season? Do you agree with my assessment, or do you expect a different outcome? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you liked the Group B preview, you should check out my post on Group A. I will also explore the other groups in the UEFA Champions League and share my predictions in the upcoming days.