Early Betting Preview for the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League With Odds and Analysis

| August 6, 2021 9:59 am PDT

When you look at the bookies’ odds for the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League winner, Manchester City is the clear favorite. But that only tells you half the story.

Pep Guardiola’s men fell at the final hurdle last season, surrendering the trophy to English rival Chelsea. Although the Blues will be hoping to retain their title, all the usual suspects will be trying their best to stop them.

Teams like Bayern Munich, PSG, and Liverpool will almost certainly reach the latter stages of the tournament – and you can never write off Barcelona and Real Madrid.

With Manchester United making a resurgence and Juventus invariably in the mix, betting on the Champions League in 2021/22 isn’t straightforward. That’s why I have put together this UCL betting preview.

In this piece, I look at the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League odds and discuss all the favorites’ chances. After analyzing the frontrunners, I also decide whether or not an outsider could lift the trophy this season.

Let’s start by checking out the latest odds for the UCL winner.

Latest 2021/22 UEFA Champions League Winner Odds

Before a ball has even been kicked, Man City (3.75) is the bookies’ obvious favorite to win the 2021/22 Champions League. In fact, the gap between Guardiola’s side and the rest of the frontrunners is sizeable.

Still, Man City has never won European soccer’s top prize. With that in mind, there are plenty of other contenders to consider here.

The leading online sportsbooks may offer slightly different prices for this market, so it pays to shop around and find the best odds.

Just behind Man City on the bookies’ 2021/22 UCL odds list, Bayern Munich (6.00) and PSG (6.50) find themselves second and third, respectively.

There is a small jump to Liverpool (8.50) and Chelsea (8.50), with a bigger gap between them and the chasing pack.

Man Utd (15.00), Real Madrid (15.00), and Barcelona (15.00) are all evenly priced, with Atletico Marid (21.00) and Juventus (21.00) completing the top ten.

It’s time to get stuck into some Champions League team analysis.

What Makes Man City the 2021/22 UCL Favorite?

It isn’t difficult to understand why Man City is the bookies’ pre-season favorite to win the Champions League. I mean, the Cityzens boast the strongest squad in European soccer and are led by one of the greatest managers of all time.

But for all their power, they have yet to taste UCL glory.

Sure, Guardiola knows what it takes to go all the way in this competition. As a player, he won the European Cup with Barcelona before guiding the club to two Champions League titles from the sidelines. He hasn’t been able to emulate that success at the Etihad Stadium, though.

MAN CITY IN THE UCL UNDER GUARDIOLA
Season Finish
2016/17 Round of 16
2017/18 Quarter-Finals
2018/19 Quarter-Finals
2019/20 Quarter-Finals
2020/21 Runner-Up

Although last season’s UCL final loss would have hurt Guardiola and his players, they will have learned a lot from the failure. It is now up to them to use that failure as fuel for the coming campaign.

With guys like Ederson, Ruben Dias, and Kevin De Bruyne in their ranks, Man City has enough world-class players to complete the job. But if they want to go one better this time around, they will need to find an extra gear.

Will Bayern Munich Challenge for the Trophy?

After winning the Champions League in 2019/20, Bayern failed to make it past the quarter-finals last term. The German giant fell to PSG in the last eight, cruelly departing on the away goals rule.

Still, it is worth remembering that Bayern is preparing for a fourteenth consecutive season in Europe’s premier club competition. During that period, the Bavarians have qualified for the semi-finals a whopping eight times – winning two of the four finals they have reached.

Hansi Flick led Bayern to UCL glory in 2019/20 and also clinched two Bundesliga titles during a magical two-year spell as head coach. He has since left the club to take charge of the German national team, paving the way for Julian Nagelsmann.

Arguably the best young soccer manager in the world, Nagelsmann has inherited a winning team. Led by Robert Lewandowski and anchored by Joshua Kimmich, you cannot write off Bayern when it comes to betting on the Champions League in 2021/22.

Could PSG Finally Win the Champions League?

Following a succession of early exits, the Parisians came agonizingly close to clinching their first-ever UCL crown in 2019/20. As we know, Bayern beat them to the trophy on that occasion.

Under the guidance of former Tottenham Hotspur boss Maurico Pochettino, PSG made another deep run last season. However, they ended up losing to Man City in the semi-finals – extending their lengthy wait for European success.

Spearheaded by Kylian Mbappe and Neymar (two of the most valuable soccer players on the planet), PSG is capable of beating anyone. But despite their relentless domination of Ligue 1, they invariably struggle to carry their domestic dominance onto the European stage.

For the same reasons as Man City, betting on PSG to win the Champions League always feels a bit risky.

Can Chelsea Defend Their UCL Crown?

When you’re betting on the UCL, it is important to remember that very few teams win back-to-back titles. In fact, the sheer competitiveness of the tournament means that only one team – Real Madrid – has been able to defend their crown since 1990!

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Chelsea won’t win the Champions League this season. But Thomas Tuchel’s men will have to do something very special to get their hands of the trophy again.

After Frank Lampard parted ways with the Blues midway through the previous campaign, Tuchel came in and completely transformed the team. The German coach made Chelsea extremely difficult to beat – and that was clear in last term’s 1-0 final victory over Man City.

Even without any new additions, Chelsea’s squad can compete for the trophy. But if the Blues get their hands on reported targets such as Romelu Lukaku and Erling Haaland, they will stand an even greater chance of sealing back-to-back UCL triumphs.

Who Are the Other Realistic Contenders?

Having covered the leading contenders, it’s now time to take a closer look at some of the other teams that could win the Champions League in 2021/22.

Liverpool and Man Utd Can Challenge

We all know that Liverpool endured a campaign to forget last season. But if they can rediscover their best form, there is no reason why the 2019/20 EPL champions can’t add to their 2018/19 UCL triumph.

Boosted by the return of long-term injury absentees like Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Jurgen Klopp’s side looks set to mount a serious challenge for silverware this year.

You would be foolish to write off Man Utd, too. Although they are priced at 15.00 to lift the trophy, the Red Devils have recently signed Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane – significantly enhancing their chances of success.

Real Madrid and Barcelona Might Fall Short

It is no secret that both Real Madrid and Barcelona are not among Europe’s strongest teams at the moment. The Spanish powerhouses have been impacted by off-field issues in recent times – and their performances on the pitch have suffered as a result.

The two sides have made key signings over the summer, with Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero joining Barca and David Alaba teaming up with Los Blancos. Still, it feels like both clubs have fallen down the pecking order over the past couple of years.

That said, both Real and Barca always seem to up their game on the biggest stage. For that reason, you can’t totally disregard the Classico giants altogether.

Could an Outsider Win the UCL in 2021/22?

Let’s face it, an outsider rarely wins the Champions League. The last major shock was probably Porto’s triumph back in 2003/04 – and that was almost two decades ago!

Since then, only eight teams have won the UCL – Liverpool, Barcelona, AC Milan, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a surprise package can’t upset the Champions League odds and snatch the trophy in 2021/22.

At 34.00, Inter is viewed as an outsider. But having totally dominated Serie A last term, the Nerazzurri will be confident of cementing their place among Europe’s elite clubs once again.

AC Milan (41.00) is also enjoying a resurgence following a period in the doldrums, while 2020/21 Europa League winners Villarreal (81.00) now know what it takes to go all the way and lift a major trophy.

Even reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille (101.00) will fancy their chances of making waves on the European stage this season.

Wrapping Things Up

With five different teams winning the trophy in the past seven seasons, betting on the winner of the Champions League in 2021/22 is no easy task.

Having finished as the runner-up last term, Man City now has the know-how to reach final. But can Guardiola’s overcome their demons and get over the line this time around? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

You can bet your bottom dollar that familiar names like Bayern Munich, PSG, and Liverpool will go deep into the competition, while Chelsea will almost certainly be there or thereabouts.

If you’re looking for more general advice about picking the winner of a tournament, make sure you go through our guide to futures and outright wagers in soccer.

Keep an eye on our soccer blog for more UCL betting tips as the new season draws nearer, and check out the soccer picks section of our site for Champions League match previews when the campaign gets underway.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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