With the summer transfer window finally complete, the main European leagues underway and the official draw for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League announced, 32 teams are set to take their chances at winning the most important club trophy in the world.
Here’s a closer look at the main candidates to come out on top in one of the most anticipated editions of the UCL in recent years.
After what has been dubbed the best transfer window ever, PSG is the clear frontrunner to win Europe’s top competition. Currently, the Champions League winner odds price the Les Parisiens as the odds-on favourites to take the trophy at 7/2. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since PSG managed to sign Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Lionel Messi during the summer. These three world-class players join an already star-studded team that features one of the world’s most promising talents, Kylian Mbappé, and Brazilian superstar, Neymar Jr.
While the Champions League predictions indicate that PSG is likely to win their first UCL, there’s still a long road till the final, as the team, who heavily invested in the competition in the past years, has consistently failed to reach their objective. The Frenchman came close to winning in 2019, only to suffer a devastating 1-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. Before that, the team had never advanced past the quarter-finals.
Our next contender returns for another shot at a trophy that has proven an immense challenge in recent years. Much like PSG, Manchester City are at odds of 7/2 to win the Champions League trophy, something which their massive financial investment has thus far failed to achieve.
Although the club has moved mountains under the tutelage of head coach Pep Guardiola, a two-time winner of the UCL, and possesses a team with a market value close to £1 billion, City are still yet to find their path to European glory. The team managed to reach the final for the first time last year, after being eliminated in the quarter-finals for three consecutive years.
While their transfer window wasn’t as spectacular as PSG’s, their signing of Jack Grealish for a record £100 million made headlines worldwide and was considered by many the final step to building an unbeatable team. Apart from Grealish, Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and 2020/21 Premier League Player of the Season, Rúben Dias, are considered some of the team’s main assets.
Last year’s winner of the Champions League trophy, Chelsea FC, shocked many by even reaching as far as the final. After a middle-season head coach swap that saw Thomas Tuchel take on the team, few could imagine the massive impact he would have on the squad. Not only did they beat favourites Manchester City in the UCL final, but Tuchel delivered a strong end to the Premier League season as well, despite having only taken on the team four months prior.
Their strong defensive play only saw them concede four goals during their entire UCL run while winning the competition for the second time in their history. After re-signing club legend Romelu Lukaku and securing Spaniard Saúl Ñíguez on a last-minute deal, the Blues are expected to be even stronger than last season at odds of 7/1. The likes of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho, César Azpilicueta or Edouard Mendy are also set to make a difference during their attempt at renovating their title as UCL winners.
These three teams are certainly the front runners to win the 2021/2022 Champions League, but you should also keep an eye on Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Manchester United.