So who’s going to win the 2014 Champions League? It looks like any number of teams could have a chance of winning before the knockout stage commences – but where are the shrewd bets?
It’s important to remember that since the Champions League replaced the European Cup back in 1992, no club has managed to win the trophy two years in a row. But the odds suggest Bayern Munich will do exactly that – at around 2/1 favourites to be outright winners.
But who do Bayern play in the first round of the knockout stages? Arsenal of course. And no one expects the Gunners to progress over the two legs. Currently, Arsenal are around 40/1 to win the trophy and are odds against to progress against Bayern.
But Arsenal can beat absolutely any team on their day – and convincingly so, too, as Barcelona have found to their cost.
So on a value led basis, Arsenal are a better bet than Bayern on the basis that if the trophy was to be played out 40 times, Arsenal would be more likely to win once than Bayern would around 13.
But overall, the best value bet has to be AC Milan. Only third in Serie A last year – and currenty languishing at 11th in the Italian League table – Milan is a club in something of a crisis. But if there’s one thing they’re good at, it’s winning the Champions League which they’ve won seven times including the predecessor competition the European Cup.
And there are some signs that things could be looking up on the basis that anything is possible with a brand new and as yet untested manager.
Former Holland international Clarence Seedorf has been appointed as team manager – and this is a man who appeared over 400 times for the club – helping them win two Champions League and two Serie A titles.
The 37-year-old played for AC for 10 years until 2012 and replaces Massimiliano Allegri, under whom the Serie A giants had made such a poor start to the season.
This is his first managerial role – and anything seems possible now – so expect some anomalous results. But given his pedigree and that of AC Milan’s, then 50-1 looks crazy odds – and if they can get past Athletico Madrid in the first round of the knockout phase, then ‘all bets are off’ as they say.
So it’s a value punt for trill-seekers and there may be a way it can be free one. If you register to play 32Red blackjack and haven’t registered with the site before – you should qualify for a free £2 for each £10 deposited. The trick is to play as carefully as you can at roulette or blackjack etc., with a view to keeping as much of the free cash as you’re able then transferring it 32Red’s sports-book for a shrewd bet on the Champions League or whatever else takes your fancy.
Whether that bet is then on AC Milan or anyone else is another matter – but the Italian giants look anomalously good value given their new circumstances.