We’ve lined up the usual suspects and absolutely can’t wait for Tuesday 20th October for the Champions League to kick off. Nothing beats a starry night and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings finally make sense again, as we sit back and tune in to live theatre once more.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Liverpool are all equipped with incredible squads to go all the way this year and while they all might. We feel that one team has enough fire in their belly to clinch their maiden Champions League trophy.
Tears streamed down Neymar’s face as his Paris Saint-Germain were beaten in last year’s final against Bayern Munich. They were well and truly beaten and only a precious few sympathized.
Champions League outright odds:
- Bayern Munich are favourites at 4.90
- Manchester City at 5.40
- Liverpool going for number 7 at 7.00
- Paris SG are outsiders at 10.00
Defeat can galvanize a team
Many expected them to implode, change managers, sell off their big stars and start a re-build which would set them back a few years, but the Parisians did the opposite. This year they seem more united and determined. They stuck with Thomas Tuchel, who had already made history by guiding PSG to the Champions League final last season. With a similar squad, they can push to go one further.
They did lose captain Thiago Silva, however newly appointed captain Marquinhos is equally capable and we know from history, losing finalists can improve if they stick together. Just ask Jurgen Klopp after his side’s humiliating defeat to Real Madrid. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Neymar factor
If there is a modern star who polarises opinions, it’s Neymar. He’ll forever be labeled as a money-grabber and a sore loser, and so be it. He has however won it all, including Olympic Gold and his trophy cabinet helps add some respect to his name.
He went to Paris to carve out a name for himself, to eclipse Messi and stand on his own two feet. Domestic achievements mean little in France, so he’ll be extra determined to put last season’s defeat behind him. Their two defeats in the league so far will mean nothing in a wider context and should they struggle in Ligue 1 but triumph in Europe all will be forgotten.
A coming of age for Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe is quickly becoming the darling of world football. He was only 19 when he won the World Cup with France, becoming the second teenager to be crowned world champion. Joining Pele in that shortlist is impressive, and this young man is mentioned in the same breath as Messi and both Ronaldos.
He’s got it all and time on his hands too. When he left Monaco many expected the likes of Real Madrid or Manchester City to sign him, but he stayed local and joined PSG with one purpose: to make history. His legacy, as well as Neymar’s, depends on Champions League glory, and these two will carry their team to the final if they have to. Mbappe is FIFA 21’s cover boy and seeing him lift the trophy at such a young age would only excite us even more! He turns 22 in December and context is everything. Messi was 22 when he first won the Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo was 23… so let’s hope for an explosive season for Kylian Mbappe! History shows that Ballon d’Or winners tend to be Champions League winners, so the world will be watching this special talent.
We ❤️️ a #UCL boost ⬇️
⚽️ Borussia Dortmund
💪 All to win at 3/1!
— Casumo Sports (@CasumoSports) October 20, 2020
That Manchester United clash
In 2019 Paris Saint-Germain were cruising towards the Quarter Finals. They steamrolled Manchester United at Old Trafford, winning 2-0 and they looked as good as through. Manchester United, typically, had other intentions. Lukaku scored after two minutes, but Paris still stood strong, equalizing after 10 minutes. Lukaku again scored on the half-hour mark and United were not going to roll over.
In the dying embers of the night, a speculative shot from substitute Diogo Dalot hit Kimpembe’s arm and following a lengthy, nerve-racking VAR check the ref pointed to the spot. Up stepped Marcus Rashford with the coolest pressure penalty you’ll see.
United went through 3-3 on aggregate, and 2020 sees the teams meet in the group stages. This is exactly the type of clash PSG need to win to put the past where it belongs. It would show maturity and a coming of age for this team, who crave the European spotlight so much.
One more twist: Edinson Cavani looks to line up against his old team, and his foe Neymar. “I can’t wait to play Champions League Football against PSG, Neymar is going to regret everything he’s ever said to me.” Popcorn stuff!
Paris Saint-Germain are priced at 1.53 to top their group