Champions League Predictions: 25/1 Outright tip and Group betting breakdown

Outright Tips

Barcelona - 14/1

Barcelona won La Liga last season by 10 points over Real Madrid and deservedly so. They had a +1.06 expected goal differential, which was 0.15 better than second-place Los Blancos. Barca had a tough group stage draw last season with Bayern Munich and eventual finalists Inter Milan. This season, they have a straightforward group consisting of Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Antwerp. I like the signings of Gundogan, Cancelo and Felix. They should be around the same price as Arsenal or Real Madrid in the 8-10/1 range, so this looks like good value.

Napoli - 25/1

Napoli were unlucky not to make the Champions League final last year. They walked Serie A by 16 points, which wasn't even that close. They dropped points over their last eight games when they'd already won the league and rotated to focus on the Champions League. Most of the squad is the same. They lost Min-Jae Kim to Bayern but replaced him with Natan from RB Leipzig. They added some attacking depth, re-signing Raspadori and adding Lindstrom from Frankfurt. The big loss is manager Luciano Spalletti, now the Italian National team boss. New boss Rudi Garcia does have tournament pedigree, though. He led Lyon to a semi-final back in 2020, which included wins over Juventus and Man City before getting knocked out by Bayern. At 25/1, they are over-priced and feature in my group bets further down.


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Group A

I want to find a way to be against Manchester United. If you look at their record away from home against teams in the top eight this season and last, they have lost eight and drawn one. They'll now have to travel to Bayern, Galatasaray and Copenhagen. It's the Turkish side that I am interested in after their spending spree this summer. They cruised through qualifying and added Icardi, Zaha, Ziyech, Ndombele and Tete to their squad. 4/1 to qualify is fantastic value for the Turks in what should be a two-horse race against Man United for second spot.

Group B 

There's not much to say about this group other than Arsenal, who look like a good accumulator leg. Sevilla were really poor in La Liga last year and should have finished 9th on expected points. They have started this season with three losses from three. PSV have lost their best players, Xavi Simons, Ibrahim Sangare, and Gutiérre. You could tempt me on a bet for them to qualify, but 7/4 seems a bit short. Lens were excellent in Ligue 1 last season. They were only 0.16 in expected goal differential behind PSG, but they also lost some of their best players, Openda and Fofana.

Group C

I like Napoli here at 9/4 to win the group in what should be a heads-up match against Real Madrid. I won't spend much time discussing why I like Napoli because that's above in the outright selections. Napoli were 0.24 better in expected goal differential than Inter Milan in second last season. 

Group D

This group looks like a good one to attack with Inter Milan odds on. They made some good signings with Thuram and Pavard over the summer but lost Onana, Brozovic and Gosens. I can't be having them at 4/5. They were lucky to get through the quarter-final against Benfica last season. Although they won 5-3 on aggregate, the Portuguese side were 0.50 better on expected goals. Benfica lost their best player, Goncalo Ramos, to PSG, amongst others. They are a side that keeps producing incredible talent, so you could be tempted by them at 5/2 to win the group. However, the side I'm interested in sit below them at 11/2. Real Sociedad were just 0.30 in expected goal differential behind Barcelona and Real Madrid after the World Cup. They added Andre Silva to bolster their attack and look like the value in this group. They went unbeaten against Real Madrid last year with a home win and an away draw. They drew with Atletico at home and beat Barcelona away, proving they can mix it with the big boys. 

Group E 

I'm not rushing to back Atletico Madrid at 4/6. Although I like their transfer business of signing Griezmann, they finished bottom in a group with Porto, Club Brugge and Leverkusen last year. They have also changed style and are no longer a defensive juggernaut that you could rely on. They are much more attacking now and had only the sixth-best defence in La Liga last season on expected goals against. Lazio are an ageing squad led by 33-year-old Immobile, 36-year-old Pedro and 30-year-old Felipe Anderson. They lost Milinkovic-Savic over the summer and replaced him with Daichi Kamada, who scored nine goals in the Bundesliga last year. Feyenoord were lucky to win the Eredivisie last season. They should have finished third on expected points and got raided, losing their best players over the summer. Celtic have won 1 game from 12 in Champions League group stages under Rodgers, and they were poor last season, finishing bottom with two points.

Group F

Labelled as the group of death. I can cross PSG off straight away. They are not a side I want to back at 11/10, given they've just lost Messi and Neymar. Newcastle are back in the Champions League, which is great to see, but they don't have the squad depth for me to want to bet them. They already have a few injuries in key positions, with Botman and Tonali potentially out for the first game against Milan. Milan are the value in this group at 5/1. They lost Tonali but have spent the money incredibly well. Pulisic looks like the player of old so far this season. Chukwueze, Musah, Reijnders and Loftus-Cheek were also added. Leao is one of the best wingers in the world, and had he been fully fit last season in the semi-finals, we may have had a different outcome. Dortmund look like they are going through a transition period after losing Bellingham over the summer. They've already drawn to two newly promoted sides this season. 

Group G

I'll keep this short. Throw Man City in your group winner's accumulator and move on.

Group H 

Another group I'm going to spend little time on. I like Barcelona for the reasons outlined above. Throw them into your group winner's accumulator or look at a straight forecast of Barcelona-Porto. 

Group Winners Accumulators

2.56/1 - Arsenal, Man City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona


125/1 - Napoli, Real Sociedad, AC Milan



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