Last week I talked about the Europa League winner and this week I want to focus on the Champions League winner. There’s just one round of group games left and it might be useful to bet before the draw for the knockout stage on the 16h December.
Up until recently there was a period of domination in the Champions League between three clubs; Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Between 2008 and 2018 these clubs won eight titles and were finalists in the other two (both Bayern). This was reflected in the market with these three at the top of the betting between 3 and 4/1. However, times have changed, Ronaldo has left Madrid, Neymar has left Barcelona and Robben and Ribery have left Bayern, which appears the main reasons these sides have weakened, and along with Manchester City, come Liverpool, PSG, Juventus and Atletico making it pretty much a ‘big 8’ and very difficult to nail your flag to just one of these.
So at this stage I want to focus on a bigger price which could shorten after the draw and over the next few months, then re-assess the top sides when the action resumes in February and there’s much more match data to work with.
The team in question is RB Leipzig at 50/1. They currently sit 2nd in the Bundesliga, are the top scorers (36 goals in 13 games) and have the =2nd best defence (conceded 15). It’s fully justified with expected points also ranking them the 2nd so far this season.
The comparison to Bayern Munich is an interesting one because the Bavarian giants are only 8/1 for glory. However, if we look at shot data from the Bundesliga there isn’t much difference between the two. Bayern are averaging 6.8 shots on-target per game compared to Leipzig’s 6.6. And at the opposite end Munich are conceding 9.7 shots pg and RBL only 10.6. Leipzig also sit 1st overall for tackles showing a clear indication that new boss from the summer Julian Nagelsmann’s philosophy is being implemented. An attacking, dynamic style of football with a high press – very much akin to Manchester City and Liverpool. ITts certainly bearing fruition having scored 3+ goals in nine games already this season.
They need one point in their final group game away to Lyon to guarantee a 1st place finish and a last 16 tie against a 2nd place side. They are as short as half the price in places and come February could be even shorter if they carry on at the same rate.