Who are the top contenders for the UEFA Champions League 2017-18?
The UEFA Champions League has kicked off last week and without much surprise, most of the top contenders wrapped up the 3 points in their opening fixtures. It’s beyond doubt the most coveted club competition in the world and just like it happens on Insta Casino, each year the level of excitement and spectacle seems to increase.
So, who are the top 5 favorites to lift the Champions League trophy at the end of the season? The final game of the competition is scheduled for May 26, in Kiev, Ukraine.
1. Real Madrid
Obviously! The back-to-back European champions are determined to get a third straight win in the tournament, but as always, they’re facing fierce competition. Unlike many of their rivals, the Merengues decided not to strengthen their squad with big names this summer and actually lost players of the magnitude of James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich), Pepe (Besiktas), Danilo (Manchester City) and Álvaro Morata (Chelsea). A lot of youngsters were brought on to replace their predecessors, but only time will tell if the team actually benefited from this risky gamble.
2. FC Barcelona
They may have lost Neymar in a shocking 222 million euros transfer over the summer, but with Lionel Messi still there, they’ll always be a force to be reckoned with.The Spanish giants found a replacement for the Brazilian in Ousmane Dembélé, in a deal where they may end up paying Borussia Dortmund a total of 147 million euros. If there were doubts about this team’s capabilities in this new season, they surely were dissipated when they hosted and ran over Italian champions Juventus in their opening game in the tournament in Group D.
3. Bayern Munich
The German champions are also going through a sort of a transitory process and they don’t look as strong as they were in previous years. Nevertheless, they’re certainly expected to make the later rounds of the tournament and once they do it, they can beat any team they face. Their biggest signings to approach this year’s challenges were Tolisso from Olympique Lyon and James Rodríguez from Real Madrid. They also started their Champions League 2017-18 campaign in the best possible way, beating a very tender Anderlecht side in a clear 3-0 win.
If something always seemed to be missing in previous years, this year everyone in Paris is hoping for things to be different. The club has invested a lot of money in the summer, paying 222 million euros for Neymar and agreeing to pay another 180 million euros for Kylian Mbappé at the end of the season. It’s been an unprecedented transfer window and with PSG leading the expenditure charts, they’re naturally expecting this team to do things in the Champions League. Their presentation card in the competition was handed to Celtic last Tuesday, with a thunderous 5-0 win at the Celtic Park, in Scotland.
5. Manchester City
Probably the most controversial pick from this list, starting with the fact that we’re appointing an English club as a top contender for a Champions League title. Pep Guardiola has been tasked with two extremely difficult missions this season, winning not only the Premier League but also reaching at least the Champions League final. Manchester City‘s roster is filled with talent and multiple quality options for each position, but when it comes to Europe’s top competition in the last years, it’s usually a different ball game for any Premier League side!
Sources: cnn.com / bbc.co.uk / elartedf.com