Once the excitement surrounding the World Cup has died down, we will be right back into the start of the new European football season. Clubs will have to act fast over the coming weeks, as the usual flurry of transfer activity is somewhat condensed in a World Cup year.
Still, we have a fair idea of who the main protagonists will be in Europe’s top leagues in 2018/19. Indeed, most major bookmakers have released their odds for the new season and it’s easy to find some value and standout bets at this early stage. Five of the best for the new season are discussed below:
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Juventus – Like Buying Money
There is a feeling that Napoli had their chance last season and, while they didn’t exactly blow it, it’s hard to see them getting as good an opportunity this season. Juventus would be big favourites even before the seemingly-imminent arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. With the Portuguese maestro, you may as well give the Old Lady the Scudetto now. 4/6 (Bet365) is a big, big price for a team who have won Serie A seven times in succession.
A Shock in Bavaria
Whisper it, but some feel that Bayern Munich have gone a little bit stale. They have, of course, undoubted quality, but some of the architects of their success over the last few years – Ribery, Robben, Lewandowski, Vidal – will be in their 30s next season. Certainly, one should refrain from backing them at a best price of 2/13 (888sport) to win the Bundesliga. Can a young, dynamic team like RB Leipzig dethrone Munich? 33/1 suggests it’s a bit of a longshot, but you can back it up with these updated betting promotions, which include free bets.
PSG Finally Get it Right in Europe
Smart betting is about margins, about finding the value at the opportune moment. Look, there are perhaps six to eight teams who can win the Champions League this season, but the standout value has to be Paris Saint Germain at 9/1 (Paddy Power). The French champions are set to make more transfer headlines and add to an already fantastic squad. The fact some bookies are as low as 6/1 on PSG shows you have a potential bargain on your hands here.
No Europa Blues for The Blues
The fear when backing teams outright for the Europa League is that they will be outmuscled by some of the Champions League casualties in February. Chelsea, however, are already a big fish in the Europa League pond. They are favourites at 6/1 (William Hill) to lift the trophy and, while it’s usually a matter of how seriously a team like Chelsea take the competition, they have the squad depth to negotiate the early parts of the competition.
Hammers to Smash the Glass Ceiling
Everyone expects the Premier League’s Big 6 to be in the Top 6 come the end of the season. But could the way be open for a shock, with the likes of Arsenal showing vulnerability? West Ham, who are a massive 20/1 with Bet365 to finish in the Top 6, completed the best signing early this summer – getting Manuel Pellegrini into the dugout. The Chilean is underrated as a manager and the Hammers have done some shrewd business already this summer. Watch out Arsenal.