With the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stages over and clubs returning to focus on domestic action until February, it’s time to lick our lips and preview the 2021 Champions League Final betting odds across the world’s top online sportsbooks. Sure, there’s a heck of a lot of soccer to be played yet, but with the draw for the last 16 now complete we have a few tasty ties to look forward to. With favourable draws for Bayern, Liverpool and Juventus and a couple of humdingers for Barcelona and Chelsea, we can already start to salivate at the prospect of the final next May.
Bayern and Manchester City to meet in the final?
The previous two winners of the Champions League, Liverpool (2019) and Bayern Munich (2020), were always going to avoid each other in the last 16 having qualified as their respective group winners, as was second outright favorite, Manchester City. The world’s most prolific online bookie, Bet365, has held Bayern’s odds at 3.75 (11/4) for the Champions League Final betting outright market, with both City and Liverpool drifting to 4.5 (7/2) and 6.5 (11/2) respectively since their draws against tricky German opposition in Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig. Only Bayern matched City’s haul of 16 points from the group stages, but the Sky Blues of Manchester have never managed to get past the quarter final stage under Pep Guardiola who, despite winning trophy after trophy on the domestic stage at Bayern and City, hasn’t won the Champions League trophy since being boss of Barcelona in 2009.
Barca, PSG, Chelsea and Atletico face tough task
There are no easy games in the UEFA Champions League, but the ultimate aim is to progress as group winners to earn a last 16 tie against the runners up of one of the other groups. Having won their group following a convincing 4-0 victory away to runners up Sevilla in their final group game, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea team would have felt they had got the job done. And then they were paired against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, the notoriously difficult to beat side boasting Portuguese wonderkid João Felix, ex-Liverpool frontman Luis Suarez and former Chelsea striker Diego Costa. Mobile sportsbook Leo Vegas places Chelsea at 18.0 (17/1) and Ateltico at 26.0 (25/1) to lift the trophy outright, but whichever team comes through will enjoy shorter odds when the dust has settled and the bruises healed.
The same can be said of PSG and Barcelona. The team from the French capital, runners up to Bayern Munich in last year’s final, finished top of their group having deposed Manchester United, with Liverpool’s last 16 opponents RB Leipzig also coming through. But nobody in Paris will be celebrating the draw against Barcelona, who were royally humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in last year’s quarter finals. The Spanish giants have fallen on hard times both on and off the pitch, with former player Ronald Koeman’s stewardship of the club being called into question following a series of lacklustre performances that see the Catalan club languishing in 8th place in La Liga. Despite their hardship and perhaps because of their pedigree, the bookies have Barca at 17.0 (16/1) to win the competition outright, with PSG at 13.0 (12/1).
Could a new name be etched on the famous trophy?
Of all of the teams that have never won the Champions League, Manchester City offer the shortest odds. The perennial underachievers on the European stage have never matched their domestic and group stage performances beyond the quarter final, with their best effort coming in the 2016 campaign under Manuel Pellegrini when they were knocked out in the semi final stage by Kylian Mbappe’s Monaco. Could this be their year? The club and its fans would dearly love it to be so, especially following their reprieve from the ban imposed upon them by UEFA for breaching financial regulations. Winning the competition in the year they were to be banned would be super sweet retribution indeed.
Of all the other teams remaining to never have won the competition, Atalanta are eye catching at Betfred, offering a market best of 51.0 (50/1) for them to lift the trophy. The Italians reached the semi-final last year and, but for a super sub performance from Kylian Mbappe, were inches away from making the final. Just like last season they struggled to make it out of the group, but can they go one better? Any punter who likes a longshot in their Champions League Final betting options could do worse. Their imperious performances against Liverpool at Anfield and Ajax in Amsterdam showed signs that they are improving at the right time again, and they could be the outsider shout for this season for anyone who favours an online sports bet longshot. First they have to dispatch Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in the last 16, which will be no short order, but if they manage to come through that challenge their outright odds will plummet. The Bergamo side has time to find some domestic form before that crunch match, but their experience last year and impressive away form will mean they fear no-one.
Could Liverpool return to the scene of their most famous victory?
Reds fans will tell you that there have been many famous scenes of many famous victories, but perhaps the most incredible of all those was the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, the Champions League final of 2005. Rafa Benitez’s men were 3-0 down to AC Milan at half time but, following an inspirational team talk from the manager, a tactical switch in midfield and an inspirational second half performance from Steven Gerrard, the Reds came back to draw 3-3 and win the game on penalties. It was perhaps the greatest comeback the competition has ever seen, bettered by Liverpool themselves when Jurgen Klopp’s men overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate on their way to lifting the trophy in 2019. The Reds can never be written off, which is perhaps why the bookies have them at 4.5 (7/2) despite their on and off domestic form. Like Atalanta, Liverpool seem to peak at the right time. And the venue of this year’s final? The Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul.