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The Top 5 Contenders: Champions League Outright 2013/14
Published Wed, July 31, 2013 11:02 PM
Paddy Power Outright Prices
Barcelona 7/2
Bayern Munich 4/1
Real Madrid 5/1
Man United 11/1
Man City 12/1
Chelsea 12/1
PSG 16/1
Juventus 18/1
Borussia Dortmund 20/1
Bayern Munich
Last season’s Champions League final saw Bayern Munich bury some bad memories (losing two finals in three years) by beating fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in what proved to be a thrilling final. The German giants had a perfect season having won the top European honour as well as all three German domestic titles. Former boss Josef Heynckes left some enormous boots to fill after that flawless season – but no one could have asked for a better replacement in former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who won 15 trophies in four seasons in charge of the Catalan giants.
Best Price: 4/1 (Boyle Sports, Paddy Power, William Hill)

At the time of writing, Tito Vilanova has just stepped down after one season as head coach of Barcelona, leaving a vacant seat with less than a month until the beginning of the season. Barca claimed a whopping 100 points in their La Liga campaign last term – matching Real Madrid’s points total the previous season – to win the top prize in Spain a tidy 15 points ahead of their fiercest rivals. In Europe though they were a little ragged at times, enduring a few forgivable slipups before finally losing an unbelievable 7-0 aggregate to winners Bayern Munich. An unfit Lionel Messi seemed to catch a lot of flack after that Champions League semi-final first leg when he was far from his thrilling best. This season the Argentinian ace will form a partnership with £50m new boy Neymar, a force that could be unstoppable.
Best Price: 4/1 (Ladbrokes, Sky Bet, Stan James)

Real Madrid
Real Madrid failed to win any big prizes last season – only the Supercopa de Espana at the beginning of the season to rivals Barcelona. Expectedly Jose Mourinho departed and was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, a man who has brought success to practically every club he’s managed over the past decade. The Galacticos have bolstered their midfield with young Spanish duo Asier Illarramendi & Isco, who cost them well over £50m, but the spending might not be over for them as Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale remain in their sights.
Best Price: 6/1 (Betfred, Boyle Sports, Ladbrokes)

The Special One has made a dramatic if not expected return to Chelsea after his time at Real Madrid came to an end following a difficult season in Spain. Rafa Benitez was drafted in last November as interim manager after Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking, much to the anger of the Chelsea supporters, but the former Liverpool boss led the Blues to Europa League success in the end. Since Jose’s return he has brought in a couple of noticeable talents in Marco van Ginkel – a highly rated and young Dutch International – as well as André Schürrle, a German International who can play on the left wing or up front. They don’t seem to be finished there however as Wayne Rooney seems to be their next and possibly only target.
Best Price: 12/1 (Bet Victor, Coral, Paddy Power)

Man City
City’s failure to compete at a high level in the Champions League last term prompted a downfall for Roberto Mancini from an early on stage. His side finished bottom in Group D after claiming just 3 points from a possible 18 with no wins to show for their paltry efforts. The FA Cup defeat to Wigan was just the final straw. Manuel Pellegrini has been appointed to take charge this season, a Chilean with a vast amount of managerial experience dating back to the late eighties. Pellegrini has a penchant for getting the best out of players, although has known to do his best work at smaller football clubs.
Best Price: 12/1 (Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power)

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