The UEFA Champions League is the Premier Competition for European Club teams and it is the biggest trophy that a domestic side can win. The tournament was first introduced back in 1992 as a replacement for the old European Cup and the interest gets bigger every year.
If you’re looking to bet on the Champions League, it helps to understand the format of the competition as well as the options within each game itself and it all starts in the middle of the European summer.
UEFA structure the competition so that each country in the organisation has a certain amount of entries into the Champions League. In England for example, the top three sides in the Premier League will automatically qualify for European competition while the fourth placed side will have to get in via the preliminaries.
At this stage, they could be playing a side from a weaker nation – the Champions of Luxembourg for example. In the current format, there are three preliminary rounds and this takes the sides through to the play-off phase.
All ties are knockouts held over two legs and at this stage shocks are fairly rare for anyone looking to bet on the result. Successful clubs will ultimately progress to the group stage and will be guaranteed at least six further fixtures in this lucrative tournament.
The next step
32 teams will now assemble into eight groups of four and each group features six matches. Sides will play each other home and away and at the end of this phase, the top two sides in each section will progress to the last 16.
Now we are back to straight knockouts on a two leg basis and these continue to the one-off final which is staged at the end of May.
Barcelona won the Champions League at the end of the 2014-15 season to claim their fifth trophy and they will start every campaign among the favourites. Five titles is an impressive haul but the Catalan club are only half way towards Real Madrid’s tally of 10 cups.
These figures include the European Cup which was incepted in 1955 but these two clubs are bitter rivals in La Liga and Barca will be anxious to catch up. Alongside these Spanish giants, Bayern Munich are a side who dominate their domestic league and many fancy the Germans at the start of each Champions League season.
Naturally you can bet on the Champions League winner as well as the result of each individual match but there are many other options throughout the tournament. When the group stage kicks in, you can back the group winners in any of the eight sections and there is a huge choice of side markets for each game.
Correct score betting carries higher risk but there are some long prices to be found for those that can predict the score in any match. Goal scorer betting is among the most popular of the markets and you can speculate on the first and last scorers and you can also predict if a player will find the net in 90 minutes.
There are dozens of alternatives so you’re never short of a bet on the Champions League. It’s the prestige club competition with the best teams from across Europe and it’s a tournament that is enjoyed by millions across the world.