The Champions League is back this week with a number of round of 16 ties that surely won’t be set to disappoint. From Mbappé vs. Messi or the battle of the German gegenpressers, a lot has changed over the winter break.
A number of the major European leagues are seeing runaway title contenders already. The domestic leagues of England, Spain and Germany all have outright leaders. Could it have an impact on the outcome of the Champions League?
Bayern Munich & the Bundesliga
Few clubs can claim to have such outright dominance over their domestic league as Bayern Munich do in the Bundesliga. Every year it looks like there might finally be a title race and then Bayern end up running away with it.
That’s exactly how it looks to be going this year. Despite a jaunt to the Middle East to confirm themselves as world champions, Bayern go back to Bavaria with a cosy five point lead in the Bundesliga.
It’s one of the reasons many betting sites with premium Champions League football betting offers have the title defenders going in as favourites. After blazing to the top of Group A the Germans face Italian upstarts Lazio in the round of 16.
The search for City’s lost gold
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City fans have been left scratching their heads on a number of occasions in recent years. Over 1 billion British Pound sterling has left the bank and still no Champions League title to show for it.
Despite their manager’s obvious qualifications the Sky Blues always have the Premier League as a hurdle to European success, as do all English clubs. Many may balk at the suggestion but just look at how many times the English league title has changed hands and how many different teams have won.
A quick glance at the Premier League table right now will tell you City are on the up, and without an obvious striker fit for duty, they are also hitting form. Creating a bit of a cushion between themselves in top spot could give them the breathing space they need to challenge for the Champions League this time round.
Nobody looks like they want the Premier League more than City do at the moment, but the Manchester outfit’s first test is to shift an awkward and edgy Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Can Madrid make magic happen?
Running away with the Spanish league, solid at the back, scoring goals for fun, these Champions League regulars are looking like serious contenders this year. You’d be remiss to think we’re talking about Real Madrid right now, but no it’s the Spanish capital’s other team that are currently making waves.
Diego Simeone’s side have a comfortable lead in the Spanish league this season even though they still have two games in hand. It could be the boost they need to put serious thought and attention into finally getting their hands on a Champions League title after two close calls.
First Madrid must navigate Chelsea with the London side reinvigorated by the arrival of German tactician Thomas Tuchel. Chelsea have been consistent in the Champions League this season, while Atléti have faltered at times. Will fighting on two fronts impact Chelsea more considerably than the Spaniards? Only time will tell.
PSG, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are all among the glitterati with their eyes firmly set on the prize. It’s been a topsy turvy season so far for some of Europe’s elite.
Managerial mismanagement, injury woes, lacking in form and brittle at the back. None of the aforementioned four are looking like hot prospects in their respective leagues and are sitting considerably off the pace.
Priorities will obviously play their part. If any of Europe’s top teams feel challenging for their domestic league has gone over the hill and far away with their place in next season’s Champions League secure, you can bet they will be putting all their eggs in the European basket.