Last season, Real Madrid claimed their third Champions League trophy in succession, their fourth in five years, after they beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev to claim the crown. The final itself was nothing short of a disaster for Liverpool, after Sergio Ramos rugby-tackle on talisman Mohammed Salah saw the Egyptian forced off the field early in the first half and then two calamitous goalkeeping mistakes from Loris Karius played a massive part in Real’s eventual success.

Both finalists are back this year to try and reach the final once again, which this year will be held at the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium, the home of Atletico Madrid. They along with 30 other teams will compete in the Group Stage of the tournament, which gets underway this week with the first Matchday of the season.

Let’s learn a little more about the Champions League as a whole, as well as the latest draw for the tournament and the matches scheduled to take place this week.

Champions League Factfile

  • Real Madrid have won the tournament a record 13 times in total, that is six more than AC Milan (7 wins) and eight more than Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich (5 wins apiece).
  • Spanish teams have won the tournament in each of the past five seasons. The last non-Spanish winner was Bayern Munich back in 2013.
  • The last English team to win the trophy was Chelsea in 2012
  • Spanish teams have won the trophy 18 times, six ahead of Italian and English teams who have 12 wins apiece. German teams have seven wins with Dutch teams next on six.
  • Wembley Stadium has hosted the most Champions League finals with 7 in total, the last coming back in 2013.
  • Teams in this year’s tournament will share £1.71 billion in prize money. Each of the 32 teams in the group stage will receive a lump sum payment of £13.34 million, plus the chance to earn £2.36 million per win in the group stage or £787,000 for a draw.
  • This year’s winners will pocket around £66 million from the tournament alone.

Champions League Group Stage Draw

The draw for the Champions League Group Stages was conducted a few weeks ago following the completion of the qualification stage and produced the following eight groups.

Group A   Group B   Group C   Group D
Atletico Madrid   Barcelona   Red Star Belgrade   Galatasaray
Borussia Dortmund   Inter Milan   Liverpool   Lokomotiv Moscow
Club Brugge   PSV Eindhoven   Napoli   FC Porto
AS Monaco   Tottenham   Paris St Germain   Schalke 04
Group E   Group F   Group G   Group H
AEK Athens   Hoffenheim   CSKA Moscow   Juventus
Ajax   Manchester City   Real Madrid   Manchester Utd
Bayern Munich   Lyon   AS Roma   Valencia
Benfica   Shakhtar Donetsk   Viktoria Plzen   Young Boys

Match Result Betting with bet365 Sport

Outlined below are the odds on the Full Time Result market on this week’s Champions League games.

*Odds correct as of 11.15am on Monday 17th September 2018 with bet365 Sport

Week One Matches and Tips

The matches scheduled for this week are as follows, together with our tip for the Match Result market

Tuesday 18th September (8pm Kick Off Unless Stated)

  • Barcelona v PSV Eindhoven (5.55pm) – Home Win (1/9)
  • Inter Milan v Tottenham (5.55pm) – Draw (9/4)
  • Club Brugge v Borussia Dortmund – Away Win (8/11)
  • Schalke 04 v FC Porto – Draw (12/5)
  • AS Monaco v Atletico Madrid- Away Win (3/4)
  • Liverpool v Paris St Germain – Home Win (13/10)
  • Red Star Belgrade v Napoli – Away Win (4/9)
  • Galatasaray v Lokomotiv Moscow – Home Win (19/20)

Tuesday Champions League Accumulator

If you decided to back all of these selections with bet365 Sport at the odds available above, then your eightfold accumulator would pay out at odds of 239.42/1. This means a £10 bet would see you win £2394.20, plus you would also get your £10 stake money back.

Wednesday 19th September (8pm Kick Off Unless Stated)

  • Ajax v AEK Athens (5.55pm) – Home Win (2/5)
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Hoffenheim (5.55pm) – Home Win (Evens)
  • Real Madrid v AS Roma – Home Win (4/11)
  • Valencia v Juventus – Away Win (17/20)
  • Benfica v Bayern Munich – Away Win (4/9)
  • Viktoria Plzen v CSKA Moscow – Home Win (11/8)
  • Manchester City v Lyon – Home Win (2/11)
  • Young Boys v Manchester United – Away Win (8/11)

Wednesday Champions League Accumulator

If you backed all eight of these games in an accumulator, then your eightfold bet for Wednesday would return at odds of 48.46/1. This means a £10 bet at the odds stated would return £484.60, plus you would get your £10 stake back too.

Other Outright Champions League Bets to Consider

To Win Outright

The current betting for the To Win Outright market for the Champions League 2018/19 is as follows:

  • Manchester City – 9/2 favourites
  • Barcelona – 6/1
  • Juventus – 13/2
  • Paris St Germain – 15/2
  • Real Madrid – 8/1
  • Bayern Munich – 10/1
  • Liverpool, Atletico Madrid – 12/1
  • Tottenham 20/1
  • Manchester United 28/1
  • 50/1 bar.

There’s some big changes in the outright winner market in the Champions League this season. It’s surprising to see Real Madrid down at 8/1, after winning It the past three seasons, while Manchester City have been installed as favourites under Pep Guardiola on the back of a favourable group draw, just ahead of Barcelona and Juventus, who now can call upon the talents of Cristiano Ronaldo.

For me though, I think this year the trophy will be moving out of Spain for the first time in a while and I think England is its most likely prospect. City at 9/2 are very tempting and Liverpool, who finished runners up last year at 12/1 is an appealing bet.

For me though, I think Manchester City could be the smart choice even though they are favourites, so I’d back City.

Top Champions League Goalscorer 2018/19

  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 5/1 favourite
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 6/1
  • Sergio Aguero (Man City) – 7/1
  • Mo Salah (Liverpool) – 11/1
  • Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 12/1
  • Neymar (Paris St Germain), Harry Kane (Tottenham) – 14/1
  • Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe (both Paris St Germain), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – 16/1
  • Luis Suarez (Barcelona) – 20/1
  • Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) – 25/1
  • Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 33/1
  • 50/1 bar

Cristiano Ronaldo has made scoring the most goals in the Champions League his own personal crusade in recent years and even though he has moved on to Juventus, he and Barcelona rival Lionel Messi remain the firm favourites in this market.

English based players Mo Salah, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Gabriel Jesus, Romelu Lukaku and Sadio Mane are the best priced home based players, but I think the most intriguing bet here is Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich who do not have the most difficult group phase to negotiate and who tend to go deep in the tournament. At 12/1, I think the Polish striker is a good value bet here.

Remember, you can place all these bets at bet365 Sport. Click here to take up the latest bet365 Sport Welcome Bonus and sign up today.