Without a doubt, the Champions League is one of the greatest sporting competitions in the world. From the numerous quality players who proved time and time again that football is an art to the interesting turns of event when top teams go head to head in historical matches, Champions League never ceases to amaze and keep fans constantly on the edge of their couch.
Nevertheless, however awe-inspiring and sublime football might be, it is also extremely difficult to predict as we learned from past season AC Milan – Barcelona (2-0), Barcelona – AC Milan (4-0). In other words, even though Barça lost at San Siro, still could score big at Camp Nou, and they did indeed, and passed the turn. Not to mention the outstanding performance of Bayern Münich in both Champions League and Bundesliga. While it is tough to predict the winner of this great competition and you will have to do a lot of research and observations, it is not impossible. Checking betting site offers is always a good point to start, but here I present a compilation of tips to help you increase your chances of picking the 2013-2014 Champions League winner.
1. Know the squads
According to the UEFA rules, participants in Champions League can only register 25 players. However, in the event that the team you are thinking of betting on underwent qualification rounds, you will need to check whether all the registered players are eligible to play in the next match.
2. Keep updated with team news
Closely related to being informed about the teams’ lineup is keeping updated with important news regarding the football players. Injuries and suspensions due to accumulating two yellow cards are very common in CL, meaning that the best player of the team you are wagering on might be unavailable for the next confrontations. Therefore, the chances your team has to win or draw a tie if they are playing away will also diminish.
3. The teams’ performance in their domestic leagues
More often than not, if a participant has problems in their own domestic league then the Champions League is no longer a high priority. In addition, even if the teams are in the top three in their respective leagues, you should take a look at the recent games they had. For instance, if a team has gone against their all-time rivals then there is a possibility that the players are a bit tired and might not perform well in their next CL match. Lastly, don’t forget that by the end of the season great teams such as Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea or Bayern Münich to name a few, might be competing in several big games over a short period of time.
4. The location of the matches
It is often said that when a team plays at home it gains the 12th player, namely the fans. If you were to analyze the overall results of the competition then you will see that big names in European football don’t like playing in “enemy territory”, especially if the fans of the home team are pretty hostile and can intimidate some players like in the case of Luis Figo playing on Camp Nou after the transfer from Barcelona. Furthermore, it is necessary to mention that on some stadiums – Old Trafford, Camp Nou or Anfield – it is practically impossible to hope for more than a tie.
5. Knock-out records
Record in this case refers to determining the overall performance of a certain team in the past several years. For instance, while teams like Liverpool and Chelsea are known to reach and even go further than the last 16, for Porto, Galatasaray or Shakhtar Donetsk getting so far into the competition is a performance in itself. Still, football – and this league in particular – is full of surprises and this is why you will see names such as Steaua Bucuresti, PSV, Ajax or Marseille among the winners.
6. Possible suspensions
Champions League has very strict rules regarding faults and this is why a red card counts as three games suspension, whereas two yellow cards received in two separate games leads to one game suspension. It is important to note that the mere thought that they are just one yellow card away from missing a crucial match in CL could have a serious negative impact on a player’s state of mind. To put it simply, a defender could be “afraid” to go against the striker and stop him from scoring a sure goal.
7. Managers’ preferred tactics
While until the last 16 it’s more about players’ performance, skills and mental state, after that point what matters most are the tactics employed by the technicians. Consequentially, when CL is down to its 8 matches, it is time to inquire about the managers still left in the competition and whether or not they have what it takes to empower the players and win the Champions League.