What the 2018/2019 football season holds
Champions League 2018-19: Are Juventus the favourite?
The balance of power in European football has shifted. In one £105 million transfer, the best team in Europe in four of the last five seasons sent the best player in the world to Juventus. In one transfer sale, Real Madrid went from a possible La Liga and Champions League double winner in 2018-19 into a team that needs a new identity. Meanwhile, Juventus went from being the best team in Italy into potentially being the best club in Europe.
The Champions League qualifying rounds are well underway. The group stage won't kick off until September when 32 teams compete for the European Cup. Top sportsbooks have already released their futures odds, but should they re-think their current chalk?
Are Barcelona that good in 2018-19?
Barcelona have been installed as the odds on favourite to win the Champions League, according to top sportsbooks. Sure, it is difficult to look past Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Ivan Rakitic. But there is something missing in this team. Last season showed the club's weaknesses as it meekly gave up three goals in the tournament's quarterfinals against Roma.
Barcelona will fight for a La Liga title and there is little doubt they will get into the knockout stage of the Champions League. Yet, questions remain about Suarez's declining form and whether Messi can continue to make up for the rest of the squad's shortcomings.
1xbet, a Russian bookie, currently pays 10/1 a victory of Barcelona for the 2018-2019 edition.
Are Juventus the best team in Europe?
Juventus' purchase of Ronaldo came out of nowhere and few expected it to actually come off once reports of the Italians' interest began to surface. Juventus already had a fantastic squad in place. The Bianconeri were Champions League runners-up in two of the last four seasons. Now, Ronaldo makes the squad even better than it was.
Juventus will have little difficulty in claiming another Serie A title. The distance between the club and the rest of the pack will be far bigger this coming season than last. But Ronaldo's signature wasn't to make Juventus better in the league, it was to claim the club's third Champions League trophy.
Juventus have only lost players on free transfers this season, and for the most part, only allowed ageing stars to leave. The club did allow legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to go. He will be difficult to replace in goal and in the locker room. Buffon was a leader in both areas.
Liverpool were last year's beaten finalists. The Reds offered little in attack in the final after Mohamed Salah went off injured. Liverpool have done great transfer business this summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho, and Naby Keita. Yet, the club still needs to improve its goalkeeper position. The Reds may be more geared to finally win the Premier League than the UEFA Champions League in 2018-19, and with this code, you can claim a £50 free bet to place a bet on the Liverpool final victory.
The reigning champions sold Ronaldo and have yet to bring in a game changing player replacement. Rumours of Neymar or Kylian Mbappe continue to be floated around, but it is doubtful either will arrive. Madrid have freed up money in the last two summers, but they haven't reinvested it in new stars. The club did finally bring 18-year-old Brazilian Vinicius Junior to Spain this summer. Whether he will be another Ronaldo or a Robinho will be determined. If Madrid cannot sign a star player, the club will struggle in Europe and in La Liga.
To be comprehensive, we should also mention Atletico Madrid, after their brilliant road to the Europa league last season and the recent records of their key player Antoine Griezman, they definitely be a serious candidate for the next Champions League crown.