Manchester United's form in the competition has been impressive with many betting websites like FindBettingSites favouring them for the title, while Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City should all be pleased with the starts they have made in their group stages. In this post, we look at some of the individual players we think will shine in this year's competition and who you should be placing your bets on.
Club: Paris St Germain
Arguably the most exciting talent in the whole of Europe, young Frenchman Kylian Mbappe is exciting to watch. He has electric pace and is a great finisher; his key attributes make him Europe's most sought-after marksman. He helped his Paris St Germain side to the final last year, where they were outplayed by Bayern Munich. Although PSG have made a shaky start domestically, where they are ordinarily formidable, head coach Thomas Tuchel will be hoping this can be their year. If they have any chance of winning the tournament, Mbappe will have to be at the top of his game.
Club: Manchester United
Since exploding on the scene as a seventeen-year-old, Marcus Rashford has been talismanic for Manchester United, as well as an ambassador for the club off the field. United have failed to find any consistency since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, and with the exception of a Europa League title under Jose Mourinho, their performances in Europe have been mostly uninspiring. However, they have started this season's competition well, with Rashford playing a crucial role so far, grabbing a late winner at the Parc des Princes back in October in United's 2-1 win over PSG. If United harbour serious ambitions of progressing to the latter stages, Rashford will have to keep up his scintillating start to the season.
With the signing of Diego Jota from Wolves in the summer transfer window, Liverpool's formidable front three of Mane, Firmino, and Salah has a bit of competition. But Mo Salah has been undroppable since he arrived at Anfield from Roma and was instrumental in bringing the Champions League title to Merseyside in 2019. In November, Salah scored in Liverpool's resounding 5-0 win against Atalanta and moved level with Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's top goalscorer in Champions League history, with 21 strikes. It's likely that Salah will continue his excellent form and will propel Liverpool into the latter stages of the competition.
Club: Bayern Munich
It seems like Robert Lewandowski has been around forever, but at only 32 years of age, the big Polish striker still has a lot to offer Bayern Munich. Lewandowski has been prolific for club and country and is central to Bayern's offensive system. For his role in Bayern's Champions League win last season, Lewandowski was voted the UEFA Men's Player of the Year after scoring an incredible fifteen goals throughout the competition. Bayern are many people's favourites to reclaim the title again this year, and with Lewandowski's goals, they're certainly in with a shout.
It's impossible to talk about the Champions League without mentioning the mercurial genius, Lionel Messi. Despite enduring a torrid start to the 2020/21 season under new coach Ronald Koeman, Barcelona may still have a good run in this season's Champions League. They registered an impressive away win against Juventus in Turin, in a game in which Messi was at his menacing best. Messi has scored 118 Champions League goals to date and is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in the all-time scoring charts. Don't be surprised to see Messi help Barcelona to progress to the knockout stages, and we can be sure of some glimpses of his genius in the rounds to come.
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Perhaps only second to Kylian Mbappe in terms of Europe's most exciting player is Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund. The Norwegian international has been prolific since joining Dortmund and leads the scoring charts in this season's Champions League with six goals to his name already. Although often in Bayern's shadow, Dortmund have assembled an incredibly talented squad, with Englishmen Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham part of their ranks. Haaland's goals will prove vital if Dortmund are to mount a serious challenge for the Champions League title this season.
Champions League Top Scorers - https://bbc.in/3od5GX6