2020-21 Champions League Picks, Predictions: Real Madrid Rallying Back into Contention

Bayern Munich’s march as favorites to retain the UEFA Champions League crown went on uninterrupted after Hansi Flick’s titleholders drew Lazio in the competition’s last 16.

The titleholders are +250 moneyline leaders with NJ sportsbooks, such as Borgata to successfully defend a European trophy for the first time in more than 40 years. Bayern haven’t gone back-to-back in Europe;s premier contest since winning the European Cup three times between 1974 and 1976.

Monday’s draw revealed who will face who in the round of 16, with the first legs due to take place in February (16/7, 23/24) before the reverse fixtures occur in March (9/10, 16/17):

https://twitter.com/ChampionsLeague/status/1338445724669841410

Bayern—the top scorers in this season’s tournament with 18 goals thus far—topped Group A while dropping only two points.Their chances look highly promising after the Bundesliga leaders dropped just two points during the first round, not to mention their recent record against Italian outfits should have +15000 underdogs Lazio quaking in their boots:

Prediction: Real Madrid to win 2020-21 Champions League (+1400)

However, a sleeping giant looks to have awakened in Madrid, where Zinedine Zidane is doing his utmost to salvage this season following a poor start to the campaign for Real Madrid. Los Blancos recently secured four successive wins for the first time this season and topped Group B despite winning only three of their games, priced around +1400 with most sportsbooks.

All the more reason to hop on the Spanish colossus considering it was only two years ago they lifted the last of three consecutive Champions League trophies (2016-18).

Zidane is again making use of a wide array of players due to rotation and enforced injuries, while stars like Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric are playing key roles of late. Real have drawn a tricky last-16 straw in another Italian upstart, Atalanta, though current form suggests this team is capable following wins over Sevills, Borussia Monchengladbach, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao:

Despite their lack of consistency, Real boast a rare blend of top-shelf youth and grizzled veterans, not to mention the campaign is sure to get easier as important figures regain full fitness. That’s without mentioning the winning habits of Zidane in this tournament, never to be doubted given he’s lifted the trophy once as a player and three times as a tactician.

In truth, few teams (if any) look quite as promising as Bayern this term, while second-favorites Manchester City (+375) and Liverpool (+600) have already stuttered in their seasons. There’s no better time to back Real considering the long route they took to reach the last 16 and the winning potential of this team, with the worst potentially behind Los Blancos already.

2020-21 Champions League Odds

  • Bayern Munich: +250
  • Manchester City: +375
  • Liverpool: +600
  • Juventus: +1000
  • Paris Saint-Germain: +1100
  • Real Madrid: +1400
  • Barcelona: +1800
  • Chelsea: +1800
  • Borussia Dortmund: +1800
  • Atletico Madrid: +2200
  • RB Leipzig: +3300
  • Sevilla: +4000
  • Atalanta: +5000
  • Porto: +12500
  • Lazio: +15000
  • Borussia Monchengladbach: +15000
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