Date: 7th July 2020 at 11:07am
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As the domestic seasons draw to a close over the course of July there’s still plenty to look forward. The Champions League plans to be the big finale of a prolonged summer festival of football and we can’t wait.

The world’s most prestigious football competition comes back at the start of August in what promises to be a high octane mini-tournament held in Lisbon. In fact the focus has come early for many as a number of league titles have already been decided. A number of sign up offers for betting have already been boosted as betting sites look to promote their Champions League sports betting packages.

How does it work?

The Champions League final eight, comprising the quarter finals, semi-finals and final will all be played as a mini tournament over a two week period in Lisbon, where the full details can be found here. The quarter final and semi final draws which will decide the order of the play will be held on Friday 10 July.

Half of the qualifying teams are still yet to be decided, and it is currently unknown whether the remaining round of 16 fixtures will be tagged on to the start of the kick off in Portugal’s capital a week ahead of the final eight.

Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona are all still anticipating to play host in their respective second leg ties, with home advantage a significant concern. 

Surprise contenders lighting up Serie A

As expected, it’s a strong set of teams that are hunting for this year’s Champions League trophy, and with a fast paced mini-tournament in prospect, it leaves the likes of Italian upstarts Atalanta with a heightened chance of claiming Europe’s highest honour. 

The Banshees from Bergamo are currently taking the Italian top flight by storm, registering the most goals scored in any of Europe’s top leagues since the summer restart. Atalanta have all but secured their Champions League football for next season with a top four finish in the league already on the cards, but it remains to be seen how they will fare against Europe’s elite.

Atalanta are outside chancers at 14/1, but it will come as no surprise that the favourites going into the competition are heavyweights Manchester City and Bayern Munich at 3/1, even though they still have play their respective round of 16 ties.

The Blues have to navigate an in-form Real Madrid side with a shallow 2-1 lead, while Bayern Munich look slightly more comfortable with three goals on Chelsea. The bet365 new customer offer is looking best out of all betting sites, especially when paired with the quality of odds currently being priced. 

PSG and Barcelona follow in the prospective winners’ odds at around 6/1, while Juventus who still have to overcome a one goal deficit to Lyon to qualify for the tournament in Lisbon are priced demonstrably high at 12/1 – probably the best value you’re likely to see Ronaldo and co. at any time this season.

Robert Lewandowski to take Pole position?

Top scorer odds are another popular bet that sees fans get deeper into the action, and a great combo to utilise with any betting offer when it comes to the Champions League.

The creme da la creme of European footballing talent will be looking to lift this year’s trophy, but it’s the individual honour of top goalscorer that usually sees higher priced odds. Unsurprisingly, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is currently leading the pack after netting an incredible 51 goals across all competitions this season. He’s scored eleven in just six appearances in the Champions League alone this campaign.

You’re still likely to find good value on Lewandowski, but the likes of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo, and PSG’s Kylian Mbappé all stand as worthy contenders.

A special occasion

Even with another four teams looking to book their tickets to Portugal, the prospect of a fast-paced knockout tournament to settle this year’s Champions League promises to surprise, excite and provide a worthy close to a season disrupted and for a large part, left in doubt. See you in Lisbon!

Adam Grimshaw