- The UEFA Champions League draw took place on August 29
- Tottenham and Bayern were drawn together in Group B
- Olympiakos and Red Star round out the quartet
The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League draw was completed yesterday (Thursday, Aug. 29) and Bovada immediately released odds for the winners of each of the eight groups.
Bayern Munich have been installed as -175 favorites to win Group B, but with last season’s finalists Tottenham also in their group, are they the best bet?
UEFA Champions League 2019/20: Group B Odds
|Team||Odds at Bovada*|
|Red Star Belgrade||+6600|
* Odds taken on 08/29/19.
Bayern, while fancied by Bovada to win the group, are in transition and this may not be a bad time for Tottenham, Olympiakos, and Red Star Belgrade to face the Bavarians. Their Champions League title odds of +1100 don’t look especially generous.
It’s been a summer of change at the Allianz Arena with some big-name departures – Mats Hummels, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery among them – but they have splashed some big cash in order to fill those voids.
Centre-back Lucas Hernandez has been brought in from Atletico Madrid to replace Hummels, along with another centre-back, Benjamin Pavard, from Stuttgart. They have also bought midfielder Mickael Cuisance from Borussia Monchengladbach and Philippe Coutinho is in on loan from Barcelona. Both will try to fill the gaps left by Robben and Ribery.
Coutinho in action for Bayern Munich for the first time ✨ pic.twitter.com/cp3X2VGCbL
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 24, 2019
If they go on to win the Bundesliga this season, it will be their 30th title and the eighth on the bounce. But in recent seasons, they’ve made little headway in the Champions League; the last of their five European Cup triumphs came in 2012/13.
Despite the offseason additions, there are few reasons to see this changing. There is a strong argument that they are weaker than they were last season.
New Faces At ‘The New Lane’
Tottenham, despite a difficult start in the EPL, do look to be stronger than last season, particularly after the signing of Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon for £54 million. Crucially, they have also retained the services of Christian Eriksen, who was rumoured to be on his way out.
— SportsGridUK (@Sportsgriduk) August 30, 2019
So, while it’s hard to make a case for Spurs reaching the final again, they do look well-equipped to win Group B, especially if they can avoid the slow start they made last September.
Home Form Is Key
Olympiakos will consider themselves in with a chance of making top two. Certainly they will be looking to win their home games in the intimidating atmosphere of the Karaiskakis Stadium, where Bayern, Tottenham and Red Star will all be given stern examinations.
Any points earned in Athens will have to be earned and last season’s Greek Superleague runners-up will fancy their chances of making it to the next phase, although their Achilles heel may well be their ability to pick up points away from home. Historically, Greek teams struggle on their travels.
— Mathieu Valbuena (@MathieuVal8) August 27, 2019
Red Star Belgrade, winners of the 2018/19 Serbian SuperLiga, are the group’s outsiders and are fairly priced at +6600 given their previous record in this competition. But they shouldn’t be ignored.
Red Star Belgrade players celebrated qualifying for the Champions League by riding around in an army tank last night. pic.twitter.com/XJA7T6Nvmv
— Football Away Days (@AwayDays_) August 28, 2019
Serbian teams, by their very nature, are hard to beat. This well-organised Belgrade side, like Athens, will be an intimidating experience for visiting teams. Again, it will be on their travels where the points will be hard to come by, but for those who love to speculate on an outsider, Red Star are worth a second glance.
But, at the end of the day, it should boil down to the two big names, even if there will be twists and turns along the way.
Pick: Tottenham to win Group B (+150)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.