2021-22 UEFA Champions League predictions and best bets: PSG ready to conquer Europe

Lionel Messi of PSG
Photo of Phil Agius

Phil Agius

Soccer· 1 week ago

Show Bio

I've been writing about the NFL and a host of other sports for the UK's top daily betting paper the Racing Post for more than 20 years. An incurable Browns fan (1-31 survivor), I also specialise in all kinds of motorsport betting including F1, MotoGP, IndyCar and NASCAR.

The last 11 winners of the UEFA Champions League have all come from either Spain (6 wins), England (3, including 2 of the last 3 seasons) or Germany (2 wins), but that dominance could be ended this season. 

Paris St-Germain have won the French Ligue 1 title in 7 of the last 9 seasons — but not last year — and they are hunting a much bigger prize now. The best PSG has managed in the Champions League was in 2019-20, when losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the final but they are favorites this season, and with good reason.

PSG is the +360 favorite with FanDuel Sportsbook, closely followed by EPL champions Manchester City at +380, Bayern Munich at +750 and reigning champions Chelsea at +800. Two more English clubs follow the Blues, Liverpool at +1000 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s new team, Manchester United, at +1400. Three Spanish clubs come next with Real Madrid at +1600 and Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both at +2500.

The group-stage games start on Tuesday, with the final in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May 28, 2022.

Let’s take a look at our picks for Europe’s most prestigious soccer trophy.

UEFA Champions League best bet: Paris St-Germain (+360)

Paris Saint-Germain has been knocking on the door of Champions League success for a decade, but with superstar Lionel Messi now on board, this could finally be the season when they are crowned European champions.

It certainly feels like the French giants have been getting closer to realising their dream over recent years, with their first final appearance in 2020 followed by a run to the semifinals last season.

That was all achieved without the Argentinian magician Messi on their roster and signing the Barcelona icon has propelled PSG from mere contenders to outright favorites to lift the trophy.

It is not just the arrival of Messi that has got Europe’s traditional powerhouses worried, as PSG have also added Gini Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Euro 2020 Player of the Tournament Gianluigi Donnarumma to their squad, while keeping the bulk of last season’s team together.

PSG’s focus will likely be on the Champions League and they will have revenge on their mind when they take on Manchester City in the group stage, as it was Pep Guardiola’s team that knocked them out of last season’s competition.

Their two group games against City, while not decisive, should give us an idea of where both teams are at heading going into the season, and both clubs should have few problems progressing from a group that also contains a weakened RB Leipzig team and Club Brugge.

Other contenders

Like PSG, Manchester City are also still chasing a first Champions League crown after losing last season’s final to Chelsea, but Guardiola’s side missed out on signing both Harry Kane and Ronaldo this summer and may be a little light offensively to justify their tag as one of the favorites.

The competitive nature of the Premier League could also hamper the progress of English clubs this year, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United all expected to join City in a tense domestic title race.

Having won the Champions League last season, Chelsea’s focus may well be on the EPL this time, while Liverpool have been handed a tough group-stage draw alongside Atletico Madrid, Porto and an AC Milan team that is back at Europe’s top table for the first time in eight seasons.

Manchester United’s draw also looks tough, but the Red Devils will expect to get through to the knockout stages ahead of Villarreal, an entertaining Atalanta team and Swiss side Young Boys.

Ronaldo’s arrival is also a huge boost to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side — he scored twice on his debut on Saturday — but at 36, there are questions about whether he can still spearhead a team to European glory.

Real Madrid may prove Spain’s best hope, but La Liga’s period of dominance on the continent appears to be over, and while Los Blancos and their city rival Atletico could still challenge, Barcelona minus Messi will surely struggle to make it beyond the last 16.

Chelsea

© EFE

UEFA Champions League best longshot bet: Borussia Dortmund (+3100)

Borussia Dortmund is an interesting option among the longshot teams. Marco Rose’s side can never be written off with Erling Haaland leading their attack.

The Norway international, who has averaged nearly a goal a game since arriving at Dortmund midway through the 2019-20 season, spearheads a young and exiting attacking line that also contains Thorgan Hazard, Gio Reyna and summer signing Donyell Malen.

The loss of Jadon Sancho to Manchester United will be a blow to Dortmund, but BVB usually have another player to come off the production line when a star moves on.

Dortmund have also been drawn in a group that holds nothing to fear alongside Sporting Lisbon, Ajax and Besiktas, and no team will want to face Haaland and co once we get into the knockout stages.

Pickswise is the home of free Soccer Predictions, with soccer picks from the Premier League, La Liga, MLS, Champions League and the Europa League, all season long.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
DraftKings

$200

Bet $1 On Any NFL Football Game & Get $150 In Free Bets Instantly!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1 on any Pro Football game

Instantly get $150 in free bets

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet + a free NFL Jersey!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $5,000 + a free NFL Jersey

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.