European football 22-23 picks: Bayern Munich, PSG cruise, and what about Real Madrid Barcelona La Liga battle?
Today SHOULD be a holiday.
For many fans around the world, it is: European football kicks off with the Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Liga Nos, and the Eredivisie, among others, back in action. If you are a fan of La Liga, you will have to wait one more week.
In Germany, the first match is a cracker: UEFA Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt, which will take on UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup, gets a chance to stun the world twice in a week. Bayern Munich comes into the season as the 10-time league champions, and as a -500 favorite to make it 11: this it LITERALLY a one-horse race.
The same could be said in France, where PSG is -1000 to go back-to-back. For the Parisian outfit, league titles do not mean much anymore, though: they NEED to win a first Champions League title.
The same can be said of current Champions League betting favorite Manchester City, which still has an empty European Cup cabinet: there are now five teams in the Premier League with more European titles than City: Liverpool (six), Manchester United (three), Chelsea (two), Nottingham Forest (two), and Aston Villa (one). Might the Cityzens finally add a sixth team to the list?
The best race in Europe might come in Spain, where defending La Liga and Champions League winner Real Madrid will have to deal with a Barcelona team that did not take a poor season very well: so far, Barca has bought up half the players on the continent (a joke, but just barely) and possibly (most certainly) mortgaged their future to try to compete with Los Merengues for supremacy.
Ajax and Porto will try to repeat, but the Dutch side is going to get a fight from PSV after selling off half its starting XI and losing its manager.
In England, Sergio Aguero reckons his old team will have enough once again to win a fifth title in six years, and do what only one club (Manchester United, twice: 2007-2009 and 1999-2001) has ever done: win three-straight Premier League titles.
"United is in the process of rebuilding and with a new manager but they are always in the fight," Aguero said. "Chelsea, although they have lost important players, especially in defence, have shown that they are competitive and added Sterling. The same as Tottenham with a coach like Conte who has experience in the Premier League, who has always formed competitive teams and has a very important offensive duo like the one made up of Kane and Son.
"But let's not forget that there is always a surprise team and this year there are many who can give the note. Aston Villa, Newcastle, Brighton... there are many who will fight for a place in Europe. I believe the top four will be Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal."
Brad Friedel thinks that Tottenham could be a value play for the Premier League title.
"When a club has a manager like Antonio Conte and players that are used to winning they can do special things in a season," Friedel told Boyle Sports. "Tottenham definitely have an outside chance of winning the Premier League for sure.
TOP EUROPEAN LEAGUE PREDICTIONS
UEFA Champions League: Manchester City
UEFA Europa League: Manchester United
Premier League: Manchester City
La Liga: Real Madrid
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich
Ligue 1: PSG
Serie A: Inter
Primeira Liga: Porto