13th Sep 2016 | Champions League
Champions League Outright Tip: PSG
Have reached the quarter-finals in each of the last four seasons and still have a deeply talented squad even without Zlatan.
The Champions League is supposedly the best club competition in the world but there is a danger of it becoming predictable. We tipped two of the last three winners (Real Madrid 2014 – Barcelona 2015) and had Real Madrid on our shortlist last year, so why deviate from a successful formula.
The key is experience.
These are the last nine winners of the Champions League and the stage they exited the competition in the five years prior to their victory.
2016 Real Madrid: SF-W-SF-SF-SF
2015 Barcelona: QF-SF-SF-W-SF
2014 Real Madrid: SF-SF-SF-L16-L16
2013 Bayern Munich: F-L16-F-QF-DNQ
2012 Chelsea: QF-L16-QF-F-SF
2011 Barcelona: SF-W-SF-L16-W
2010 Inter: L16-L16-L16-QF-QF
2009 Barcelona: SF-L16-W-L16-DNQ
2008 Man United: SF-L32-L16-L16-QF
Most recent exit on the left.
The last nine winners reached the knockout stages of the competition at least four times in a row prior to winning the Champions League. If the trend continues we are left with a shortlist comprising:
Little needs to be said about the top-3 in the list, they are the best teams in the tournament and fill the first three positions in the betting. The difficulty is picking between them and the reward isn’t great enough for solving the puzzle so we move on.
Arsenal flatter to deceive in Europe and have exited in the last-16 for the past six seasons, which leaves us PSG.
The French champions have lost Zlatan Ibrahimović and David Luiz but there is still plenty of talent running through a younger more vibrant squad. Edinson Cavani, Marco Veratti and Thiago Silva form a strong spine and there is a more than capable supporting cast.
It might take some time for Unai Emery to impose a new playing style but this is a squad that has reached the quarter finals for the past four seasons in the Champions League. PSG don’t need to find much more to make the semis or beyond and an easy group affords them time to improve. At 18/1 (William Hill) they are touch big in the betting.
Odds correct at time of publishing: 07:55 13th Sep, 2016 but subject to change