Champions League Ante-Post Betting Tips: 5 Essential Ante-Post Bets

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It's Champions League time once again as Europe's elite face off against one another. Here's a quick breakdown of the latest betting odds and my ante-post bets.

The groups stages have been drawn and there are some tricky groups to escape from. The British teams have been handed a relatively good draw, bar the exception of Celtic who tie up with Barcelona, Ajax and Milan.

Last season was Bayern Munich's year as they claimed their 5th title, beating Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 after a 89th minute goal by Arjen Robben.

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Bayern are firm favourites with the bookies and a best priced 4/1 (Coral), however, anyone that watched their performance against Chelsea in the Super Cup might disagree.

But write off Bayern off at your peril. The German giants are regular finalists and very rarely beaten in the Champions League. Barcelona are second favourites at 9/2 (Coral) and will no doubt be there or there abouts come May.

Real Madrid are a best priced 11/2 (Sky Bet) and with Gareth Bale's services added to the squad last week, they should be hard to beat. Chelsea are the shortest priced English team at 10/1 (Coral), with Manchester United and Manchester City following just behind at 14/1 (Coral) and 16/1 (Bwin) respectively. Arsenal are as big as 33/1 with most major bookmakers.

Last years beaten finalists and surprise package Borussia Dortmund can be backed at a big 22/1 (Stan James).

Thats the main contenders to lift the trophy, and its hard to find reasons to back anyone else to win it. Of the remaining teams 24 teams, PSG are the strongest and should progress through the group stages with relative ease. They are a best priced 8/13 (Paddy Power) to win Group C.

Porto now, and they are 2/1 (Bet Victor) to win Group G, which for me is real value and one I'll be taking on. I expect all 4 English teams to progress past the group stages and that can be backed as big as 11/8 with Bet Victor.

The only worry with that bet is how Man City can develop in Europe and whether they can escape the group stage for the first time in their history. The Citizens are stronger than last year and should have no problem (on paper) getting past this stumbling block.

There is an intriguing match bet available through William Hill, and it's one that interests punters and the media every season. It's the old Messi vs Ronaldo Goal Match Bet. Messi is favourite at 4/9 and Ronaldo 13/8, and for the life of me I can't work out what the traders are thinking on this one.

Ok, Messi has picked up the top scorer award in the Champions League more times than Ronaldo, but what we have to look at here is the group stages and historically where the majority of goals will come from.

Barca are placed in a much trickier Champions League group, while Madrid's biggest test will be against Juventus, who are a shadow of their former glories. Ronaldo to win the match bet is an absolute treat of a bet and my bet of the Champions League at 13/8.

Finally, my Champions League winner betting tip, and it's possibly one of the hardest years to pick a winner. However, I'm going for Real Madrid at 11/2 (Sky Bet) to win this years Champions League.

With Christiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale joining forces at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid will have real strike force that little of the top clubs will be able to rival.

Champions League Ante-Post Betting Tips

PSG to win Group C (8/13 Paddy Power)

Porto to win Group G (2/1 Bet Victor)

All 4 English teams to progress (11/8 Bet Victor)

Ronaldo to win Match Bet (13/8 William Hill)

Real Madrid to win Champions League (11/2 Sky Bet)

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