Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Back Bayern Munich now!

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, of Argentina, looks at Bayern players celebrate after Mario Gomez, third right, scored during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

Bayern Munich are 7/2 to win the Champions League. Naturally many would consider that a mistake as they are in this month's final against fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund.

They aren't that price, of course, to beat Dortmund – more like 4/9 to lift the trophy – but the 7/2 refers to 2014.

So the layers are not waiting for the the outcome at Wembley on May 25 before installing next season's favourites.

Expect the demolition of a Barcelona team, who have lost their way big time in not being able to adjust when their passing game is off key, leaving them exposed as a very poor defensive outfit and hopeless at dealing with cross balls.

Also, they are now totally dependent on the magic of Lionel Messi. It'll be a long time before Barcelona see top European glory again and they have rightly been deposed as pre-tournament favourites for the first time in six years. Their dominance under Pep Guardiola is long gone.

But Guardiola's influence isn't as he will lead the German champions next season in what is expected to be a defence of the Champions League crown.

Even putting Barca in as second favourites at 4/1 represents no value and neither is 8/1 for two Spanish finalists in 2014.

With Robert Lewandowski expected to join Mario Gotze in the move to Munich from Dortmund, Bayern will be even stronger next season and that 7/2 should be taken as it will shrink once they enjoy an anticipated Wembley triumph.

By the way, bet365 offer 11/8 that either Lewandowski or Gotze score against Munich in just over a fortnight's time and that has an excellent chance of obliging. If Dortmund score, it's more than likely to be one of these key strikers.

Next season's Champions League: 7/2 B Munich; 4/1 Barcelona; 6/1 Real Madrid; 9/1 Man Utd; 12/1 Man City; 14/1 Chelsea, Paris St Germain; 16/1 Juventus; 25/1 bar.

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