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Watch our How to Bet on the Champions League Video
We provide a step by step video guide showing you everything from how to get free sign up cash to gamble with, to placing bets on who will win, lose and get through to the next round and a lot more!
See the latest odds on the Champions League matches above, fancy a flutter? Then see our Top 10 Betting Sites for initial account opening offers, where you can get up to £200 as an initial welcome matched bet bonus.
Betting on the Champions League
Betting on the Champions League massively popular right around the world and it can be a great way of not only making games more exciting but of making a bit of extra money, especially if you know what you're betting on.
As well as the Outright Winner of the league, you can also vote on who you think will be the top scorer, which teams you think will get qualify from their groups and which will fail to make the knockout stages. Other popular bets include putting money on which country will be best-represented in the final stages of the competition, as well as the number of goals scored in a single match.
One great way of making games more exciting and of boosting your chances of beating the bookies is to bet in-play and all online bookmakers will let you do this. Here you are able to 'cash out' on a bet at almost any time. This allows you to see how the game is going then make a bet depending on which team looks good while the game is being played.
So, if you have bet £10 on Real Madrid beating Manchester City at 1/1 and your team are 1-0 up after 80 minutes, you could be offered the chance to 'cash out' at £14. If you accept you have still made a profit and don't have to risk losing it all. If you decline, however, you could stand to win the full £20 or you could lose it all.
The Champions League
The Champions League is the world's premier club football competition, bringing together the biggest and best teams from right across Europe.
As well as being the most prestigious (and lucrative) competition in world football, it’s also the most popular. In fact, records show that it's consistently the most watched annual sporting competition on the planet, attracting a global television audience of over 300 million.
The high-profile nature of the Champions League, the glamour and the unpredictability of the later stages also means it’s massively popular among sports betting fans. This popularity means almost all bookmakers, both online and on the high street, offer a massive range of Champions League betting markets, giving you the chance to inject a bit of extra excitement into the games, as well as the chance to make some money.
History of the Champions League
The Champions League grew out of the old European Cup, with the current format officially launched in 1992 (the same year the English Premier League was started).
Rather the adopting the traditional straight knock-out format of the old European Cup, the Champions League was designed to incorporate the mini round-robin style of the latter years of the preceding competition.
In all, 22 different clubs have won the competition, 12 of which have won it more than once. When both formats are taken into account, Spain has dominated the Champions League, with its clubs boasting 14 titles. England and Italy, meanwhile, have won 12 titles each. More specifically, Real Madrid are the most successful club in the competition's history, having lifted the club 10 times. Notably, however, since the format was changed back in 1992, no team has won it in consecutive seasons. You would get huge odds if you thought Real Madrid could be the first club to achieve this.
Under the current format, Europe's strongest leagues, including the Premier League, La Liga in Spain, Italy's Serie A and the German Bundesliga, provide up to four teams each. Alongside these, the league-winning teams of every other European football association are able to fight for a spot in the main competition through three knockout stages that run from July into September.
The 10 surviving teams from the qualifying rounds join the 22 big names who are allowed to skip this stage in a group stage. Here's what you need to know:
The 32 teams are drawn to play in eight groups of four. Each team then plays all the other teams in their small group both home and away.
Three points are awarded for a win and one point is awarded for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss and there are no bonus points for high-scoring teams.
Once all the group stage games have been played, the top two teams qualify for the knockout stages. If two teams are tied on points, then they will be ranked by goal difference.
The team that finishes third in a group qualifies for the UEFA Europa League. The team that finishes fourth, however, is eliminated from all European football for the rest of the season
You can place a bet on a team getting through to the knock out stages – watch our video on betting on the Champions League to see how.
After the knockout stages have been completed, the top teams of each group are put into one pot and the runners-up of each group are put into another pot. Teams are then drawn against rivals from the other pot and they will then play each other in the knockout stages. Here's what you need to know about this part of the competition:
Teams from the same league cannot play one another in this first round. So, for example, Manchester City cannot play Manchester United until the quarter-final stage, when the draw becomes completely random.
Knockout-stage matches are played over two legs, with games at the home stadiums of each side.
The scores from both games are compiled to give an aggregate score. Whichever team has the highest aggregate score progresses through to the next round.
If the aggregate score is tied, the away goals rule comes into play. Quite simply, the team who scored more goals at their opponent's home ground advances.
Should both the aggregate score and the away goals score be equal, then the second leg will be extended into extra time to find a winner. If a winner still can't be found after 30 more minutes of football, the tie will be decided through a penalty shootout.
The final, which traditionally takes place in May after most domestic leagues have been concluded, is just a single match. The location of the final is decided before that season's competition even gets underway.
Who to Look Out for in 2014/15
The Champions League always brings together the biggest teams the brightest stars of European football and the 2014/15 competition looks no exception. Just some of the things to look out for this time round include:
Can Spain continue to dominate? With both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid reaching the final last time round, expect La Liga to be well-represented right through to the end stages.
Can Liverpool make the most of their return to the biggest stage? Arguably no team has been more conspicuous by its absence from the Champions League over recent years than Liverpool. With long-term rivals Manchester United having missed out this time round, they will be keen to seize their chance and live up to their admirable European pedigree.
Will France finally hit the big time? Over the past few years, billions of pounds has been invested in French football, with PSG and Monaco attracting some of the world's best players. Is this the year the French teams will finally translate their financial dominance into success on the field?
You bet on a game by game basis on every outcome or who will get through, the longer the competition goes on the shorter the odds on the winner will be.
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