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How To Get Started
At the top of this page, you will find a list of our most recommended sportsbooks. You will see more details above, but these sites are the ones we think you should use throughout your betting journey. To get started, you will need to sign up for at least one bookmaker - if you are lucky, there will be an introductory offer waiting for you once you have set up an account. If you refer a friend, you might get even more goodies sent your way. Most of these sportsbooks are UK-based, and you can rest assured everything is in accordance with the gambling commission. Do not forget to read the t&cs before signing up - it might be boring, but it is also important. We would actually recommend signing up for several different sportsbooks. This is so you can compare and contrast between them before placing your bet, which will ensure you get the best possible price. It is natural to have a preference based on your own betting experience, but having multiple accounts is a wise choice.
Popular Bet Types
In this section, we will run through some of the most popular betting markets and provide key definitions for terms you are likely to come across. This guide focuses on the UEFA Champions League, but much of what we will cover applies to other competitions. That includes continental tournaments like the Europa League and the Europa Conference League. It also includes domestic leagues, such as the English Premier League and Championship, Ligue 1 in France, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, the Premier Division in Ireland and the Bundesliga in Germany, among others. Some of the tips will even be applicable to other sports, such as rugby, cricket, horse racing, tennis, basketball and American football.
The most popular type of bet is also the most obvious: picking which team will win the match. If Manchester City are playing PSG, you can back a City win, a PSG win or a draw. If you want to bet on the UEFA Champions League, picking the winning team is not your only option. You could also place money on things like the total number of goals, which team will score first and even more obscure selections such as the number of cards or corners.
Here are some definitions of the most popular type of bets.
This is just a numerical way of displaying the three options available when picking the winner - 1 is home win, x is draw, 2 is away win.
Most bookmakers offer the chance to settle a bet before the result is finalised. If you have backed Juventus to win and they take the lead, you could cash out for a certain price.
Customers can predict the final score, not just which team will emerge victorious - for instance, Benfica 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt.
An accumulator is often referred to as an acca. It is essentially four or more different selections combined into one bet - to generate returns, you must get each prediction right.
Half-time/full-time is where a punter chooses 1x2 after 45 minutes and 1x2 after 90.
You no longer have to place your bets before the match - sportsbooks offer the chance to bet on events while the game is ongoing.
You can place your stake on a total number of goals, which is usually expressed as something like 'over 2.5' or 'under 2.5'.
Placing money on individual matches remains the most common form of football betting, but bookmakers also provide the opportunity to place a bet on the final outcome of a competition - which is known as an outright market.
This is pretty self-explanatory: you can choose which team will win the UEFA Champions League at any point during the season.
Sometimes, you can also pick a finalist or make a prediction about which stage of the competition a particular team will reach - such as Rangers to make the round of 16.
Tips and Tricks
If you want to be a successful sports bettor, there are some simple but important steps you should follow. Remember, your primary objective is finding value in the market. By making use of some of the pointers below, you are likely to increase your winnings over the long run.
What To Do
Do Your Research
If Arsenal are playing Inter Milan and you are considering putting some money on, make sure you do some research into both teams beforehand. You should be checking information like recent form, injury news, head-to-head record and the state of play in the group before parting with your hard-earned cash.
Play the Long Game
Even the most successful professional bettors will end some weeks or months in the red. The key is not to panic. As long as your method is sound, you are bound to make a profit in the long run.
Be Rational, Not Emotional
Football evokes passion in its millions of fans around the world, but that emotion is not conducive to gambling success. Make sure your head is making the decisions when you are making your selections and placing your bets, not your heart.
What Not To Do
Take On Too Much
In a UEFA Champions League gameweek, there are up to 16 matches taking place. It is far better to try and predict the results of one or two, rather than spreading yourself too thin and betting on 12.
Dig Into Your Savings
It is important to only bet what you can afford to lose. Please be sensible about this - do not place your house deposit or rainy-day savings on the outcome of a football match.
Chase Your Losses
There will be times where you have a few losses in a row - it is only natural in sports betting. Do not chase your losses by attempting to win the money back straight away. Sticking to your usual strategy is much more likely to bring success.
UEFA Champions League Top Teams
History of the UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is the successor to the European Cup, which began in 1950. It was initially a straight knockout tournament, but a group stage was introduced when it was rebranded to the Champions League in 1992.
In its current format, the competition features 32 teams from around the continent. Four sides each from England, Spain, Italy and Germany automatically qualify, with France and Portugal guaranteed three spots, and the Netherlands supplying two sides each year.
Most Successful Sides
The most successful team in the history of the European Cup/Champions League are Real Madrid, who have won the tournament 13 times. Madrid won the maiden edition back in 1955/56, so they have been the competition's most successful side ever since it began.
AC Milan rank second on the list with seven triumphs, followed by Bayern Munich and Liverpool (six each), Barcelona (five), Ajax (four), Manchester United and Inter (three), and Juventus, Nottingham Forest, Benfica, Porto and Chelsea (two).
Spain has supplied the most Champions League winners with 18, followed by England (14), Italy (12), Germany (eight), Netherlands (six) and Portugal (four).
UEFA Champions League Best Players
Best Current Players
Karim Benzema has arguably been the most impressive performer in the Champions League this season. Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior have also caught the eye for Real Madrid.
For Liverpool, the other finalists, the star men have arguably been Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Haller, Robert Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappe have all performed to a high standard.
Best Ever Players
The most successful player in the history of this competition is Paco Gento, the only individual to win the European Cup/Champions League six times.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Paolo Maldini and Alfredo Di Stefano are among those who lifted the trophy on five occasions. Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Clarence Seedorf have each won it four times.
Betting on UEFA Champions League Players
Most betting markets focus on teams rather than individuals: which side will win, how many goals they will score etc. But customers can also place money on player-focused markets, such as first goalscorer, anytime goalscorer and last goalscorer.
You can also place a combo bet involving a team outcome and a player outcome - for example, Son Heung-min to score the first goal and Tottenham Hotspur to be the match winner against Villarreal.
UEFA Champions League Betting FAQs
Liverpool are the favourites to win the UEFA Champions League. They can be backed at 11/10 to triumph this weekend, while Real Madrid are priced at 11/4.
Chelsea have lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy twice: in 2012, when they beat Bayern Munich in the final, and in 2021, when they overcame Manchester City in the final. In both games Chelsea were the outsiders.
Chelsea were priced at just 10/3 to beat Bayern Munich (who had the advantage of playing at their home stadium), while they were the 7/4 underdogs for the final against City last year.
You can bet on the UEFA Champions League by signing up to your favourite sportsbook and depositing money into your account. You can do this by visiting the relevant website on desktop, or on your Android/IOS device. It could not be more simple.
You can find our recommended bookmakers at the top of this page - if you sign up before the final, you might be eligible for a special bonus or promotion.
Liverpool are the favourites to beat Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final. However, Madrid's spirit and character has seen them pull off numerous comebacks already this season, so we cannot rule out the 13-time European champions - especially as their manager Carlo Ancelotti also has a brilliant record in this tournament.
On balance, though, our experts at Irish Luck believe Liverpool will be winners at the Stade de France - and that is the selection we advise. Their energy and intensity could cause Madrid problems, while the Spanish giants will not be able to rely on the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu crowd this time. Madrid have several players who can turn in a game on its head in an instant, but Liverpool are the better team overall and they should come out on top in the final.
Another of our betting tips is both teams to score. With the likes of Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema in attack, Madrid have plenty of firepower and they should be able to find the back of the net against Jurgen Klopp's men.
This is a good question. Champions League knockout ties are held over two legs, with each team playing one match at home. Most betting markets focus on one leg at a time. If Manchester United are hosting Real Madrid in the first leg of the quarter-finals and you back Madrid to win, you will be successful if los Blancos triumph in that specific match.
However, there is also an opportunity to pick an aggregate winner. This market is usually named 'To qualify' or 'To reach the next round'. If you back Madrid in this one, you are tipping them to come out on top on aggregate. If they win the first leg at Old Trafford, your bet will not yet be successful - you must wait and see if they win the overall tie first.
So, if a team wins on aggregate, it will not necessarily be a win on the bet slip - it all depends on the market you have placed your bet on.
Each author at Irish Luck is an expert in their preferred sport. If you would like more help with your selections and other betting-related content, be sure to check out our site for all the latest articles.