Finding the winner of the Champions League can be a hard task but finding the Golden Boot winner has been easier work in recent times – dutch Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Between them they have won every single edition since Kaka in 2007, with Neymar the only player to share the trophy in 2014/15.
They can be expected to play a huge role once again, but they are already short enough and can’t fill all three places. In any case, Ronaldo scored six goals last season, his lowest tally in the Champions League since 2010/11, and was out of the places, and the two make the market for other contenders.
Much of the hay is made in the group stage, and last season Robert Lewandowski was runner up despite Bayern Munich exiting at the last 16 stage against Liverpool with eight goals. This was despite Bayern failing to impress many observers and regardless of Munich’s overall prospects, a group with Olympiakos and Red Star should offer plenty of chances for him to get on the scoresheet once again. The penalty taker at the head of a settled 4-4-2 formation, he already has seven goals in the Bundesliga this year and is unlikely to be rotated at any point.
Heavy rotation could be an issue for Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, who started only two of the group games last season as Gabriel Jesus played a lot of games and Raheem Sterling would look to be the better selection. City do share their goals in this competition though, and we have them onside in the outrights too.
Kylian Mbappe will miss the first game of PSG’s campaign with a hamstring injury but if he can get back before the next matchdays, he will have games against Galatasray and Club Brugge before the return fixture with Madrid, and he can surely improve on his four goal tally from last season if he gets 5 or even four fixtures in the bag.
Liverpool have reached two finals in the last two seasons and whilst there’s sometimes been a lack of goals on the road, they have scored 71 goals in Europe under Jurgen Klopp. Sadio Mane scored just the four Champions League goals last season but he scored 10 in the previous campaign when Liverpool made it to the final – infact the whole front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino all placed in that season – and Liverpool’s home record should mean Mane gets plenty of chances to score in the group stage and his knockout record is a fine one.
2 pts each/way Robert Lewandowski (14/1 general)
1 pt each/way Kylian Mbappe (14/1 general)
1 pt each/way Sadio Mane (25/1 general)