One of the most iconic club competitions around the world, the Champions League, is back. After a record-extending 15th title for Real Madrid, we reset and go again for 2022/23, queue the Champions League anthem. THE CHAMPIONS!!
Istanbul took centre stage as the formalities for the Champions League draw were conducted on the 25th of August. During the ceremony, we also got to know the best Champions League team for the 2021/22 campaign, featuring players from Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. So let’s discuss the chances of each team in their respective group.
Ajax – Liverpool – Napoli – Rangers
Group A consists of some great teams with a rich history in the competition.
Liverpool are the outright favourite to win the group 2/7 (1.28), having won their respective group in the previous years, one wouldn’t bet against them continuing their great European form. The Reds managed to progress to the final of the Champions League 10 times and are at 11/4 (3.75) to make it 11 times this year.
Ajax have had an incredible season in the Eredersive, but most of the team, as well as the coach, has joined Manchester United, leaving the Dutch side short of talent heading into the European campaign. As all good teams do, they will regroup and muster a great side that can trouble opponents. Ajax are at 13/2 (7.50) to win the group giving them the same possibility as Napoli to storm Group A.
Napoli are a solid side, and their recruitment of Ndombele, Tuanzebe on loan from Premier League sides and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who looks to be a solid replacement for Insigne. Lastly, rounding up Group A are Rangers, who managed to surpass the challenge of PSV to make it into the Group stage. The Ibrox Stadium will surely be in full voice during those big European nights against some of the best teams in the world. Rangers are given an outside chance of winning the group at 14/1 (15.00).
Porto – Atletico Madrid – Leverkusen – Club Brugge
The situation in Group B is tighter with Atletico Madrid the favourite, but Porto and Bayer Leverkusen are close candidates to win the group.
The Spanish giants have failed to make it out of their group twice in their history and are on hand to continue that trend as they are priced at 9/10 (1.90).
Bayer Leverkusen has had a sticky start to their season in the Bundesliga – losing their opening three games. The German side managed to get a hold of Callum Hudson-Odoi on loan to bolster their attacking forces. Leverkusen are priced at 3/1 (4.00) to win the group, with equal probability as FC Porto to win the group.
This year Club Brugge has come up against a lower pedigree of teams as opposed to previous years, so their chances are improved, but still, we are giving them an outside chance of 12/1 (13.00) to win the group.
Bayern – Barcelona – Inter – Viktoria Plzen
Out of all the possibilities, Barcelona have once again drawn up against Bayern Munich. Their last meeting in the Champions League was a horror show for the Catalan club as the Germans won 8-2 in the quarter-final stage. Barcelona despite their precarious financial situation, Barcelona managed to offload surplus players and recruited top-quality players to help them restore their status in European football.
Bayern Munich are the favourites to win the group as they are priced 3/5 (1.60) whilst Barcelona are at 7/4 (2.75). Group C is the group of death in this year’s Champions League group stage as Inter Milan find themselves pinned in between two giant teams and beating them is no easy feet.
Inter failed to progress to the knockout stage last year but will hope to make it through this time with Romelu Lukaku reunited with his beloved Inter squad. Inter are priced at 8/1 (9.00). Viktoria Plzen got the unlucky place of being the fourth team in this group of death and are priced at 99/1 (100.00) to win the group.
Eintracht Frankfurt – Tottenham – Sporting – Marseille
The perfect draw for Spurs fans, what a group.
Group D is a very balanced group with a great chance of progression for all the teams involved. Favourites to claim the top spot in group D are Tottenham at 1/2 (1.50), Conte and his side have been dealt a good hand as they come up against Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, Marseille and Sporting.
The German side are priced at 11/2 (6.50) to win the group and with equal probability Marseille at 11/2 (6.50). Marseille managed to recruit Eric Bailly and Alexis Sanchez to bolster their experience at either end of the pitch. Sporting on the other hand are the least favorite to win the group at 8/1 (9.00).
Milan – Chelsea – RB Salzburg – Dinamo Zagreb
Another very well-balanced and competitive group, one cannot rule anything out in the Champions League this year.
Chelsea are still not at their best, especially in the attacking third, as they depend on new marquee signing Raheem Sterling to produce the goods. Thomas Tuchel is yet to find the right balance and would be keen on landing more signings to bolster the defence and playing Reece James in his favoured wing-back position where he causes the most trouble to the opposition.
Despite the challenges, Chelsea are the favourites to win the group at 1/3 (1.33); following up are the reigning Champions of Italy, AC Milan, with their youthful squad. They can express themselves even more now that they won silverware, and Pioli would hope that they have what it takes to progress to the next stage. We are pricing Milan at 10/3 (4.35). FC Salzburg are at 10/1 (11.00), and Dinamo Zagreb, who are at 50/1 (51.00), to win the group.
Real Madrid – Shaktar Donestk – RB Leipzig – Celtic
Another very competitive group with second place in the group well up for grabs for all three teams. Real Madrid are the overwhelming favourites in this group as they are priced 1/5 (1.20).
Shaktar Donetsk seem to follow the Spanish giants in every group stage but this year they are given a slim chance of making it through to the latter stages of the competition as they are at 50/1 (51.00) to win the group. It will be a two way fight between RB Leipzig and Celtic for second place. RB Leipzig are slightly more favourite at 5/1 (6.00) with Celtic at 14/1 (15.00) to win Group F.
Manchester City – Sevilla – Dortmund – Copenhagen
European glory will be at the top of the list for Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City, now reinforced by the 22-year-old Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland. City is a well-oiled machine firing on all cylinders, but they showed weakness in previous Champions League campaigns.
City are at 2/9 (1.22) to win Group G. Erling Haaland will face his previous employers in Borussia Dortmund; he will surely be eager to make a mark on his return to the Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund are at 11/2 (6.50) to win the group, with Sevilla at 9/1 (10.00) and FC Copenhagen at 40/1 (41.00), completing the rest of group G
PSG – Juventus – Benfica – Maccabi Haifa
Paris Saint-Germain, like Manchester City are keen on winning the Champions League and one can say that they are well equipped to do so with some fine talent within their squad. On paper having Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as your front three is quite astonishing.
PSG are the outright favourites to win the group at 2/5 (1.40), with Juventus following at 5/2 (3.50). Juventus have struggled to get to the latter stages of the Champions League for quite some time now, and compared to other years, the team they have now won’t break that trend. Benfica will be eyeing any slip-up from the Old Lady as they might fancy second place in the group. Benfica are priced at 11/1 (12.00) to win the group, whilst Maccabi Haifa is at 149 (150.00).
It’s safe to say that all the big guns around Europe will aim to win the Golden Boot in the Champions League. Erling Haaland won this in his time with Borussia Dortmund, despite his side being eliminated early on in the competition. The Norwegian is topping the charts again.
This time he is surrounded by the best players, and he is at 7/2 (4.50), to be the top goalscorer in the competition. Following up are Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema at 7/1 (8.00). Harry Kane is at 17/1 (18.00), whilst Lionel Messi at 11/1 (12.00) to showcase his natural talent in front of goal.
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