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Soccer fans worldwide are excited about the upcoming UEFA Champions League competition. The top European clubs plan to dethrone last season’s champions and this term’s favorites, Manchester City. The English Premier League and FA Cup winners scooped a treble in spring when finally getting their hands on the continent’s grand prize. Fans hope the Champions League winner’s medals are like London buses, with two arriving back-to-back after a prolonged wait.
Qualifiers are complete with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven scoring a revenge win over Scottish club Rangers in the pick of the bunch. Soccer in the Netherlands holds a strong hand in this year’s competition, while Scottish soccer relies on outsiders Celtic for any whiff of glory. But which team will lift the trophy at the end of the season? There are plenty of games to play, but it’s never too early to make predictions and call the European champion.
Today, the top sportsbooks offer odds on the Champions League winners, allowing fans to jump the line and secure the early value. Whether you’re wagering on a single match or the outright champion, you’ll want the best value, and we’re here to ensure you get it. Those gambling in Alabama enjoy the same great odds and promotions as soccer fans betting in London. But which team is worth backing?
Champions League info
If you’re a soccer lover, you’ll be as excited about the upcoming tournament as all fans and sportsbook traders. But it would help if you had the latest info before rushing out, picking your team to win the title, and backing before round one. And we have that for you in this handy article.
Play begins on Tuesday, 19th September, with the opening round of games. Week one concludes on Wednesday with another round of matches. The 2023/24 Champions League is the 69th season and the 32nd since the tournament was rebranded as the Champions League. Wembley Stadium in London hosts the final, and it’s a chance for fans to witness a little piece of history. It’ll be the last Champions League with 32 teams before a format change in time for the 70th season.
Manchester City is the defending champions and pre-competition favorites with the most respected pundits. Will Pep Guardiola’s men make it two titles on the bounce? Soccer fans will support the Cityzens, but a fiercely competitive renewal is ahead. Will Man City win the trophy, or will we see another champion? Keep reading as our soccer writers preview this eagerly anticipated Champions League renewal featuring the top clubs in Europe.
We present the four most popular sides in pre-competition predictions, analyzing their chances of living up to expectations.
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Man City back for more
The Manchester City board had spent freely in the transfer window, giving Pep one of world soccer’s most enormous transfer budgets. The aim was to become champions of Europe, but the club suffered many failed attempts. Then Erling Haaland arrived, and everything changed. They convincingly beat Milan to grab the prize finally.
But what’s next for the club? After chasing the prize for so many years, how do they react to becoming champions? Do they keep pushing, intent on global domination? City has the World Club Cup this term, where they can follow in the footsteps of the best teams like Real Madrid and become world champions.
Winning the World Cup would delight fans, but not if it came at the expense of domestic glory or success on the continent. They have started the Premier League season well, sitting top after four games with four wins. Their Champions League defense begins by sharing a group with RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade, and Young Boys. City is the favorite to win the pool and progress to the knockout rounds.
Munich fans demand more
Bayern Munich has dominated German soccer over the last decade, winning the Bundesliga almost unchallenged. Despite being streets ahead of the domestic competition, Bayern Munich has yet to enjoy the same success in Europe, which worries fans. Munich has been clear of their rivals in many seasons, allowing them to focus on winning the Champions League, but without success.
They are in Group A alongside Man Utd, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray. Champions League pools are notoriously tricky to predict, but it sure will be a shootout between Munich and Man Utd for the top spot, and both clubs should progress.
Bayern won their first three Bundesliga games and are back in the mix to defend their title, but are likely to face resistance from Bayer Leverkusen, at least in the opening months. They are undoubtedly good enough to challenge the Champions League while defending their Bundesliga crown.
Madrid owes supporters a response
Real Madrid took advantage of the problems at Barcelona, and they won the La Liga and Champions League titles two seasons ago. More of the same was expected, but the last term was a nightmare campaign for Real and its fans as they lost both titles to Man City and Barca. The fightback starts here.
Such was their collapse last season, allowing an injured Barcelona to compete and then draw clear to win the league; they owe fans a favor. Supporters couldn’t quite believe how their club allowed Barca to return from the brink to win the league.
Arsenal gunning for glory
It’s surprising to see Arsenal back in the Champions League after so long on the sidelines. Since Arsene Wenger left, the Gunners have failed to establish itself as a top-four side, meaning they are no longer a regular on the continent. But good things come to those who wait.
Arsenal is a Champions League team again, but will they bounce back with a bang? Many soccer fans believe they will feature in the later rounds, backing the Gunners to qualify from Group B with Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven, and Lens. That’s not the most challenging pool in this season’s Champions League, and Arsenal is likely to finish in pole position after five games.