The 2023/24 Champions League season promises to be exciting and entertaining – who will come out on top?
Champions League 2023/24 winner odds
🔮 Champions League winner predictions
The Champions League is the biggest club competition in the world and the 2023/24 edition is on the horizon.
This will be the final season with the current format of 32 teams being split into eight groups of four. Next term there will be an enlargement of the group stage, with four more sides taking part.
Manchester City were the European champions last time out, as Pep Guardiola’s side won the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.
It was the 15th time an English team had won the competition, with Spain the only country to have supplied more winners (21).
Who will be lifting the trophy on 1 June 2024 at Wembley Stadium? Let’s take a look at some of the leading contenders.
Manchester City strong favourites to retain their crown (2/1)
Manchester City had suffered a series of near-misses in the Champions League before last season.
Guardiola’s men contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on more than one occasion, while at other times they were knocked out by second-tier European clubs like Monaco and Lyon.
But the best team in Europe finally got over the line in 2022/23. City turned on the style against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, before edging out Inter 1-0 in the Istanbul showpiece.
City still have one of the strongest sides on the continent and Guardiola is now firmly established as an all-time managerial great.
The reigning kings of the continent are undoubtedly the team to beat, but bear in mind that only Real Madrid have retained this trophy in the Champions League era.
⚽ Manchester City are the 2/1 favourites to be crowned European champions with Sky Bet ⚽
Bayern Munich tipped to challenge under Thomas Tuchel (5/1)
By their high standards, Bayern Munich had a disappointing campaign last time out. They bowed out of the Champions League in the last eight and only won the Bundesliga title because Borussia Dortmund slipped up on the final day.
Bayern should be much stronger this time around. Thomas Tuchel, a Champions League winner with Chelsea in 2021, will have had a full pre-season to work with his squad.
And Bayern still have an excellent squad. There is quality from front to back and the fact they do not have too much domestic competition may allow them to focus on Europe.
Bayern were well beaten by City last time out, but they are still one of the best teams on the continent and deserve to be among the favourites.
⚽ If you believe Bayern Munich will win the Champions League, back them at 5/1 with bet365 ⚽
Real Madrid can never be written off when it comes to Europe (8/1)
Champions the season before last and 14-time winners overall, Real Madrid are perennial candidates to lift this trophy.
Carlo Ancelotti remains at the helm despite speculation linking him with the Brazil job in recent months.
The experienced Italian knows what it takes to win this tournament, having done so on four occasions up to now.
Madrid will be without Karim Benzema this season, however. They have already signed Joselu but will no doubt be looking to add another proven goalscorer to their attack.
The rest of the side looks very strong, particularly in the centre of the park following the addition of Jude Bellingham to an already-talented pool of midfielders.
⚽ Real Madrid are bet365’s third-favourites to win the Champions League at 8/1 ⚽
PSG and Barcelona aiming to challenge for the prize (8/1, 12/1)
Manchester City ended their long-time quest to win the Champions League in 2022/23. Paris Saint-Germain will be aiming to follow suit this time around.
Lionel Messi has departed the Parc des Princes after a two-year spell. He may be the greatest player of all time, but Messi’s departure could actually make PSG more balanced.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe remain (for now), and Luis Enrique has been appointed to try and bring the Champions League trophy to the French capital.
The Spaniard won this tournament in 2015 as manager of Barcelona, who will be looking to get back on top in Europe this season.
The Blaugrana suffered back-to-back group stage exits in the last couple of years, but they should be handed a kinder draw this time given their status as La Liga champions.
⚽ PSG are available at 10/1 and Barcelona at 12/1 to lift the trophy with BetVictor ⚽
Arsenal and Manchester United are among the outsiders (10/1, 16/1)
With three appearances in the final since 2018, Liverpool have been England’s most successful side in Europe in recent seasons.
They will be absent from the 2023/24 edition, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United joining Manchester City.
Arsenal are given the best chance of victory by the bookies. Mikel Arteta’s men ran City close in the Premier League last term and have strengthened their squad over the summer.
Manchester United will be aiming to make an impression on their return to Europe’s top table, but it would take a huge effort for either of these teams to claim the prize.
Napoli, the reigning Serie A champions, are available at the same price as Erik ten Hag’s team.
⚽ Arsenal (10/1) and Manchester United (16/1) are outside bets to win the tournament with bet365 ⚽
📺 How to watch the Champions League
- Location: Europe.
- Dates: 19 September 2023 – 1 June 2024
- How to watch: TNT Sports.
About the author
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.
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