An Arsenal supporter and occasional match-goer, Liam has been involved in football journalism for a number of years and joined the Spotlight Sports Group in 2018. He is studying for a degree in German and Spanish, can speak French too and is particularly interested in the Bundesliga and La Liga.
Qualifying for the 2022/23 Champions League is already underway with the preliminary rounds taking place this week and it is a good time to look ahead to next season and see who could represent value in the outright market.
Real Madrid are defending champions, having beaten Liverpool in the final in Paris last season but there are a handful of teams ahead of Los Blancos in the outright betting and I have taken a look at my top two early picks.
Manchester City to win the Champions League at 11/4
Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City to four of the last five Premier League titles but the club’s greatest desire – winning the Champions League – continues to elude them.
Next season, though, could finally be the one in which the Citizens go the distance.
They reached the final back in the 2020/21 campaign and crashed out in their semi-final with eventual champions Real Madrid last season but only after the second leg went to extra time.
They are edging closer and closer to winning club football’s great prize and the addition of star forward Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer can take them that one step further.
It is fair to say goals have not been a problem for City but having a focal point to their attack who can take big games by the scruff of their necks could prove to be the difference between another near-miss and lifting the trophy.
At around 6/1, Liverpool would arguably be City’s closest competitors with PSG continually struggling to get the best out of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, while Bayern Munich crashed out in the quarter-final stage of the Champions League last term.
Real Madrid to win the Champions League at 12/1
Those looking for a bigger outright bet in the 2022/23 Champions League should look no further than this year’s champions Real Madrid.
Los Blancos had to rely on some comeback wins on their way to the title but it takes more than luck alone to beat the likes of PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in the same campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti is well-versed in what it takes to win a major European trophy and still looks very much up for the job of leading the La Liga giants, who have a world class talent in their ranks in Karim Benzema.
Already their summer business has been shrewd too with versatile midfield starlet Aurelien Tchouameni joining for a reported €80 million from Monaco, whilst Antonio Rudiger is a great defensive addition on a free.
The squad has a fresher feel to it with Federico Valverde, Vinicius Junior and Eduardo Camavinga to play increasingly important roles in the team and do not be surprised to see this European juggernaut win yet another Champions League title.
Champions only last year, Chelsea should also not be ignored at double-figure prices and at around 40/1, last season’s Serie A winners Milan also look intriguing, although their potentially limited transfer pot this summer may have played a part in their price.
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