Which team it the favourite to be crowned UEFA Champions League winners in 2022/23?
The Champions League returns this week as the competition’s knockout rounds begin. The remaining teams will go head-to-head in a bid to be crowned Europe’s best this season and there are some mouth-watering last-16 ties.
So those of you interested in how to stream the UEFA Champions League live, we look at the five favourites to win this season’s tournament
Real Madrid – 10/1
Real Madrid are the defending champions after an extraordinary run to success last season, with the Spanish giants embarking on a fairytale run of late drama and compelling comebacks.
Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City were all beaten in dramatic fashion over two legs, before Carlo Ancelotti’s side rode their luck in the final to beat Liverpool 1-0 in Paris.
Liverpool 🆚 Real Madrid memories…#UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/fKGDBaekdB
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 7, 2022
It was a record-extending 14th coronation for Real Madrid, who continued their remarkable record in this competition. Their 14 triumphs are twice as many as the next highest side AC Milan (7), while the club have won all eight of their finals in the Champions League era. Not since 1981 have Real Madrid featured in a European decider and come out on the losing side.
Despite that record, the Spanish champions are just fifth favourites to win the 2022/23 tournament. It’s been a disappointing season so far with Real 11 points behind Barcelona in La Liga’s title race. Karim Benzema’s injury issues and the lack of an alternative to the Ballon d’Or winner has contributed to that form, but the 35-year-old should be fit for the club’s last-16 meeting with Liverpool – a rematch of the 2022 final.
Liverpool – 10/1
Liverpool have endured a difficult domestic season in the Premier League, but often save their best for European competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have reached three of the last five Champions League finals and were runners-up last season, losing to Real Madrid in Paris.
The six-time winners welcomed back Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota during Monday’s Merseyside Derby win over Everton and with Virgil van Dijk – an unused substitute at Anfield – and Ibrahima Konate also closing in on returns, Klopp will be confident that he has the tools available to go deep into the tournament.
🎯 Trent on target! 👊@LFC || #UCL pic.twitter.com/58xn2CFcA8
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 7, 2022
The Reds face a difficult last-16 tie with Real Madrid, having finished as runners-up to an impressive Napoli outfit in the group stage. Liverpool have not won in the last six meetings between the clubs in Europe, but will hope an atmospheric Anfield can inspire the side to a positive result when the sides meet in the first leg on February 21.
Paris Saint-Germain – 8/1
Can Paris Saint-Germain end their wait for Champions League success this season?
More than a decade after the Qatari investment into the club, PSG’s wait continues for European glory. There have been near misses with runners-up and semi-final finishes in the last three seasons, but the club’s owners will want to see a return on their investment.
In Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, PSG boast the most star-studded forward line in world football. That trio have scored 57 goals between them already this season, with Mbappe the joint-leading scorer in the Champions League this season with seven.
™️ Trademark Mbappé in the group stage ☄️#UCL pic.twitter.com/kLtlifro0l
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 13, 2023
Finding the balance behind that front three has proven problematic in Europe however, including during last season’s exit to Real Madrid. Christophe Galtier has the squad to win this competition, but PSG must first navigate a daunting last-16 tie with Bayern Munich.
Having finished level with Benfica on points, head-to-head meetings, goal difference, and goals scored in the group stage, PSG were consigned to a runners-up finish by virtue of away goals scored. The result is now a face off against one of the tournament favourites early on.
Bayern Munich – 11/2
Bayern Munich are second-favourites to be crowned Champions League winners this season, with four of the bookmakers’ five favourites meeting in the last 16.
The German giants made a mockery of pre-tournament ‘Group of Death’ suggestions after breezing into the knockout rounds with six wins from six in a group containing both Barcelona and Inter Milan.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side are currently in their customary position at the top of the Bundesliga, but a run of three consecutive draws last month has seen Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund move within striking distance.
💫 𝐶𝐻𝐴𝑀𝑃𝐼𝑂𝑁𝑆 𝐿𝐸𝐴𝐺𝑈𝐸 𝑀𝐴𝑇𝐶𝐻𝐷𝐴𝑌 𝐼𝑁 𝑃𝐴𝑅𝐼𝑆 💫 #packmas #PSGFCB #FCBayern #UCL pic.twitter.com/YjI21mXFf6
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) February 14, 2023
Bayern have, however, lost just once in 30 games in all competitions this season and progressed from the group stage with 18 goals scored and just two conceded. Jamal Musiala has starred in a coming-of-age season for the Bavarians, while Bayern’s brilliant wide options can trouble any team in the tournament.
Even given Robert Lewandowski’s exit last summer, Bayern boast one of the most well-balanced and talented squads in Europe.
Manchester City – 7/2
Manchester City are once again the favourites to win the Champions League this season, as the club chase elusive European success.
Pep Guardiola has made no secret of his desire to win this competition with the Premier League side, who have suffered agonising near misses in recent campaigns.
Defeat in the 2021 final to Chelsea came as a surprise, before City capitulated in last season’s semi-final. City were two goals ahead on aggregate heading into the 90th minute of their second leg with Real Madrid, before Rodrygo struck twice for Real Madrid to force extra-time and Karim Benzema’s penalty completed the comeback in the added period.
Aesthetically pleasing Mahrez pass ✅@ManCity || #UCL pic.twitter.com/TiS5HXcLhX
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 3, 2023
It was the latest in a series of scars for this side in Europe, who have made an unwanted habit of falling short when favourites for success.
City sought to solve their Champions League issues with the signing of Erling Haaland last summer and the forward has had a record-breaking start at the Etihad. It’s 25 league goals already this season for Haaland, who boasts a frightening record on this stage.
The 22-year-old has scored 28 goals in just 23 appearances in the Champions League, a better goal-per-game ratio (1.22) than any player to have scored 24+ goals. He can be a difference-maker in the latter stages of this tournament.
Read – Five talking points ahead of the Champions League action
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