There is an odd look to the Champions League last 16 this season, with Juventus and Barcelona conspicuous by their absence and a lopsided tie, with two of the last three finals being repeated in the very first knockout round. Which all adds up to an interesting favorites list – one where at least two of the top five on the list won’t be in the quarter-finals – with Manchester City’s hopes rated better at this relatively early stage of proceedings than they ever have been. been before…
These are the top 10 favorites for the 2023 Champions League according to the best odds available on oddschecker.com from now on.
1. Manchester City
Is this finally the year for City and Pep Guardiola to land the big one? They’re already out of Quadruple contention, so at least that’s one narrative thread out of the way, and there’s still a distinct possibility, if not a high probability (yet), that they won’t win the Premier League either. A first Champions League title would do all that just fine, but they look lopsided favourites. Many of these other teams are clearly better than Southampton.
2. Bayern Munich
Would normally like to have more than a 4-point lead domestically at this point to be able to concentrate fully on the Champions League as usual, but they should still be fine. A more significant flyer is the fact that their reward for an unblemished group stage record is a last 16 clash with third favorites PSG.
3. Paris Saint Germain
Firmly on course for their now customary French title and thus better able than your Manchester City to focus all attention on that elusive first European crown, they have paid a heavy price for finishing second to Benfica in the group stage. Rather, the fact that the second and third favorites are playing each other in a last 16 repeat of the 2020 final suggests that there should be some value further down the list, while underscoring the existence of some nagging doubts about each of these. pages.
The second and third favorites play each other in a repeat of a recent final. And so are the fourth and fifth favourites. Liverpool may be stuttering alarmingly domestically but can probably consider themselves doubly unlucky here after managing to finish second in their group despite picking up 15 points from a possible 18 and then being paired with 14-time winners and reigning champions Real Madrid.
5. Real Madrid
We’d reckon Liverpool weren’t the runners-up Real Madrid would have chosen to face, despite seeing off them for a second final in five years at the Stade de France in May. Liverpool’s home games will have offered encouragement to the champions, but they themselves have lost two of their last four league games and didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in a 1-0 Copa del Rey win at lowly Cacereno or in need of penalties to defeat Valencia in the Supercopa de Espana. But they still found a way in those knockout games, and finding a way in knockout games is what Real Madrid do better than any other team on earth.
Topping Liverpool’s group in impressive fashion with five wins in their first five games, Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16 represent a decent reward for winning their group, with Frankfurt the second team to qualify with Spurs from the teasing group. Also flying domestically, at the top of Serie A despite recently suffering a first defeat of the season, and even with the doubts over their crunching Champions League experience, at least two of the five teams ahead of them in the betting not making the last eight suggests they might still offer some value.
A struggling Dortmund represent decent last 16 opposition for the 2012 and 2021 winners, but you’d have to be pretty brave or foolish to expect too much from a Chelsea side currently 10th in the Premier League and probably flattered to be as high as that. Winning the Champions League looks both a huge long shot and like it might be their best/only way back into the competition next season.
Chelsea and Liverpool’s bigger games have taken some heat from Spurs, but the 2019 runners-up play poor football much of the time. Additionally, Antonio Conte has a miserable record in this competition, even with teams he is largely content with having only reached the last eight once. But they won their (admittedly chaotic) group and have reason enough to feel quietly confident of getting past a dangerous but non-vintage Milan side in the last 16.
Topped a group containing PSG and Juventus and have Club Brugge in the round of 16. So probably entitled to feel a bit sad to be below this Chelsea and this Spurs right now.
Worthy runners-up in the group, steamrolled by Bayern, Inter picked up 10 points from their other four games to send Barcelona into the Europa League play-off round. And while Bayern’s reward for six wins out of six was PSG in the last 16, Inter won three games out of six and finish with Porto. Life isn’t fair sometimes, is it? The Italian side is the one runner-up who clearly prefers to eliminate a group winner in the round of 16.
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