The UEFA is back at it again with their fun annual games and is now entering the group stage, looking for a winner. This year, the Group Stage started on August 31 and will run until December, and the competition field was reduced to 32 teams, 26 of which qualified from finishing near the top of the best leagues in Europe.
Meanwhile, the remaining six will make their way through the qualifying rounds. If you’re one of the many people looking forward to the end of the Champions League, you should look into this list of favorite teams to win this season.
Manchester City is the defending champions for this season, and after winning the last Champions League, they’re still heavily favored to win this season.
As part of Group A, the competition will be relatively high, especially since the group is the home of several giants in the league. Moreover, Manchester City’s sports betting odds still need to prove their last treble was more than just a flash in the pan and establish their strength.
On the other hand, after just a single summer, the Manchester City squad drastically changed. Aside from star right winger Riyad Mahrez, defender Aymeric Laporte, and midfielder Ilkay Gundongan departing from the team, Manchester City will bring new players to fill the gaps. Seeing how the team will work on this hitch as they defend their title will be a sight.
Following Man City is Bayern Munich, also considered one of the strongest. Despite last year’s regrettable quarterfinal exit against Manchester City, Munich has been trying to regroup, and after getting forward Harry Kane, the team now has one of the best strikers in the league.
Munich is still strong, and Kane’s addition to the team strengthens their offense. With him on the front line, fans can hope for the titles, especially that Kane is considered as someone hungry for a Champions League crown. This means that the fight for the title is still on for Bayern Munich.
Next on this list is from Group C, where there seems to be a little imbalance in power compared to the other groups. Group C is the home of Real Madrid, Napoli, Union Berlin, and SC Braga. It seems that Napoli and Real Madrid are way stronger than Union Berlin and Braga. As such, fans are now discussing who will possibly take the third spot in the group.
Although they failed to get Kylian Mbappe and even lost forward Karim Benzema for Al-Ittihad, Real Madrid fans shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Since Madrid remains one of Europe’s biggest and most successful clubs, they will continue to hold Italy’s mantle after last year’s final. Also, manager Carlo Ancelotti is confident of what Real Madrid can offer.
Arsenal fans should be in high spirits after the team returned to the continental competition for the first time in six years. Coach Mikel Arteta has helped Arsenal to be one of the strongest teams in the Premier League and the Group B. Although they still lack some top-level European soccer experience, a game against the group would become a beneficial learning experience.
Moreover, one of the most anticipated games in this group is between Arsenal and Sevilla. Although Arsenal FC has a significant chance of winning Group B, the match against Sevilla can be challenging even for this team. Chances can improve if they continue to be in excellent condition.
In Group H, FC Barcelona is up and ready to go for the Group Stage. Compared to a year ago, Barcelona has also leveled up. Their team is now one of the favorites to win this season. Compared to last season, FC Barcelona was in the toughest draw with Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.
Currently, it’s believed that the team has one of the more manageable groups and is projected to top Group H easily. Though FC Porto is also considered relatively strong, Barcelona’s game against them can be tricky but not impossible.
Additionally, FC Barcelona attempted to get the superstar seven-time Ballon d’Or title holder Lionel Messi back after the news that he didn’t continue at Paris Saint-Germain. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t bring him back, but they’re able to earn Ilkay Gundongan.
The Group Stage is another sports event you should never miss in the last quarter of the year. In this list, you caught a glimpse of who are the possible teams who will be dominating the scene. Though it’s still a bit uncertain to conclude in this early stage, this list gives you the impression of who has the best chance of earning the title.
Also, everyone is improving fast, and it’s up for the games to unveil their real strength. As such, don’t miss the Group Stage and tune in to your favorite sports channel!