Manchester City battered Bayern Munich in the first leg and the bookies now think they will win it for the first time. But there’s always Real Madrid…
So here are the favourites for the 2023 Champions League according to the best odds available at oddschecker.com as of… now.
1) Manchester City
Is this finally the year for City and Pep Guardiola to land the Big One? The Treble is still on but they would doubtless settle for popping their Champions League cherry. They have been backed in to evens after smashing 10 without reply past RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich. They take a three-goal lead to Munich before a possible semi against Real Madrid. Or Chelsea. No, Real.
2) Real Madrid
Looked in real bother when 2-0 down after 15 minutes of their last-16 first-leg at Liverpool, the team Madrid have beaten in two of the last five finals. A couple of hours and five goals later, Madrid did not look in any kind of bother at all as Liverpool’s propensity for heavy defeats reared its head again. Winning Champions League knockout games is what Real Madrid do better than any other team on earth, and they made light work of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the first leg of their quarter-final. But many teams have made light work of Chelsea…
3) Inter Milan
Third in the betting on account of a two-goal lead over Benfica after the away leg of their quarter-final clash. Impressive though it was, it doesn’t convince us of their credentials, but some punters must fancy them. A possible Milan derby awaits in the semi-final unless this lot get their act together…
The impressive winners of Liverpool’s group are absolutely dismantling the competition in Serie A, where their lead currently stands at a daft 16 points. They are now through to the last eight of the Champions League for the very first time after disposing of Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt with ease and they were given what appeared a kind draw, but they must come from behind against AC Milan in the quarters.
5) AC Milan
Scraped past a desperately poor Tottenham side to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 11 years. Between them and possible redemption in Istanbul is a second-leg in Napoli – 0-0 will do – and then perhaps a Milan derby or Benfica in the semi-final.
6) Bayern Munich
Would normally expect to have the Bundesliga pretty much sewn up by this point in order to be able to concentrate fully on the Champions League as is customary. Instead find themselves locked in a title race where they find themselves only two points clear of Borussia Dortmund. That reality prompted them to sack Julian Nagelsmann and hire Thomas Tuchel but City steamrollered them 3-0 in the first leg of the quarter-final. It doesn’t help when their players are fighting each other.
🇪🇸 Real Madrid vs Chelsea 🏴
🇵🇹 Benfica vs Inter 🇮🇹
🏴 Man City vs Bayern 🇩🇪
🇮🇹 Milan vs Napoli 🇮🇹
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 17, 2023
The Portuguese side smashed seven past Club Brugge in the last 16 – condemning Scott Parker to the dole queue once more – but they finally seem to have come up short in quarter-finals. They have defied the odds repeatedly, though in this year’s competitions so perhaps a comeback at the San Siro is possible.
Whatever slim chance Frank Lampard might have had of pulling a Di Matteo seems to have gone after a first leg defeat to Real Madrid. Can Frank inspire a 3-0 win over the European champions in the second leg? Not bloody likely.