City made such short work of Leipzig that there was an inevitable shortening of their odds. The draw has not been kind but the bookies still think they will win it for the first time…
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? They’re out of Quadruple contention, so that’s one narrative thread out of the way at least and there remains a distinct possibility that they won’t win the Premier League either. A first Champions League title would make all that absolutely fine. A 7-0 thwacking of RB Leipzig was certainly conclusive in what looked like a tricky tie but two far tougher tests await if they are to make the final, with Bayern Munich to come in the quarter-final before a possible semi against Real Madrid. Or Chelsea. But probably Real.
2) 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. But their comprehensive 3-0 aggregate win over PSG’s circus reasserted their credentials for a seventh European Cup. Still, City next before Real or Chelsea…
The impressive winners of Liverpool’s group always looked likely to climb this list; they were sixth favourites before the last 16 got underway with at least two of the five ahead of them eliminated. This phenomenal team are absolutely dismantling the competition in Serie A, where their lead currently stands at a daft 18 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’ve been given a kind draw. AC Milan await in the quarters before a possible semi against Inter or Benfica.
4) 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 secured a 1-0 second-leg win as they comfortably avoided a Liverpool masterclass. Carlo Ancelotti’s men, though, are slightly less fancied than they were after a dastardly draw. We never learn…
5) Inter Milan
Edged past Porto but did so in such unconvincing fashion that it didn’t shift the needle at all. Indeed, they were seventh in this list but the draw has made the bookies reassess their prospects.
Okay, it’s reasonable enough to expect they’re going to come up short somewhere along the way but for a team that smashed seven past Club Brugge in the last 16 – condemning Scott Parker to the dole queue once more – and has spent the whole tournament thus far defying the odds, this seems a bit of a slap in the face. Inter up next.
Graham Potter isn’t about to pull a Tommy Tuchel, is he? Chelsea rallied and enjoyed the best night of the manager’s reign so far when they overcame a first-leg deficit to beat Borussia Dortmund to a place in the last eight. Since their Premier League season is all but over, they have little else to focus on other than Real Madrid in the quarter-final, but the fact they’ve slipped from fifth suggests few fancy their chances of an upset.
8) 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 Napoli, and then perhaps a Milan derby or Benfica in the semi-final.