As the domestic club season gets back into the swing of things following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, it won’t be long before the Champions League gets back underway. There is an exciting collection of last-16 ties to look forward to, and football fans are already beginning to examine today’s football bets in anticipation.
Of course, the ultimate aim for any side when they reach the knockout stage is to win the competition, and the final in Istanbul in May is the glittering prize shimmering before every team as they resume their Champions League campaign. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three teams that we feel are best positioned to mount a charge for glory this season.
Every season, Bayern Munich are one of the main contenders for the Champions League, and it feels as though they are especially motivated to get their hands on the big-eared trophy this time around.
Julian Nagelsmann has come under some pressure this season, but Bayern’s form in the Champions League has been flawless. In a difficult group containing Inter Milan, Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen, the German champions won six out of six, scoring 18 goals and conceding just 2.
It's no surprise that they are being touted as one of the favourites to win the Champions League, but they face a tough task in the round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain, who will themselves have sights set on winning the competition. If Bayern can come through that difficult tie and make the most of the second leg in Bavaria, you’d expect them to gain the confidence needed to go all the way.
Every season, we ask if this will be year that Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City finally get their hands on the Champions League trophy, but every time they fall short. For all City’s dominance in the Premier League, the Champions League has proved elusive thus far, and Guardiola will be desperate to add it to his honours list as City boss.
This time around, the presence of Erling Haaland greatly increases City’s chance of success in the Champions League, as they have a reliable out-and-out goalscorer who could make all the difference when push comes to shove in a closely fought match. City take on RB Leipzig in the round of 16, and you’d expect them to have too much quality for the German outfit. With a favourable draw, City could quickly establish themselves as the favourites in the football tips from Paddy Power experts.
At the beginning of the season, you would have got long odds on Napoli winning the Champions League, but after a stellar start to the campaign in both Europe and Serie A, we now have to start taking them seriously as contenders.
Luciano Spaletti’s side, powered this season by the form talents such as Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, were sensational in the group stage, opening with a 4-1 win over Liverpool and going from strength to strength to top the group. They are the top scorers in the competition after firing 20 goals in six games.
With a favourable last-16 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt, it will be interesting to see if Napoli can maintain their form and go all the way in the Champions League.