Champions League Draw: 2022/23 Guide, Group Analysis, Best Bets & Tips On How the British Teams Will Do
The Champions League draw for the group stages have been made, and there are some delicious-looking fixtures to look forward to; and fans of the six British teams taking part will all have mixed feelings about the opposition they are set to face.
Those planning to place a Champions League bet will no doubt be considering their options, and the way the balls have been drawn will dramatically affect the odds of who may or may not make it through to the knock-out stages.
The overall draw will certainly impact the early outright odds for the tournament, especially for big teams that find themselves in groups that are very likely to cause them more than a few problems.
Let’s take a closer look at how each group looks.
Jurgen Klopp will not be overly happy with the way Group A has panned out. Having to face the Dutch champions, who have a proven Champions League pedigree, a Napoli side that has started the current campaign well, as well as a potentially tricky trip to Glasgow to face Rangers.
It’s a group that could prove very challenging, but Liverpool have a great record in the competition in recent years, and their experience at this level may prove key. Over the course of the last five campaigns, Klopp has guided his Anfield side to the Champions League final on three occasions; that’s a record that can not be questioned.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst did a great job to take his Ibrox side to the group stages, the first time the Scottish giants have made it to this point since 2010-11, but they’d require something of a miracle to make it through to the next stage from this group.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid will fancy themselves getting out of Group B, even though they haven’t been in the best form this season. FC Porto, the reigning Portuguese champions, may prove a big obstacle to the Spanish side, and Bayer Leverkusen will prove no pushovers, albeit they have lost three of their opening four Bundesliga fixtures.
This looks like a daunting task, to say the least, and Group C can most definitely be considered the ‘Group of Death’ in this year’s competition. Robert Lewandowski will find himself facing his former Bayern Munich side and Czech side Viktoria Plzen, while no doubt enjoying the likely sold-out stadiums, may well be hoping to keep the score down.
Three into two won’t go, so that means that every clash between the three giants in this group will prove decisive. On paper, many might suggest that Simone Inzaghi’s San Siro side may prove the likeliest to finish third, but Inter have been very consistent in recent seasons, so Group C may prove very interesting indeed.
On the whole, Antonio Conte will have to be happy with the group that his Tottenham side have drawn. Yes, Marseille will prove tough opponents and Sporting Lisbon aren’t an easy team to beat, but the North London team will be confident of securing their progress through this group.
Eintracht Frankfurt qualified for the tournament by winning last year’s Europa League, but they did finish the Bundesliga season in the bottom half of the table, and Oliver Glasner’s team has started the domestic season very poorly indeed.
Red Bull Salzburg
Of all the British sides competing in this season’s Champions League, Chelsea will certainly be the happiest with the way the balls have come out of the proverbial hat. Yes, they’ll face Serie A title holders AC Milan, but Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb will pose little in the way of a headache for Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea don’t usually have any issues with navigating a way through the Champions League group stages, having qualified from them on 17 of the 18 occasions they’ve competed at that level.
Tuchel secured a Champions League title within months of becoming Blues boss, and it’s clearly a crucial tournament for the West London side, and they’ll be satisfied with what they have in front of them.
Red Bull Leipzig
On the face of it, this might initially seem a daunting group for Celtic fans, but take Real Madrid out of the picture, and the Scottish side may feel they have a decent shot at finishing second in Group F.
Celtic’s Aussie boss Ange Postecoglou, who led the team to the title in his first season in charge, won’t be overly anxious about meeting German side Red Bull Leipzig or Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk, and they may be a decent bet to finish runners-up to the reigning champions.
As for Real, this group will be a walk in the park for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Erling Haaland will make an immediate return to Dortmund to face his former side as Manchester City set about ending their ongoing pursuit of a first-ever Champions League title.
Pep Guardiola’s men are considered the favourites with most bookmakers, and they’ve started the Premier League season well, albeit experiencing a blip away at Newcastle United and a poor half against Crystal Palace.
The size and quality of the Spaniard’s City squad is more than capable of going very far in the tournament this season, and they should get through Group G with a minimum of fuss.
Two European giants go head to head in Group H as Lionel Messi’s PSG faces Juventus, Portuguese side Benfica and Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa. The money pumped into Paris Saint Germain is now solely with a focus on winning the Champions League, as triumphing at a domestic level is something of a walk in the park right now.
Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are, of course, a force to be reckoned with going forward; the French giants have netted 17 goals in three Ligue 1 games thus far this season, but also at the back, Christophe Galtier’s side are very solid, and they will certainly be among the front-runners this season.
How the Group Draw Impacts on Outright Bets
The size of a team’s task to make it all the way in the race to win the coveted trophy can be greatly aided by having an opening group that offers little or no resistance to their efforts, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to Manchester City.
Prior to the draw, the Premier League champions were the narrow favourites with most bookies, but now their odds have shortened.
Conversely, Barcelona have seen their odds lengthen, and Xavi’s side are now down to as long as 20/1, due in part to their sedate start to the La Liga season and also their very tough Champions League group stage draw. As a side note, that’s a bet well worth backing if you are a fan of the Catalan giants; we are, after all, talking about a team that has won the tournament four times (in the Champions League format) and has also reached at least the quarter-finals on 13 out of the last 15 seasons.
As far as other British teams in the outright betting market worthy of a mention, it’s interesting to see that Conte’s Tottenham are ahead of Chelsea in the betting with most bookmakers, which says a lot about how many view the abilities of the Italian coach to make a real fist of it as Spurs boss.
Champions League Outright Winner 2022/23
Manchester City 5/2
Bayern Munich 7/1
Real Madrid 9/1
Who Will Finish With the Champions League Top-Scorer
Given that the group stages offer strikers a strong basis for their overall Champions League haul, the way that the major teams are drawn is crucial to any bet you might place on the tournament’s Golden Boot. So, with that in mind, how has the draw affected the odds in this market?
Haaland has gone off like a train in the Premier League, and the fact that City have an easy group is the main reason the odds on the Norwegian have come in dramatically. Interestingly, odds on Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah have gone out a little, and the Egyptian is a very good outside bet, given his great record in the competition.
Another potential longshot is Sadio Mane, who is around 25/1 and a very decent bet.
Champions League Top Scorer Outright Betting 2022/23
Erling Haaland 7/2
Kylian Mbappe 6/1
Robert Lewandowski 9/1
Karim Benzema 13/1
Mohamed Salah 16/1
Harry Kane 16/1