With the Champions League Quarter-Finals now complete, the proper business end of the competition will truly begin. Find out who the Champions League favourites to win it all are, plus how and why those teams could do it.
Image: The Champions League trophy on display. Credit - Tim Reckmann, Flickr
Last Updated: 20/04/23 at 13:05 pm
The Champions League is coming towards the real business end of the competition. The Round of 16 and Quarter-finals are complete, and the Semi-Final matchups are confirmed. Now that we are down to the final four teams, there is a clearer picture of who will be playing at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey and fighting for the coveted Champions League trophy.
So with that said, we have taken a look at the teams that are left in the competition and are listing the Champions League favourites, and why they are favoured to win it all.
Manchester City have been one of, if not the favourites to win the Champions League every year for the past couple of years. And while it hasn’t quite panned out for them yet, this year might very well be the year they finally do it.
The group stage was for the most part a formality, winning four games and drawing two. They scored 14 goals and only let in two, finishing five points ahead of second-place Borussia Dortmund.
In their Round of 16 matchups against RB Leipzig, the first leg at Leipzig played out to a 1-1 draw, with many fans, pundits and critics doubting City once again.
The second leg put all those doubts to rest, with an emphatic 7-0 win at the Etihad. It was a stunningly ruthless performance from the Citizens, with a main focus on talisman Erling Haaland, who bagged the match ball after scoring five goals in the game - making him only the third player to score five in a Champions League game (after Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano).
City faced by far their toughest test of the competition in the Quarter-Finals, being drawn against German giants Bayern Munich, who had been hotly tipped by many to win the whole competition.
However, they were no match for Pep's Manchester City team, losing 3-0 at the Etihad and being held to a draw at the Allianz Arena thanks to an Erling Haaland away goal as the Sky Blues cruised through to the semis.
City’s strengths greatly outweigh their weaknesses, with the negatives rarely ever on show. Pep Guardiola has created a team that is able to control the game in every area of the pitch, with much of the play focusing on their star man, Kevin De Bruyne.
De Bruyne in the middle of the pitch creates everything. The play goes through him, and when he’s at his best, he and City are unstoppable. And he is almost always at his best.
The real problem for Man City, though, seems to be their ability to adapt to unfamiliar opponents in Europe. If they can get a hold of the game and control it, they can and will be fine.
But if for any reason they can’t, you'll see a much more cautious City side and one that looks like it can be broken. This is something we have seen over the years and is why they haven’t been able to find success in Europe as of yet.
However, this year may be different. While they aren’t topping the Premier League table, they are still the big powerhouses and are looking stronger in Europe than ever before. For that, we have them as our outright favourites to win the Champions League this year.Buy Manchester City v Real Madrid - Champions League Semi-final hospitality
Masters of the competition
The most successful side in Champions League history and the reigning champions after a surprise victory in last year’s campaign, Real Madrid can never be counted out.
In the group stage, they finished top of their group with four wins, one draw and one loss.
As for their Round of 16 matchup against Liverpool, the first leg was phenomenal. After going down 2-0 early on, Real fought back to make it level again at 2-2 by halftime, with both goals courtesy of Brazilian star Vinicius Jr.
In the second half, they came out the gates strong going ahead within two minutes of the half and finding a further two through the reigning Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema to silence the hostile Anfield crowd and take a commanding hold of the tie into the second leg.
Their job at the Bernabeu was to simply see it through, which could have been difficult, given Liverpool’s penchant for upsetting Spanish sides.
But they managed the game well, never really looking like conceding and even get one more goal through Benzema again to seal a 1-0 win on the night, a 6-2 aggregate win in the tie, and their place in the next round.
They were drawn against Chelsea in the quarters, and dispatched them with ease, winning 2-0 in both legs for a total aggregate score of 4-0 to advance into the competition's penultimate round.
As for the rest of the tournament, as we have said, you can’t count Real out. They can produce moments of magic out of nowhere.
Hardly, anyone, had them winning the Champions League last year, yet they went and did it. It is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that they could do it again this year.
These are our two top picks for the favourites to win this year's Champions League, and we feel confident that one of these teams will be crowned champions.
This is no disrespect to any of the other teams still in either, as we know that anything can happen in knock-out football. Chelsea proved this with their 2021 Champions League victory over heavy favourites Manchester City. You definitely can’t count anyone out.
Italy will feel good about their chances of one of their teams winning it, as they still have Inter and AC Milan left in the competition - more representation than any other nation.
While we don’t see either of these teams overcoming the two listed above, we do acknowledge that anything can happen in the Champions League, so we absolutely will not be counting them out completely.
How to watch Champions League games live
The Champions League competition is starting to heat up, and every game is as serious as it can possibly be. This is where you see the best teams and players step up and make their mark.
You can witness these teams and players in person with hospitality packages and premium tickets to some of the teams still in the competition.
With Seat Unique, you can book official premium tickets and hospitality to fixtures for Manchester City's titanic CL Semi-Final clash with Real Madrid from the best seats in the house.Buy Manchester City v Real Madrid - Champions League Semi-final hospitality
You can also register your interest in hospitality packages to the Champions League final in Istanbul, Turkey on our website now.Register interest in Champions League final hospitality