Champions League group stage predictions 2022/23: Odds & expert picks for how UEFA's top club tournament will play out

Champions League group stage predictions 2022/23: Odds & expert picks for how UEFA's top club tournament will play out

The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage has been set, with mouth-watering match-ups across the board.

Manchester City are the leading club in the betting to win the competition, which would be the first European title in their history if they can justify those predictions.

Defending champions Real Madrid, meanwhile, are also among the fancied teams, but they may find it harder to complete a repeat and extend their European record to a 15th title, given the presence of a host of other talented clubs.

Like Man City, French champions Paris Saint-Germain continue to push towards a first-ever Champions League crown as well, with Kylian Mbappe leading the Ligue 1 side for another run this season, alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi.

There is always a Group of Death in any draw, and this year’s has provided that in the form of a pool that sees Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Inter Milan all grouped together.

Here, The Sporting News brings you an early look at how the group stage could play out, as teams battle for a spot in the knockout round.

MORE: A full look back at how the UEFA Champions League group stage draw unfolded

Betting odds to win 2022/23 Champions League

Manchester City are still the oddsmakers’ pick to win the Champions League title, having been drawn into a manageable Group G alongside Sevilla, Dortmund and Danish outfit Copenhagen.

PSG and City’s fellow Premier League foes Liverpool are behind them, with both those clubs locked in groups with tough opponents, but certainly nothing to fear.

Bayern Munich are also well placed in the early betting, but they have been handed arguably the toughest draw of any of the leading contenders. The German champions will face Barcelona and Inter Milan, as well as Viktoria Plzen, in Group C.

Defending champions Real Madrid were afforded a much softer Group F challenge, but still have not climbed from their fifth-placed early ranking, as yet again the bookies seem to under value Los Blancos.

MORE: Big Champions League stars set to face their old clubs in the 2022/23 group stage

Odds for leading sides, correct as of Aug. 26

ClubOdds to Win UCL
(USA: DraftKings)
Odds to Win UCL
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to Win UCL
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Man City+2755/22.52
PSG+4005/14.04
Liverpool+5505/14.49
Bayern Munich+50013/24.95
Real Madrid+8509/16.45
Tottenham+140014/110.08
Chelsea+140014/110.55
Barcelona+140020/112.01
Atletico Madrid+250028/118.63
Juventus+280028/123.44
Inter Milan+400040/131.01
Borussia Dortmund+650050/133.82
AC Milan+3500150/140.74
Ajax+6500100/156.40
RB Leipzig+6500250/157.10
Napoli+6500100/174.90

Odds, picks & predictions for Champions League group stage

Group A

PotTeamCountry
1AjaxNetherlands
2LiverpoolEngland
3NapoliItaly
4RangersScotland

Dutch champions Ajax were elevated to Pot 1 to fill the spot created by Real Madrid’s successful pursuit of both the Champions League and La Liga in 2021/22, and that is to Liverpool’s benefit.

Ajax lost prolific striker Sebastian Haller to Borussia Dortmund over the summer. They added Steven Bergwijn, who is off to a flying start in the Eredivisie, but this is a weaker side than in previous seasons, and Liverpool should have no problems here.

In fact, Napoli are likely to be the stiffest competition in Group A for the Reds, with the Serie A side also off to a spectacular start in the Italian top flight. Still, there should be no slips here for Jurgen Klopp’s team, despite their early struggles in the Premier League.

Rangers already bettered one strong Dutch side in PSV to advance through the playoff round, and they are matched up well against Ajax.

It will be tough for them to make their way through to the knockout stage, but they still have a good shot at occupying the third spot, which affords a drop to the Europa League knockout rounds.

Predicted Finish: Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers, Ajax

Group A Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Liverpool-2102/7, 1/121.31
Ajax+55011/2, 1/16.54
Napoli+7006/1, 11/106.54
Rangers+150014/1, 11/419.38

Group B

PotTeamCountry
1PortoPortugal
2Atletico MadridSpain
3Bayer LeverkusenGermany
4Club BruggeBelgium

Atletico Madrid couldn’t have asked for a better draw, and coach Diego Simeone will consider himself in with a great chance of steering his side out of this group.

Portuguese sides in general have fallen off the pace of the other top European leagues, so while Porto present the biggest challenge to Madrid here, there is seemingly little standing in the way of the La Liga side from reaching the knockout rounds.

Bayer Leverkusen have had a poor start to their season in the Bundesliga, and they look like a meek Champions League participant this year, even possibly falling to the bottom as Club Brugge, the experienced Belgian side who can call upon former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and prolific Canadian striker Cyle Larin, could find themselves in the Europa League spot come the final reckoning.

Predicted Finish: Atletico Madrid, Porto, Club Brugge, Bayer Leverkusen

Group B Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Atletico Madrid-1055/6, 1/41.77
Porto+3303/1, 5/63.90
Bayer Leverkusen+3503/1, 5/64.35
Club Brugge+100011/1, 10/314.38

Group C

PotTeamCountry
1Bayern MunichGermany
2BarcelonaSpain
3Inter MilanItaly
4Viktoria PlzenCzech Republic

This year’s Champions League ‘Group of Death’ is a spectacular one.

New Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski will face his former club Bayern Munich, a match-up that left even Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn unable to hold back a chuckle.

Add in Italian giants Inter Milan, who are thought to be serious Scudetto contenders this year, and it’s likely to be easily the most tightly-contested group of them all. Good luck and happy hunting to Czech side Viktoria Plzen!

Still, there’s a clear pecking order. It will be difficult for anyone to catch Bayern, who look like a juggernaut again this season. They’ve shored things up at the back, and Sadio Mane has hit the ground running in Bavaria. Add in a rejuvenated Serge Gnabry and a breakout Jamal Musiala, and that’s an unstoppable squad easily capable of reaching the final.

The real fight will be for second, where Barcelona and Inter will battle hard for a spot in the knockout rounds.

Barca have a reinforced squad with plenty of new attacking talent, but their midfield and backline still have holes. Inter are also an imperfect team, with Romelu Lukaku returning but still questions yet at the back.

Look for Barcelona to just win out, as Italian clubs must prove they belong after years of disappointing European showings.

Given the odds, it’s probably worth a punt on Inter Milan to qualify, as it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that Barcelona get left out of the knockout stage for second straight year.

Predicted Finish: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen

Group C Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Bayern Munich-1258/11, 1/71.59
Barcelona+1702/1, 1/22.71
Inter Milan+7004/1, 4/59.00
Viktoria Plzen+10000100/1, 25/198.20

Group D

PotTeamCountry
1Eintracht FrankfurtGermany
2TottenhamEngland
3SportingPortugal
4MarseilleFrance

Like Atletico Madrid, Tottenham pulled one of the softest draws of the group stage, with Antonio Conte sure to be very pleased.

Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt was the weakest Pot 1 team by far, as the defending Europa League champions lost key playmaker Filip Kostic to Juventus in the summer. They were toothless against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup a few weeks back, and present little challenge here.

Marseille look the best bet for a second-place finish behind Spurs, with new arrival Alexis Sanchez in their midst, but the French club has been on a rollercoaster ride for years now and are unpredictable at the best of times.

Meanwhile, Sporting have already been blasted once by Porto in the Portuguese league early this season, showing a clear gulf in talent to not even Europe’s best, but the best in their own domestic league.

Spurs are the pick to win this group, and they could also be a force in the knockout rounds.

The bottom two sides will be battling for a spot in the Europa League, and that race will be tight. Eintracht Frankfurt’s European magic from last season should carry over just enough to see them back to try and defend their Europa League crown.

Predicted Finish: Tottenham, Marseille, Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting

Group D Betting Odds (odds correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Tottenham-1804/9, 1/71.48
Eintracht Frankfurt+60011/2, 5/46.31
Marseille+60011/2, 6/56.31
Sporting+7507/1, 15/87.76

Group E

PotTeamCountry
1AC MilanItaly
2ChelseaEngland
3RB SalzburgAustria
4Dinamo ZagrebCroatia

A top-heavy group seemingly has only two real contenders, much to the delight of AC Milan and Chelsea.

Chelsea have looked lost early in the Premier League season, with Thomas Tuchel unwilling to change his tactical approach to fit the squad they currently possess. That could have left the Blues vulnerable in a tougher group, and while RB Salzburg had Champions League success in reaching the knockout stages last season, theirs is just not a strong enough squad to give Chelsea a run for the second qualifying spot from this group.

They should, however, have enough to see off Dinamo Zagreb to claim the Europa League position, with the Croatian side not looking to offer too much of a challenge given their passage through Champions League qualifying.

Predicted Finish: AC Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb

Group E Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Chelsea-2501/3, 1/201.33
AC Milan+3503/1, 1/33.80
RB Salzburg+120010/1, 15/811.40
Dinamo Zagreb+550050/1, 14/155.60

Group F

PotTeamCountry
1Real MadridSpain
2RB LeipzigGermany
3Shakhtar DonetskUkraine
4CelticScotland

MORE: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema takes first step towards Ballon d’Or with UEFA Best Player award

Defending champions Real Madrid have been handed one of the easier draws of the competition, and they should have no trouble topping Group F.

Celtic could present a serious challenger to the other knockout spot, which would be a huge achievement for the Scottish side.

RB Leipzig captured Timo Werner from Chelsea in the transfer window, but the loss of Tyler Adams shielding the backline has proven massive, and the team has shipped goals to start the Bundesliga season, without a win through their opening three league games.

Shakhtar Donetsk, meanwhile, could struggle mightily after FIFA ruled that foreign players can suspend their contracts with Ukrainian clubs due to the fallout of the Russian invasion.

Predicted Finish: Real Madrid, Celtic, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk

Group F Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Real Madrid-3701/6, 1/501.18
RB Leipzig+5505/1, 2/55.56
Celtic+170014/1, 2/113.77
Shakhtar Donetsk+550050/1, 10/145.70

Group G

PotTeamCountry
1Man CityEngland
2SevillaSpain
3Borussia DortmundGermany
4CopenhagenDenmark

Like fellow Premier League giants Liverpool, Manchester City been handed a fascinating group-stage draw, with three other beatable teams, but certainly no pushovers.

Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui will have his perennial European pests ready to play, and Borussia Dortmund are a flawed but improved side. Still, Man City should top this group with no problems.

The real battle will be for second, where Sevilla and Dortmund could be a thorn in each others’ sides. Neither has looked convincing in domestic action early on, with Sevilla especially struggling through their opening two La Liga games.

Still, the Spanish side seems better equipped, while Dortmund will hope to prove their defensive woes are a thing of the past.

Erling Haaland’s return to Borussia Dortmund will be an interesting side-plot to this group.

Predicted Finish: Man City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen

Group G Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
Man City-3701/5, 1/251.21
Borussia Dortmund+6005/1, 8/136.11
Sevilla+10009/1, 5/49.28
Copenhagen+490040/1, 10/151.80

Group H

PotTeamCountry
1PSGFrance
2JuventusItaly
3BenficaPortugal
4Maccabi HaifaIsrael

Another top-heavy group puts PSG and Juventus almost surely into the knockout rounds.

Benfica and Maccabi Haifa both could cause the occasional problem, but not enough to knock the two European giants off their perch.

The Portuguese club in particular has a very disciplined defensive unit that blanked Dynamo Kyiv en route to a 5-0 aggregate win across both playoff legs.

Maccabi Haifa was less than convincing in the playoff round, narrowly edging through their final fixture against Red Star Belgrade thanks to a 90th-minute own goal that saw progress 5-4 on aggregate, and they seemingly pose little threat.

Predicted Finish: PSG, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa

Group H Betting Odds (correct as of Aug. 26)

ClubOdds to win group
(USA: FanDuel)
Odds: Win, Qualify
(UK: SkyBet)
Odds to win group
(Canada: SportsInteraction)
PSGTBC1/3, 1/251.38
JuventusTBC5/2, 1/43.37
BenficaTBC11/1, 9/411.01
Maccabi HaifaTBC150/1, 22/1122.00