The Top Five UCL Contenders – Are Liverpool Still in the Top Five?

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The 2022-2023 Champions League is starting up in earnest with the opening round of group played last week.

The Champions League is the biggest club competition in the world and, as a result, it seems like a good time to take stock of the European clubs. These five are among the favorites to win the UCL this year with the best offshore sportsbooks, but who comes out on top in our top five?

5. PSG

I didn’t want to put PSG on this list. Season after season, they dominate Ligue 1 but flame out early in the Champions League. It is too hard to ignore their talent, however. If the start of the French season is to be believed, then the attacking trio of Neymar, Killian M’Bappe, and Lionel Messi have finally figured out how to play with each other in a system that works. Part of this is that each seems to have accepted a role with less playing time if the situation requires it.

A question mark will always hang over PSG until they win the Champions League. Perhaps this is the year they get that monkey off their back.

4. Real Madrid

The Champions League holders should have been knocked out of the competition on multiple occasions last season. However, there is something about Real Madrid in Europe, and they found a way to win every time. Los Blancos got younger over the summer, shipping off Casemiro (Manchester United) and Gareth Bale (MLS), and made a big signing in Aurelien Tchouameni to bolster their midfield.

As long as Real still have Karim Benzema – a player that seems to flourish in every vital game – they will be one of the best European teams. They hammered Celtic last week. 

3. Liverpool

It has been a slow start to the season for Liverpool. They have won just two of their six Premier League matches, with injuries hamstringing Jurgen Klopp’s options. The past five years have shown how well run Liverpool is as a club, and their 9-0 demolition job of Bournemouth (it could have been 15 goals easily) shows they still have the firepower to compete on four fronts this season. But last weeks defect was a huge set back but expect them to bounce back. 

Watch for the form of Mo Salah when judging Liverpool in 2022-2023. He has been far from his best over the last 12 months, but with Egypt not playing at the 2022 World Cup, he will get some downtime to recharge.

2. Bayern Munich

The last time Bayern Munich failed to win the Bundesliga was at the end of the 2011-2012 season. They have since won the title 10 times in a row, sweeping all before them in Germany and more than handling their own in Europe, including a ChampionsLeague win in 2019-2020. There are, however, questions around Bayern this year, mainly surrounding their ability to score goals with club legend Robert Lewandowski having moved on to Barcelona over the summer.

Bayern will be just fine. The signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool was an astute one as the Senegal international was The Red’s best player last season. Rumors of Harry Kane to Bayern also persist, showing the pull they have at the global level.

1.    Manchester City

With the possible lone exception of PSG, there is no club out there that craves a Champions League win like Manchester City. The Citizens pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title last season by a single point as both had remarkable campaigns. They then went out this summer and strengthened heavily, bringing in five new players, with Kalvin Phillips and ErlingHaaland alone costing over 100 million Euros. They had a very easy opening match in Sevilla 

Phillips – a key England international – probably doesn’t even get into their best starting XI. Haaland’s signing has pushed this team to the No. 1 rank on this list. He has started the season on fire with two hat tricks in his first five Premier League games and has that striker instinct to convert all the chances City creates into goals.

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