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Champions League

Champions League 2023-24: Predictions and free football betting tips for Groups A-D

Free football tips, best bets and predictions for the Champions League Groups A-D

Arsenal are fancied to top Group B in this season's Champions League
Arsenal are fancied to top Group B in this season's Champions LeagueCredit: Stuart MacFarlane

Best bets

Bayern Munich to win Group A & Arsenal to win Group B
1pt double pays 1.37 with BoyleSports

Napoli to win Group C
1pt 12-5 Coral, Ladbrokes

Benfica to qualify from Group D
3pts 8-13 general


Champions League predictions Group A

Group betting: 8-15 Bayern Munich, 9-4 Manchester United, 12-1 Galatasaray, 50-1 Copenhagen

Once upon a time knocking Barcelona out of Europe would have sparked wild celebrations but Bayern Munich and Manchester United both ended up empty-handed despite beating the Catalan giants in 2022-23.

Bayern won all six Champions League group matches, qualifying for the last 16 alongside Inter at the expense of Barca, who then lost 4-3 on aggregate to United in the Europa League playoff round.

Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils went out in the quarter-finals, blowing a 2-0 lead in a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Sevilla, and it is hard to see them upsetting Bayern in Group A.

An outstanding performance from Manchester City ended Bayern’s run at the last-eight stage but the German champions should be stronger this term with Thomas Tuchel settling in as boss and summer signings Harry Kane and Min-Jae Kim strengthening them in both penalty areas.

United have had a frustrating summer in the transfer market and a troubled start to the season but they are well clear of Copenhagen and Galatasaray in the betting.

Copenhagen held City, Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund to draws at home in last season’s group stage but lost their three away games by an aggregate score of 11-0.

Galatasaray have not reached the knockout stage since 2013-14 and Bayern, immaculate in a tougher group last season, should progress in style.    

Verdict by James Milton

Champions League predictions Group B

Group betting: 8-15 Arsenal, 9-2 Sevilla, 8-1 PSV Eindhoven, 9-1 Lens

Arsenal were overhauled by Manchester City in last season’s Premier League title race but they earned a return to the Champions League in emphatic fashion, finishing 17 points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool.

The Gunners’ last Champions League tie ended in a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2016-17 round of 16. Seven years on, they are fourth in the betting to lift the trophy at Wembley in June and look worthy favourites to see off Group B rivals PSV, Lens and Sevilla.

Sevilla beat Roma on penalties to win a record-extending sixth Europa League title last season. However, they finished a disappointing 12th in La Liga, losing all eight of their games against Spain’s top four, and took just one point from four Champions League group matches against City and Borussia Dortmund.

They kicked off 2023-24 with defeats to Valencia, Alaves and Girona, having sold star goalkeeper Bono to Al Hilal, and could face a fierce scrap for second spot with PSV Eindhoven and Lens.PSV eased to a 7-3 aggregate win over Rangers in the playoffs but their defence is likely to be exposed by stronger opponents. 

Lens finished one point behind Ligue 1 champions Paris St-Germain in 2022-23, just three years after winning promotion from Ligue 2, but top goalscorer Lois Openda and key midfielder Seko Fofana were sold in the summer.  

The Gunners should outclass their section rivals and are worth backing in a double with Bayern to top Group A.

Verdict by James Milton

Champions League predictions Group C

Group betting: 8-13 Real Madrid, 12-5 Napoli, 12-1 Union Berlin, 18-1 Braga

Real Madrid have topped their Champions League group in each of the last three seasons and oddsmakers expect Los Blancos to win Group C.It is a fair assessment given Carlo Ancelotti’s men were Champions League semi-finalists last term and they have made a solid start to the new La Liga season.

But after a pretty underwhelming summer of transfers, it remains to be seen if Real are the same European beast they have been in the last decade.

Karim Benzema, the star of the 2021-22 Champions League, has departed and is yet to be properly replaced, even if Jude Bellingham has made a red-hot start to life in Madrid, and they could be pushed for top spot by Napoli.

Napoli have also had to contend with a few departures but not as many as was expected after they won their first Serie A title in 33 years last season.

They juggled their title pursuit with a run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and were at one stage dark horses to go the distance. If they can handle Real Madrid, they should have enough to go on and win the section.

Union Berlin are handy but are making their Champions League debut and their recent 3-0 hammering by Leipzig suggested they struggle to mix it with the big guns, while Braga finished a fair bit off the pace behind Benfica and Porto in the Portuguese top flight last season.

Verdict by Liam Flin

Champions League predictions Group D

Group betting: 5-6 Inter, 5-2 Benfica, 11-2 Real Sociedad, 11-1 RB Salzburg

Inter’s 2022-23 Champions League prospects looked bleak after a home defeat to Bayern Munich on matchday one but the Nerazzurri kept alive their hopes of glory until the final few seconds of the season. 

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson made a couple of brilliant late saves to seal a hard-fought 1-0 win over Simone Inzaghi’s underdogs in a tense final.

Having taken four points off Barcelona to qualify from their group, Inter showed their defensive grit in the knockout stages, keeping three clean sheets in four games against Porto and Benfica before a 3-0 aggregate semi-final win over rivals Milan.

Expectation levels have risen and, despite the departure of several senior players over the summer, Inzaghi’s men could be set for another memorable European run.Inter finished Serie A strongly last season and have started this term with four straight wins including Saturday’s 5-1 victory against Milan. 

They merit each-way support in the outright betting and a classy Benfica side should also qualify from Group D, having topped a section containing PSG, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa last term before a 7-1 aggregate rout of Club Brugge in the last 16. 

The Portuguese champions look a cut above Real Sociedad and RB Salzburg.

Sociedad were last in the Champions League ten years ago, when they finished bottom of their group, and they haven’t made it past the Europa League last 16 since then.

Verdict by James Milton

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James MiltonRacing Post Sport
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Liam FlinRacing Post Sport
Published on 18 September 2023Last updated 17:28, 18 September 2023