Top Contenders for the UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is the biggest European club football competition and arguably the most prestigious trophy any club can win in the world. The Champions League involves all the top European clubs based on their domestic league position from the previous season. 

That means only the top performing clubs from the previous campaign can participate in the tournament. Following the qualifying rounds, we have the group stages, then the knockout rounds, and the final. The 2023/24 Champions League final will take place at Wembley Stadium but which team is going to be lifting the trophy on the 1st of June 2024?

Manchester City

We begin with the defending champions and Manchester City swept all before them in the major competitions last season. Not only did they win the Champions League but Pep Guardiola’s team also landed the Premier League title and the FA Cup to complete the treble. 

There has been a lot of transfer activity at the Etihad Stadium this summer, with Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan among the major departures and Josko Gvardiol and Mateo Kovacic joining the club. The fitness of Kevin De Bruyne appears to be an issue and he has been a massive player for Manchester City and someone who is tough to replace. 

Since AC Milan in 1989/90, only one team has won the Champions League back-to-back, so it is not an easy thing to do but under the guidance of Guardiola, Manchester City have a chance.

Real Madrid

If there is one team who can stop Manchester City winning the Champions League this season, it is Real Madrid. 

The Spanish giants have won the Champions League more than any other club and since 2013/14, they have picked up the trophy five times. Karim Benzema has left the Bernabeu and has yet to be replaced but the addition of Jude Bellingham is exciting and the English midfielder has made a strong start to his Real Madrid career. Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League four times as a manager and twice as a player, so the Real Madrid manager knows what it takes to get the job done.

Bookies always have Madrid priced as favorites and given their pedigree in the competition, who can blame them. If you do think Madrid will lift the trophy again, you don’t have to back them heavy. Many online betting sites now take best from as little as 5 bucks so it’s a great time to have a cheey wager on them.

Bayern Munich

You must go back to 2019/20 to find the last time Bayern Munich reached the Champions League final and they beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 to lift to the trophy. 

It is fair to say the German champions have under-performed in the competition since then but many onlookers believe 2023/24 could be their season. There have been two major additions to the Bayern Munich squad this summer, with Harry Kane joining from Tottenham Hotspur and Min-jae Kim arriving from Napoli. Kane guarantees goals and it could be his addition that makes the difference, especially compared to last season when Bayern Munich failed to replace Robert Lewandowski. 

Thomas Tuchel won the Champions League with Chelsea so he has the experience to take this Bayern Munich team all the way this season.


Barcelona last played in the Champions League final in 2014/15 and they beat Juventus to win the competition. Last season they were extremely disappointing and fell at the group stage, finishing in third place behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. 

Barcelona will be hoping for a kinder draw in 2023/24 and have added the experience of Iñigo Martínez in central defence and Ilkay Gundogan in central midfield. Robert Lewandowski may be 35 years old but he still has what it takes to score goals at the highest level and Barcelona will be hoping the Polish international can take them to the final in June. There are some high quality young players in the Barcelona midfield, with Pedri and Gavi being two who must stay fit if Barcelona are to succeed.

Some of the other clubs hoping to go all the way in the Champions League this season include Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Napoli, and Inter Milan. 

The Gunners performed superbly in the Premier League last season and will be hoping to transfer that form to the Champions League. Inter Milan reached the final last season and have kept much of their starting XI from that match while it has been all-change at PSG, with both Messi and Neymar leaving the club. The 2023/24 Champions League campaign is going to be full of drama, with Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich among the top contenders.