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Mark Langdon
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Mark Langdon's Champions League Outright Tips

The Champions League is almost upon us with the competition proper about to get underway, and the Racing Post's Mark Langdon has picked out his best outright bets for the upcoming season.

Mark Langdon's Champions League Outright Tips

PSG to win Champions League @ 16/1 
Atletico Madrid to win Champions League @ 25/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…..

The 2023/24 Champions League is the last in the current format before switching to the Swiss-system next year, but whatever way UEFA tinkers with the tournament it is pretty clear who will be the favourites.

Manchester City, who finally won the competition for the first time last season, are going to be difficult to stop as they aim to dominate Europe's elite with Pep Guardiola's all-conquering squad 2/1 to retain the trophy.

Harry Kane's Bayern Munich and Jude Bellingham's Real Madrid also feature prominently in the betting, but this market revolves around whether City can maintain the standards which saw them land a treble last season.

WhatChampions League
WhereAcross Europe
When19th September 2023 - 1st June 2024
How to watchTNT Sports
OddsMan City 2/1, Bayern Munich 11/2, Real Madrid 8/1, Arsenal 10/1, Barcelona 14/1

PSG to win Champions League @ 16/1

If winning the European Cup is hard, then retaining the trophy is even more difficult with Real Madrid the only team to have gone back-to-back in the Champions League era.

That statistic is probably the best hope of getting Man City beat and even Guardiola's brilliant Barcelona team, with peak Lionel Messi, came up short following the successes of 2009 and 2011.

Mark Langdon’s Tip:

Most teams are well established in the betting market, but PSG are maybe the forgotten team of the competition, available at 16/1 and with the unquestionable talent, if things drop right, to make a mockery of those odds. 

The draw could have been easier being alongside Newcastle, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund, but Inter Milan showed that was no barrier last season as they reached the final despite early fixtures against Bayern and Barcelona.

It's been a summer of change in the French capital and not before time with Neymar and Lionel Messi among those to depart, leaving Kylian Mbappe as the most influential figure in a dressing room which is arguably more humble following a sensible transfer approach.

Too often PSG bought players because they could rather than because they should, but Randal Kolo Muani, Manuel Ugarte, Ousmane Dembele, Lucas Hernandez, Milan Skriniar, Goncalo Ramos and Marco Asensio strengthen PSG, on top of managing to keep Mbappe, who is happy at being seen as the leader.

Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal, a back four of Achraf Hakimi, Skriniar, Marquinhos and Hernandez, with tough-tackling midfielder Ugarte in front of those gives PSG a base that is much more likely to be capable of staying in tough Champions League ties.

That has not always been the case with PSG's flimsy character often called into question, while new coach Luis Enrique has proven his credentials in this competition, lifting the trophy with Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid to win Champions League @ 25/1

City are obvious contenders, while Bayern Munich have improved their attack with the signing of Kane and Real Madrid's new diamond formation is already getting the best out of Bellingham. 

However, Bayern's defence has struggled against elite opponents and Madrid's decision to not replace Karim Benzema leaves them with a void to fill up front.

Arsenal, like Bayern, have defensive concerns and Barcelona came up short in Europe last season, exiting the Europa League at the hands of Manchester United following a group-stage Champions League exit.

Mark Langdon’s Tip:

Barcelona still won La Liga convincingly enough, but by the end of last season it could have been argued Atletico Madrid were the best team in Spain.

They have collected the most points in the calendar year and Diego Simeone's side could be dangerous dark horses after landing a plum draw in a group containing Lazio, Feyenoord and Celtic.

Atletico remain uninterested in possession - they had less of the ball despite beating Rayo 7-0 in La Liga earlier this season - but Simeone is all about what happens in both boxes.

Traditionally a strong defensive unit thanks in part to superb goalkeeper Jan Oblak, Atletico's Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay forward line is capable of causing problems for even Europe's best teams.

Mark Langdon's Champions League Outright Tips

PSG to win Champions League @ 16/1
Atletico Madrid to win Champions League @ 25/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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