UK Opposition Likely in Champions League for French teams

It doesn’t seem that long since we were placing bets on the 2021/22 Champions League final. The 2022/23 tournament has already started and the odds are we’ll be seeing a French side taking on one or more teams from the UK.

2023 will mark thirty years since the last time a French club defied the odds to become European champions. That was when Marseille beat Milan to win the final. The Ligue 1 side are already in the group stages of the 2022/23 Champions League. However, it’d take a brave gambler to bet on them to repeat that title triumph in Istanbul next June.

Marseille did well in European competition last season. They made it to the last four of the Europa Conference League. Those betting on Marseille to defeat Feyenoord were to be disappointed though.

This will be their first time in the Champions League since the 2020/21 season. The odds were stacked against them and they only won one game and lost to English Premier League side Manchester City twice.

Marseille do tend to get drawn against English sides. They drew Chelsea in the 2010/11 Champions League and then Arsenal in both 2011/12 and 2013/14 without beating the Londoners.

They will be in either Pot three or four for the Champions League draw. That means it is again likely they will face English opposition. Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are all in the top two sections of the draw.  If you want to bet on the top games, do some research to find the  best betting offers for UK bookmakers.

PSG are in Pot 1 so there’ll be no betting on another match against Manchester City until at least the quarter finals. However, three of the four English sides are in Pot 2 and the odds are that the French champions may well again face English opposition. They could also face Scottish opposition with Celtic in pot 4 and Rangers might also qualify.

PSG lost out in the last 16 last term and only twice in the last six seasons have they managed to get past that stage. That long-awaited Champions League triumph that their fans bet on every season still hasn’t been achieved.

PSG have already been spending big in the transfer window. Vitinha has arrived from Porto and Nuno Mendes has been signed after his loan last season. That’s over 80 million euros spent so far and bet on their new boss making more before the window closes.

France will have three teams in the 2022/23 Champions League.  While PSG and Marseille are both in the group stages, that’s not the case for their third entrant.  Monaco has some hard work to do though. They enter the competition at the third qualifying round stage.

That means Monaco must play four matches to get into the group stages for the first time since the 2018/19 season. Anyone betting on them to win that year was in for a disappointment. Monaco only earned a single point and finished bottom of the group

Their previous campaign had only produced two points from six games. .It’s all a long way from 2016/17 when they beat the odds to defeat Tottenham and Manchester City, before losing in the Champions League semi-finals to Juventus.

It could have been different for Monaco if they’d finished second in Ligue 1 last season. They finished in third, just two points behind Marseille but hanging on for their Champions League place.

They will hope to do better in the Champions League than last season. Then, they took on Shakthar Donetsk in the play-off round. The bets were then on them winning the Europa League but they lost to Braga in the last 16.

The summer transfer window has seen them raid Premier League Liverpool for striker Takumi Minamino. He found it hard to break into the Liverpool side, not surprising when they had Salah, Mane and Firmino.

However, he was used a great deal in cup competitions and scored ten goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season. They will miss Aurélien Djani Tchouaméni with the midfielder transferred this summer to Real Madrid.

Monaco could face opposition from the UK in the third qualifying round. Rangers, who lost in the Europa League final last season, are a seeded team in this Champions League round. Monaco are unseeded so could draw them. That wouldn’t be an easy game for the Ligue 1 team. Remember how Rangers beat the odds offered at sportsbooks and beat Rennes last season.

Also a difficult opponent would be the winners of the Dinamo Kiev v Fenerbahce game in the second qualifying round. With tough opposition likely in the play-off round, betting on Monaco to make it three French teams in the group stages might be a risky one to place.

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