If you’re interested in soccer or want to start placing a few bets on the biggest soccer club competition in the world, then why not combine the start of the 2023/2024 UEFA Champions League with an exploration of some of the best new betting sites on the market.
With new betting options seemingly available all the time, the Champions League offers thrilling opportunities to place bets on the biggest clubs in the world.
Group Stage Thrills
The draw for the new Champions League campaign has already been made and has thrown up some incredible ties. Group A pits six-times winners Bayern Munich – complete with new star striker, England captain Harry Kane – together with a club who were interested in signing the England striker – three times winners Manchester United. Copenhagen and Galatasaray have their hands full getting out of this particular group. Group B has a fair bit of intrigue, with Europa League specialists Sevilla up against Premier League runners-up Arsenal, Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven and French side Lens.
Group C looks like a straight shoot-out between Serie A champions Napoli and 14-times Champions League/European Cup winners Real Madrid. Braga and new boys Union Berlin look up against it there. Group D looks competitive, with Benfica, last year’s runners-up Inter, Red Bull Salzburg, and Real Sociedad all fancying their chances of progressing. Group E features Spanish giants Atletico Madrid as well as Lazio, Feyenoord, and Celtic.
The inevitable group of death is probably Group F, where Paris Sain-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Milan, and new powerhouse Newcastle are all eyeing up the knockout stages. There will be no easy points in that group, and it could be a focus for betting attention. Defending champions Manchester City will be delighted with their opponents in Group F. City face Leipzig – the team they defeated 8-1 on aggregate in last season’s Round of 16 – as well as Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys. The final group – H – pits Barcelona against Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Antwerp.
The Markets That Excite
If you are new to betting on soccer and are wondering what kind of markets you might expect when visiting the sports betting sites, you might be surprised by the sheer number of options available. Even the smaller bookmakers can have upwards of 150 pre-match markets, and this number can be beaten in terms of live betting (also known as in-play betting) if that should take your fancy.
Popular markets include predicting the winner, the match score, and particular players scoring, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. You can place a wager on the number of corners, yellow cards, red cards, penalties, and a host of other scenarios, and then there are all of the handicap markets and combination bets to consider, too. Big matches – such as these Champions League ties – can have north of 500 markets combined at the biggest sports betting sites, but even the new kids on the block will have plenty to play with.
Dates to Keep an Eye On
As well as all the 96 group-stage matches to be played between September and December, the new year will present four thrilling knockout rounds, all of which, with the final as the only exception, feature two-legged affairs. That’s a total of 29 additional matches to get stuck into, and it offers up an incredible amount of soccer betting options. The showpiece final will be played in the iconic surrounds of London’s Wembley Stadium on June 1st, 2024. Yes, indeed, that’s nine months from the beginning of the Champions League proper (minus the qualifying rounds) to the end and a serious number of betting options all in all. And with the event itself featuring some of the finest clubs and footballing talent on the planet, it’s no surprise that the UEFA Champions League is perhaps the most loved (and watched) of all inter-club soccer competitions anywhere in the world.
Stars to Watch Out For
There may no longer be Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (with the two players having departed Europe to play in the States and Saudi Arabia, respectively), but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of incredible soccer talent to keep an eye on as the Champions League starts. PSG’s Kylian Mbappe has taken up the mantle of the greatest player still in Europe following the departures of Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., and Karim Benzema.
Other notable players set to feature include Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior, England captain Kane, and, of course, Manchester City’s goal machine Erling Haaland. Young players who will likely make an impact this campaign include Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, and Barca midfield pair Pedri and Gavi. But there are bound to be break-out stars, too, a fact that just adds to the intrigue.