At the start of any competition, all teams are hopeful that they may go on to win it, no matter how unlikely that may be. Here is a list of some of the dark horses for the 2022/23 campaign.
Inter weren’t exactly treated to the easiest of runs in last year’s competition. They qualified second in Group D, behind eventual winners Real Madrid, and got knocked out by eventual finalists Liverpool in the Round of 16.
Their luck hasn’t extended to this campaign either, having been drawn in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ alongside Bayern and Barcelona. This draw makes them decided underdogs in the world of Champions League football betting, although there may be cause for optimism as an Inter fan.
Spurred on by the return of striker Romelu Lukaku, Inter are currently priced at odds of 50/1 to get their hands on the coveted trophy and emulate the infamous winners of 2010.
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The Belgian was joined by similar big names in Andre Onana and Francesco Acerbi this summer, signings which may allow the Nerazzurri to capitalize on Barcelona’s disrupted season and qualify from Group C. Once in the knockout stages, anything is possible.
⏳ #UCL pic.twitter.com/FNeSYvON7X
— Inter (@Inter) September 5, 2022
Following their victorious Serie A campaign in 2021/22, Milan entered this year’s Champions League draw in the advantageous position of Pot 1.
This granted them a kinder group draw than their city rivals, coming up against Chelsea, RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb in Group E. Pioli’s side will hope this can help them make it out of the group this time around, following a dismal bottom-place finish in Group B last season.
Despite last year’s domestic heroics, Paddy Power still has Milan priced at just 66/1 to be tournament winners. A strong start in the league along with the successful retention of key players certainly works in Rossoneri’s favour.
However, Milan will have to tap into their Champions League-winning mentality of the ‘90s and ‘00s to get their hands on the trophy, which would be their first in 16 years.
Getting a feel for a @ChampionsLeague night in Salzburg ?⚽#SALACM #UCL #SempreMilan pic.twitter.com/UITKhhmrF7
— AC Milan (@acmilan) September 5, 2022
Dortmund won the competition only once, in 1997, which is perhaps why Paddy Power give them just 70/1 odds to be victorious this season.
Despite losing their star striker this summer, Dortmund are adapting well under the direction of new manager Edin Terzic. They have recorded four wins in five league games so far this season, although face a tough test in Group G of the Champions League.
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The main story will be the return of a few ex-players when Dortmund face Manchester City, a team that will certainly provide stern opposition.
Sevilla will also be no walkovers, although Der BVB will look to capitalize on the Andalusian side’s poor start in the league. They will also hope to pick up points against UCL rookies Copenhagen in order to make it through the group stages unlike last year, and potentially into their first final since 2013.
⏳ Final preparations ⏳pic.twitter.com/ghGeXUef9M
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) September 5, 2022
Despite recent winners of the Champions League coming from a select few, on matchday one anything seems possible. Will a dark horse, either from this list or elsewhere, be able to snatch it from under the noses of Europe’s elite?