We’re one game into the group stage now, and it is fair to say that Man U didn’t get off to the best start. The 4-3 defeat against Bayern Munich sounds like a thriller that swung one way and the other, but in reality, United didn’t ever look much like winning.
In spite of the handicap United now has, plenty of people are using this as a chance to place live bets for the rest of the group stage and beyond. Whatever happens, there are at least five more games for the team to try and put things right, and they’re getting ready to welcome Galatasaray in an early crunch match.
Today, we’re looking at some of the group odds and bookie predictions. These are always subject to change, of course, but it is interesting to take a look at where things stand right now.
Will United qualify from the group?
At the time of writing, many bookies have Man U at around the 1/3 mark to qualify from the group. This means that the majority of them are pretty certain that they’ll find a way out of their group in spite of the fact that they have to compete with Bayern Munich. Let’s face it, it is pretty likely that they will have to settle for second place unless they can beat Munich back at Old Trafford, but after the 4-3 in Matchday One, fans will be a bit worried about the Germans’ return.
Despite this, it looks likely that United will qualify from the group even though they’re currently bottom. The draw between Copenhagen and Galatasaray may have left them rooted in fourth place, but that may be a good thing in the long run as neither team got three points.
Will United win the group?
You have to be quite an optimist to think that United will win their group. The odds of this are around 11/4 at the moment and have drifted since their defeat in Munich as you would definitely expect.
Winning the group is probably going to be too much of an ask now, but it could be one of those groups where two teams are clear frontrunners, meaning a great deal depends on what happens when Munich comes to town. If you think United will win the group, there could be some value in this, but Bayern has already shown what quality they possess, especially in that irresistible front line.
A lot of fans have speculated that the club is now in the right hands moving forward, and Erik Ten Hag has certainly had a lot of obstacles to overcome. However, if they are to bounce back and win the Champions League, it certainly seems as if they will need to do it the hard way, taking on a group winner in the round of 16 draw if they are only able to finish second in their group.
Furthest progressing Premier League team
An interesting and slightly unorthodox market relates to the furthest progressing team that plays in the Premier League, and the odds are not great to look at if you are a United fan.
Manchester City – 4/9
Arsenal – 11/4
Manchester United and Newcastle – Both 12/1
It is pretty inevitable that Man City will get through their group, and they will be favourites for winning the tournament overall as they did last season.
If you think that there is somehow a chance that United might reach the latter stages and City will somehow get knocked out (in spite of a pretty easy group) then this could be a market to explore.
However, even the most optimistic of United fans will probably need to admit that the chances of them advancing further than the other Premier League teams are low. The further we can get in the competition, the better, but there’s no pressure to win it in this time of transition.
Who will win the Champions League outright?
The odds on United to win the Champions League are 25/1. This sounds like long odds, but when you consider there are 32 teams in it, this puts United as the ninth favourite.
The favourites list is as follows, at the time of writing:
- Manchester City (as low as 2/1 with some bookmakers)
- Bayern Munich
- Real Madrid
- Inter Milan
- Man Utd
The days of having a good chance of winning the tournament seem to have passed, but you never know what United can pull off, especially with injured players potentially returning as the season goes on.
The chances may be slim, and 25/1 odds reflect this, but it is not a total write-off for United.
What the season has in store
United would love to find a way to win a trophy this season, but the Champions League and Premier League seem unobtainable. In fact, the odds reflect the fact that this is pretty close to impossible.
You’ll get long odds on United managing to win anything other than a domestic cup competition, and truth be told, the aim this season probably isn’t to win tournaments. It is more a season of building. With the poor start on and off the pitch, United needs to continue to build towards a better future with Ten Hag at the helm.
Getting through the group is likely. That’s something that Manchester United fans can definitely take some heart from. It’s not inevitable, of course, but both Galatasaray and Copenhagen should be teams United can get 10 points from, which will likely be enough to get through the group, hence the odds of 1/3.
Getting to the quarter or semifinals would likely be a good result for the team, and if they can get to that stage there is always the chance of springing an upset. Defensively, United is likely to be found lacking, especially with the mounting injuries and suspensions we’re currently seeing.