Manchester United have started the 2023/24 Champions League campaign with two defeats. This means Erik ten Hag is under pressure to turn things around in Europe.
The Reds run the risk of falling back into the Europa League or dropping out of Europe entirely. Unless they start winning football matches, qualification for the knockouts will be an impossible task for a side that were deemed favourites to progress along with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The Champions League is the biggest club competition in world football and United had to fight hard to qualify last season. It’s a prestigious tournament we should be competing in every season, but sadly that has not been the case so I don’t think any fans are expecting us to win it outright.
That said, stranger things have happened. Fans will be keeping a close eye on odds for Champions League, especially if they think Pep Guardiola’s City won’t go all the way this time around.
United are priced at 40/1 meaning our price took a hit after last week’s defeat to Galatasaray. Our first defeat came away to Bayern Munich.
After the defeat to Galatasaray, Ten Hag said: “We have to fight. I think there is no club where it never goes down.
“We are in a bad place but then you have to fight. You have to realise, everyone, that we are there and you have to fight together and you are on one page on every occasion.”
This year’s final will be held at Wembley.
Champions League winner odds
- Man City – 2/1
- Bayern Munich – 9/2
- Real Madrid – 6/1
- Arsenal – 9/1
- Barcelona – 12/1
- PSG – 16/1
- Newcastle – 20/1
- Inter Milan – 25/1
- Atletico Madrid – 25/1
- Napoli – 33/1
- Manchester United – 40/1
- RB Leipzig – 66/1
- AC Milan – 50/1
This will be the final season with the current format of 32 teams being split into eight groups of four. Next season, there will be an enlargement of the group stage, with more clubs competing.
The favourites, Man City, were European champions last time out. It was the 15th time an English team had won the European Cup. Only Spain has more (21).
Can United turn things around in Europe?
A double-header with Copenhagen and a trop to Istanbul to face Galatasaray are all still to come, ahead of a final clash with Bayern at Old Trafford. The Reds know all too well that third place in the group would see us drop into the Europa League. Ten Hag’s side would then face a play-off round against one of the eight runners-up from the Europa League group stages.
United can’t afford anymore defeats in Europe. Not if the objective is to qualify for the knockout rounds.