Who could win next years UEFA Champions League: Man City to go back to back?

Who could win next years UEFA Champions League: Man City to go back to back?
Who could win next years UEFA Champions League: Man City to go back to back?

This year’s UEFA Champions League final held in Istanbul is imminent. European pedigree will meet challengers as Inter Milan’s strong history meets Manchester City who are bidding to join the European elite. The soccer world is extremely focused on the upcoming final, but some fans will be looking ahead to next year’s final and who could win it.

Could City go back to back?

The domestic season has ended and clubs are already beginning to conduct their transfer business. The dealings will of course have a huge effect on the strength of the top clubs around Europe. City will most likely begin next season as the UCL favorites yet again. In outright markets for Champions League betting, Pep Guardiola’s side is currently offered at a price of -450 to defeat Inter in this year’s final. They would then surely be favorites to retain their crown and become back-to-back winners next year.

Guardiola’s key men such as Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish are seemingly at the club for the long-term. Key stars in defense such as Ruben Dias and John Stones have shown no signs of departing, either. As long as City possess some of the world’s leading soccer stars all over the pitch they will be strong favorites to win the UCL title.

City’s chances of winning back-to-back UCL titles likely rest on their ability to maintain the core of their squad. They have had little trouble doing so in the past, and in all likelihood, they will improve their squad further this summer. Guardiola is a manager that tends to continually improve his squad regardless of their success on the pitch. Complacency in the transfer market is something that is rarely associated with the Spanish coach.

Real Madrid

It is difficult to ever look past Real Madrid when considering the potential winners of the most prestigious European trophy. Los Blancos have won the title 14 times and have a baffling ability to repeatedly claim the trophy regardless of the quality of their squad.

Karim Benzema is set to leave the club this summer for Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia. He’s an undisputed legend at the club, but in truth, he has been declining rapidly. The Frenchman’s departure could be a blessing in disguise. They have frightening wingers on either side and an excellent midfield and defense. Nonetheless, they lack a prolific forward, and in the 2022/23 season, Benzema wasn’t showcasing himself as a prolific frontman.

Madrid is often extremely ambitious in the transfer market and will only replace their long-term center forward with one of the leading options around Europe. One of the world’s best such as Harry Kane could replace the former Olympique Lyon man. A top striking option could represent the final piece of the puzzle for Madrid – they have a technically well-rounded team but are in need of a striker to score 30 goals a season in Benzema’s place.

If Madrid recruits aggressively in the transfer market, then they will alongside City be one of the standout favourites to win next season’s UCL trophy. A 15th title for Los Blancos would be unsurprising considering their remarkable reputation in the competition.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich, like Madrid, have clear flaws in their squad. However, this global sports franchise is also likely to address these flaws with world-class reinforcements. Bayern has struggled to replace Robert Lewandowski since he left for FC Barcelona in the summer of 2022. Sadio Mane was Bayern’s star man prior to the FIFA World Cup, but he has struggled to rekindle his form following a long-term injury.

Bayern’s midfield area remains one of the strongest in Europe due to the likes of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. However, their creative efforts have been wasted due to the team’s lack of finishing ability in the final third. That said, Bayern has been linked with a number of strikers at fees exceeding $100 million – the Bavarians are determined to only sign the best in the business. Acquiring one of Europe’s leading forwards to complement a strong overall squad would make Bayern contenders again.

If Bayern can address their issues at center forward, then they could field an exceptionally strong first 11, with the likes of Sadio Mane and Serge Gnabry being available on the bench. Few teams in Europe have that level of firepower in the form of substitutes, and that could make all the difference in the knockout rounds.

The UCL final in Istanbul is, of course, the focus for now. But a City win could paint a picture of how the next few years may go. Unless Europe’s elite act fast in the transfer market, then City could be set to dominate Europe, in the same way they have dominated England in recent years.

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