UEFA Champions League 2024
Football

UEFA Champions League 2024. Knock-out Stage, Comparison, New Format, Final, Favourites, and Prediction

The UEFA Champions League is the highest-level football competition in the world. The UCL knock-out stage has already started, and we are one step closer to knowing the best eight clubs in 2024. Below, we present the schedule for the knock-out matches of the UEFA Champions League 2024.

Round of 16:
• First leg – 13th & 14th of February and 20th & 21st of February.
• Second leg – 5th & 6th of March and 12th & 13th of March.

Quarterfinals:
• First leg – 9th & 10th of April
• Second leg – 16th & 17th of April

Semifinals:
• First leg – 30th of April & 1st of May
• Second leg – 7th & 8th of May

Final:
• 1st of June

UEFA Champions League 2024 – Knock-out Stage

The UEFA Champions League 2024 knock-out stage is on, and sixteen teams or eight pairs which still have the chance of lifting the trophy are these:

• Porto vs. Arsenal (1-0)
• Napoli vs. Barcelona (1-1)
• PSG vs. Real Sociedad (2-0)
• Inter vs. Atlético (1-0)
• PSV vs. Dortmund (1-1)
• Lazio vs. Bayern (1-0)
• Copenhagen vs. Man City (1-3)
• RB Leipzig vs. Real Madrid (0-1)

After the first game, there are many questions and surprises. The only team that managed to build a safer foundation is Manchester City. Before the second leg commences, there are matches where the score dictates that match number two must be very entertaining.

However, the reality is different because Real Madrid is a clear favourite to beat RB Leipzig, especially after winning the first one away from home in the Red Bull Arena. The RB team is young and full of potential, but it is impossible to beat Real away, even though the difference in score is not enormous. As mentioned, Manchester City is the favourite not only of this match-up but also of the entire UEFA Champions League 2024 season.

UEFA Champions League 2024 – Italian Contrasts

It is worth mentioning two Italian sides that are neighbours in this year’s Serie A season. Lazio and the defending champions Napoli are struggling, but their hopes to go through are more enthusiastic than anticipated. After 24 games in Serie A, Lazio sits in 8th place and has 37 points, while Napoli is one spot lower – in 9th with 36. Nevertheless, the imperfections did not prevent the Italian sides from getting positive results. In the 1st leg, both teams played at home, and Napoli tied against Barcelona, while Lazio won against Bayern Munich.

The opposite situation is with last year’s UEFA Champions League finalists, Inter. They not only destroy everyone in Italian Serie A but also deliver on the highest European football stage. After 24 games, the team from Milan has 63 points as they won 20 games out of 24, have 20 wins, three draws and only one defeat.

UEFA Champions League 2024 – European Comparison

In TOP 5 European leagues, Inter Milan demonstrates one of the most noticeable statistical qualities. Their defensive rating is the best, as they only conceded 12 goals. The TOP 5 defensive squads of the European football leagues:

• Inter Milan – 12 goals (Serie A)
• Bayer 04 Leverkusen – 15 goals (Bundesliga)
• OGC Nice – 15 goals (Ligue 1)
• Real Madrid – 16 goals (La Liga)
• Juventus – 17 goals (Serie A)

Now, it is time to compare the overall goal difference, which shows the team’s overall quality. We will analyse the TOP 5 European teams again.

• Inter Milan – 59/12/+47 (Serie A)
• Bayer 04 Leverkusen – 57/15/+42 (Bundesliga)
• Liverpool – 63/25/+38 (Premier League)
• Real Madrid – 53/16/+37 (La Liga)
• Arsenal – 58/22/+36 (Premier League)

UEFA Champions League 2024 – Managerial Crisis

It is not much of a surprise that both Bayern and Barca are stumbling to find the rhythm. Xavi and Thomas Tuchel will leave their respective clubs at the end of the season, so it tells us the situation is not at its best.

After the first knock-out round, Bayern is one of the four clubs that did not have a single shot on goal. The other three squads are Arsenal (L), Real Sociedad (L), and Atlético Madrid (L). In the German Bundesliga, Bayern is in second spot but is already eight points away from the leader Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The Bundesliga champions have 50 points, while Xabi Alonso’s side has 58.

In the Spanish football division La Liga, FC Barcelona is also eight points away from Real Madrid. With 54, they are in third position, and even the surprise of the season, Girona, is higher in the standings with 56. If these two mega teams want to progress further – they must increase their level of quality. It is feasible that they will overcome this challenge because they will play at home, and alongside thousands and thousands of fans, they can achieve this goal.

UEFA Champions League 2024 – New Format

The 2024-25 UEFA Champions League season will see its format changed. The grandest change is the removal of the current format group stage system. The current UCL group stage includes 32 football crews, where each of the eight groups contains four teams.

The upcoming Champions League edition will welcome four more clubs. In total, 36 participants will fight in the UCL league phase (former group stage). Those teams will partake in a single league tournament, where all competing clubs are ranked together.

UEFA Champions League 2024 – Format’s Structure

Under the new structure, teams will play eight matches. They will not play against the same opponent twice. Instead, they will face eight European squads, playing 50% of those matches at home and 50% away. The four seeding spots will help determine the eight forthcoming rivals. The best eight sides will automatically receive the tickets for the round of 16. However, the situation is a bit different with other competing sides.

The teams ranked from 9th place to 24th will contest in the knock-out play-off round, which consists of two legs. For some contenders, it will open a path to the next stage of the competition. Teams that conclude their journey in the 25th spot or lower – are eliminated. Also, those teams will not receive access to the second-tier European football competition – Europa League. Lastly, the new format’s changes will occur in the second and third European football divisions – UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, which will have a different name in the 2024-25 season – UEFA Conference League.

UEFA Champions League 2024 – Final

After 11 years, the final of the UEFA Champions League will return to the historic Wembley Stadium in London. This stadium will host the grand culmination of European football for the eighth time – more than any other arena. Furthermore, it will be the third time in the UCL era that the final takes place in London. The previous two finals transpired in 2011 and 2013, but let us take a look at all the legendary dates of the UCL finals in London:

• Milan 2 – 1 Benfica – 1963, 22nd of May (old Wembley)
• Manchester United 4 – 1 Benfica – 1968, 29th of May (old Wembley)
• Ajax 2 – 0 Panathinaikos – 1971, 2nd of June (old Wembley)
• Liverpool 1 – 0 Club Brugge – 1978, 10th of May (old Wembley)
• Sampdoria 0 – 1 Barcelona – 1992, 20th of May (old Wembley)
• Barcelona 3 -1 Manchester United – 2011, 28th of May
• Dortmund 1 – 2 Bayern – 2013, 25th of May

Next year, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the elite European football competition.

UEFA Champions League 2024 – Favourites and Prediction

After all the analysis, we must cover one more important topic – who will win the UEFA Champions League 2024 title? The main favourites are:

• Manchester City
• Real Madrid
• Arsenal
• Bayern Munich
• Inter Milan

Manchester City can become a double champion and get closer to the legendary Real achievement. Real Madrid, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, won three straight UCL trophies (2016, 2017, 2018). However, it is not logical to predict anything because everything can turn around quickly. Arsenal and Bayern Munich can be out in the upcoming two weeks, so the process of forecasting the outcome is silly for now.

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