The 2023 Champions League final will be contested by English club Manchester City and Italian side Inter. This is one of the greatest occasions in world football, and all eyes will be on Istanbul when these two teams meet in June. At Betsson, we’ve got you covered with all the Champions League odds!
There is a clear favourite to win the 68th edition of the final of Europe’s principal club competition. But the Champions League has brought us many surprises over the years, so nothing can be ruled out.
Our guide to the Champions League final contains everything you need to know about Manchester City, Inter, and their upcoming clash in Turkey’s largest city.
When and Where Is the Champions League Final?
- Match: Champions League final
- Teams: Manchester City vs Inter
- Location: Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
- Date: Saturday 10 June 2023
- Kick-off Time: 9pm CEST
How Did the Finalists Get Here?
Manchester City qualified for this season’s edition of the Champions League by winning the Premier League title in 2021/22. That guaranteed them an automatic spot in the group stage.
Pep Guardiola’s team started their campaign with a 4-0 victory over Sevilla, before back-to-back home wins against Borussia Dortmund (2-1) and Copenhagen (5-0). City then drew 0-0 with those two sides, before beating Sevilla 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium. That gave them 14 points from a possible 18 and saw the English side advance as group winners.
In the first knockout round, City were drawn against RB Leipzig. They drew the first match 1-1 away from home, before trouncing the German club 7-0 in Manchester. Another Bundesliga opponent awaited in the quarter-finals, as City dispatched Bayern Munich 4-1 on aggregate.
Their most impressive performance so far came in the semis. After a 1-1 draw in Spain, City thumped Real Madrid 4-0 at home to book their spot in the final.
Inter were not expected to even make it out of their group, let alone all the way to the final. They secured their place in the tournament by finishing second in Serie A last season, but being drawn in the same segment as Bayern Munich and Barcelona complicated their task.
Inter kicked off their campaign by losing 2-0 at home to Bayern, but a victory over Viktoria Plzen by the same scoreline got them off the mark. A 1-0 defeat of Barcelona at San Siro was vital, and a 3-3 draw with the same opponents at the Camp Nou kept Inter in second place. Another win against Plzen saw the Nerazzurri advance, despite a subsequent loss to Bayern.
Inter then edged out Porto in the round of 16, winning 1-0 over two legs. Next up was a 5-3 aggregate victory over Benfica in the quarter-finals, before Inter beat their arch-rivals AC Milan 2-0 and 1-0 in the two-legged semi.
Unusually, the Champions League final will be the first ever competitive match between Manchester City and Inter. This is largely because City have only become regulars in the competition over the last decade, while Inter were absent from Europe’s top table between 2012/13 and 2017/18.
In total City have played 16 matches against Italian teams, winning six, drawing six and losing four. They have not faced a side from Serie A in the knockout stage of a European tournament since they beat AC Milan 3-0 in the UEFA Cup in December 1978.
Manchester City in the Champions League
A look at the UEFA Champions League final statistics shows that Manchester City have only made it this far once before. That was just two years ago, when Pep Guardiola’s team were beaten 1-0 by Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in Porto.
City debuted in the tournament in 1969, but they were eliminated by Fenerbahce in the first round. Their next appearance was not until the 2011/12 season, by which time the club had been taken over by Abu Dhabi.
City have been fixtures in the competition ever since, but it took a while until they were genuine contenders to win it.
Indeed, 2016 was the first year in which City advanced beyond the round of 16, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side were edged out by Real Madrid in the semis. In total, they have reached the last four on four occasions – 2016, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Guardiola has won the Champions League twice before. He guided Barcelona to European glory in 2009 and 2011, beating Manchester United – his current employers’ arch-rivals – in both finals.
But Guardiola fell short in each of his three seasons at the helm of Bayern Munich, and he has hitherto been unable to bring the famous trophy to the Etihad Stadium.
In truth, Guardiola has underachieved in Europe as Manchester City manager, but his side are now potentially just 90 minutes away from being crowned kings of the continent for the first time.
The only member of Manchester City’s squad who has won the Champions League before is Scott Carson, their third-choice goalkeeper.
It is safe to say the 37-year-old will not be playing any part in the final: he has only ever made two appearances for the club and was essentially signed to help City fulfil the Premier League’s homegrown player quota.
Carson was a part of the Liverpool squad that lifted the famous trophy in 2004/05 after that stunning comeback against AC Milan in the final. The English shot-stopper played one game in that successful continental campaign.
Inter in the Champions League
Having won the Champions League three times already, Inter will move alongside Ajax in joint-sixth place in the all-time rankings if they beat Manchester City in Turkey.
Their first victory came in 1964/65 under the guidance of the notorious Helenio Herrera, the most well-known exponent of a style of play called ‘Catenaccio’. Prioritising a tight defensive unit, Inter beat Everton, Monaco, Partizan Belgrade, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid to claim the prize.
The Nerazzurri repeated the feat the following campaign. Dinamo Bucharest, Rangers, Liverpool and Benfica were all defeated on the way to glory, as Inter reaffirmed their status as the best team in Europe.
Inter’s most recent triumph came in 2010, when they became the first Italian side to win a treble of Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia.
Jose Mourinho was the mastermind behind their success that year, with the victory over Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the semi-finals among the manager’s greatest ever achievements. Inter went on to defeat Bayern Munich in the final.
Simone Inzaghi has never won the Champions League before. His first taste of the competition as a manager came in his final season in charge of Lazio.
The club from the Italian capital qualified from their group alongside Borussia Dortmund and ahead of Club Brugge and Zenit Saint Petersburg, but they lost 6-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the round of 16.
Inzaghi then led Inter in the tournament in the 2021/22 campaign. The Nerazzurri finished as runners-up to Real Madrid in their group, amassing more points than Sheriff Tiraspol and Shakhtar Donetsk to book their place in the knockout phase.
In the round of 16 Inter gave Liverpool a tougher time than many expected, but they were ultimately beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Jurgen Klopp’s team, who went on to reach the final.
Unsurprisingly, Inter’s squad contains no survivors from the one which won the Champions League in 2010. In fact, most of the key members of that group had moved on to pastures new by 2014, the year in which the likes of Esteban Cambiasso, Diego Milito and Walter Samuel departed.
No one in the current Inter team has lifted the Champions League trophy. Romelu Lukaku was a Chelsea player when they triumphed in 2012, but the striker said a lack of appearances means he did not feel a true part of that team.
“I don’t like people talking to me about the Champions League. It wasn’t me, but my team that won,” he said.
“When [Salomon] Kalou put the cup on my lap in the bus I asked him to take it away immediately. I didn’t want to touch it because just as with the Champions League I had no part in it at all.”
Manchester City 2022/23 Season
Manchester City have enjoyed a brilliant season. They are still in with a chance of winning a treble of the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Champions League. The first of those prizes has already been secured. City will face Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3, a week before they take on Inter in Istanbul.
City wrapped up the Premier League crown with two games to spare. They trailed Arsenal for long periods of the season, but a stunning 12-game winning run lifted them above the Gunners in the final few weeks of 2022/23.
City have also been imperious in the Champions League. They are yet to lose a game in the competition. Pep Guardiola’s side have won seven of their 12 matches, including against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
City are this season’s top scorers in Europe’s principal tournament. They have found the back of the net 31 times in total, which works out as an average of 2.58 goals per game. Their most eye-catching result was a 7-0 triumph over RB Leipzig in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, City have received 19 yellow cards and one red card in the Champions League.
Inter 2022/23 Season
Inter began the Serie A season as the narrow favourites to win the title, slightly ahead of Juventus and AC Milan. That shows that the bookmakers did not see Napoli’s surge coming. Luciano Spalletti’s side have been superb this term, winning the Scudetto at a canter.
As for Inter, they are yet to secure a top-four finish with two matches remaining. A failure to qualify for the Champions League would be a huge blow, but the Nerazzurri’s fate is at least in their own hands: they hold a two-point advantage over AC Milan as things stand.
Inter have shown a range of qualities to reach the Champions League final. They have not turned on the style quite like Manchester City have, but Simone Inzaghi’s side have demonstrated plenty of battling qualities.
Inter have won seven of their 12 matches, the same record as City (although the Italian side have lost twice). They have scored 18 goals in total – 10 in the group stage and eight in the knockout rounds.
As for disciplinary matters, Inter have been shown 22 yellow cards in the Champions League. None of their players have been sent off so far.
Players to Watch
It is no secret that Manchester City’s superstar centre-forward is their most dangerous player. This has been an extraordinary debut campaign for the 22-year-old, who has scored 52 goals in 49 games at the time of writing. His record in the Champions League is 12 strikes in 10 outings. Inter must keep a close eye on the powerful forward throughout the final.
City’s chief creator is Kevin De Bruyne, who has been one of the best players in European football for several years now. The Belgian possesses a fine blend of technical and physical abilities, making him one of the most complete footballers on the planet.
This could be Ilkay Gundogan’s final game in a City shirt. Out of contract on June 30, the German has often been an unsung hero during his time at the Etihad Stadium, but Gundogan has rightly received a huge amount of praise this season.
Between the posts, the Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is essential to how City play. His ability with the ball at his feet is second to none.
Lautaro Martinez is the man Inter tend to look to for inspiration. The forward won the world’s biggest football trophy with Argentina in December but on an individual level he has enjoyed an even better season at club level, contributing 25 goals across Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
After four years at AC Milan, Hakan Calhanoglu joined their cross-city rivals in 2021. He has been one of Inter’s most consistent performers this season after being moved into a deeper midfield role by Simone Inzaghi.
Alongside Calhanoglu in the engine room is Nicolo Barella, who will be integral to Inter’s chances of an upset against Manchester City. The Italy international is excellent on the ball and calm under pressure, while he can also close down opponents in midfield.
Despite some impressive goalscoring form in recent weeks, Romelu Lukaku is likely to begin the final on the bench. However, do not bet against the Belgium international making an impact as a substitute.
Who Will Win the Champions League Final?
It is difficult to envisage anything other than a Manchester City victory in this year’s Champions League final.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been favourites to win the competition in the past, only to be eliminated by the likes of Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur, Lyon and Chelsea. Inter will hope that City freeze on the big stage, allowing them to pull off what would be a surprise win to boost the club’s Champions League final records and statistics.
However, even most Inter fans would admit that they are not the second-best team in Europe. Manchester City have beaten the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Liverpool and RB Leipzig by three clear goals this term. They have quality in every area of the pitch and are managed by one of the greatest coaches of all time.
Inter will need to produce a defensive masterclass to have any chance of victory in Istanbul. There is no doubt that they possess attacking quality of their own through Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko (a former Manchester City player), with Romelu Lukaku an option off the bench.
But City have been in fantastic form for several months now and they should come out on top when these two teams lock horns in the biggest club game of the season.
Champions League Bet Suggestion
Manchester City are the strong favourites to triumph in Istanbul. Our recommended bet is a City victory and under 2.5 goals – the Champions League final statistics show that each of the last four finals has featured two goals or fewer.