For me the Champions League is the absolute pinnacle of football and I cannot wait to see who will loft this year’s trophy. In recent years the competition has been dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid, with only a couple of exceptions but this could be the year that this all changes. With 5 English clubs entering the competition’s last 16, could this be the year that an English club finally buck the trend? I had a chat last week with my buddy Greg Lindae about who he thinks will lift the trophy, and here is what we arrived at.
Of all the English clubs battling to win this year’s Champions League, Pepe Guardiola’s Manchester City look to be the most likely. In their domestic league, Man City are blowing teams away with ease and sit 16 points clear at the top already. This bodes well for the Manchester outfit who have a relatively easy draw in the Champions League when they pit themselves against Swiss side Basel in the last 16. Despite injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne, the potential transfer of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal could prove to be the extra incentive which they need to finally lift the coveted European title.
Paris St Germain
Paris St Germain look favorites to win this season’s Champions League, which was the mission that they set out with when they invested so heavily over the summer. The arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, have turned the Parisian side into attacking juggernauts this year and they, like Man City, are blowing teams away with ease. Should Paris get pass their last 16 clash with the Catalan giants Real Madrid, there could be no stopping Unai Emery’s men from lifting the European cup this year.
On paper Manchester United may not have what it takes to win the Champions League this year, but in Jose Mourinho they have one could well be the magical ingredient. Mourinho has won this trophy 3 times with Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, and he was no doubt brought to Manchester with this trophy in mind. A last 16 match against Sevilla could see the Manchester outfit advance to the latter stages of the tournament and with a favorable draw, they could well be outsiders to win the whole competition.
With Real Madrid struggling this year, and a tricky last 16 tie against PSG, Barcelona look to be the Spanish side with the best chance of Champions League success this year. Messi and co have a tough match in the last 16 against English champion Chelsea and assuming they can overturn Conte’s men, the Catalan giants should be spurred on to go all of the way in this competition. Barcelona have the advantage of experience in their side with many players that have already won this trophy. With a sprinkling of youth mixed in with that experience, this year could be the year that they return to the top.