With the last eight of the Champions League fully drawn, we are getting ever so close to the finals of this year’s edition. With that, let’s have a look at the chances of winning the Champions League for all the teams remaining.
The true underdogs heading into the quarter finals this season, Porto managed to edge past Juventus on away goals thanks to a splendid performance from 38-year-old captain Pepe. Underdogs have been uncovered in every season, with Ajax and Atalanta being the most notable names in recent seasons and it would be unwise to rule them out completely.
The black and yellow club have the most exciting young frontline with Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Giovanni Reyna alongside the experienced Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. But given their unpredictability this season, and Manchester City’s sheer brilliance in recent times, it seems difficult for Edin Terzic’s team to progress to the semi finals ahead of Pep Guardiola’s.
The repeat of the Champions League 2018 final sees the Merseysiders face Real Madrid over two legs. Their recent form has been concerning to say the least, and Madrid have slowly been back on the rise with an impressive last display against Atalanta, as well as in the league. Their centre-backs are still out injured, and the frontline seems completely out of favour, with a win at Anfield in 2021 still beyond them.
Qualifying for the last eight for the first time in three years, Real Madrid are back in the dying stages of the tournament. However, things aren’t quite the same for them since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club. Sergio Ramos’ return from injury will be a welcome boost, but given the kind of competition around, it seems difficult, but not impossible for Madrid to make it 14 European titles.
Here is where things start to get close. Chelsea have only conceded two goals under Thomas Tuchel, and have been unbeaten across all competitions since the German took over. The likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso have enjoyed a revitalised role in the squad, and have delivered when called upon. Having a relatively easier draw against Porto in the quarters, the last four against Madrid or Liverpool looks likely at the very least.
Kylian Mbappe’s performance against Barcelona in the Champions League was a passing of the torch moment for the Frenchman. Moreover, the fact that they have only conceded 19 goals in the league boosts their chances of finally winning the tournament after coming so close to the trophy last season, losing to Bayern, whom they face again in the quarter finals.
Last season’s Champions are still up there in the list of favourites to win the title once again, but they will have to go through PSG in the quarters. Should they prevail, things look likely to end in the same fashion as last season, but the Parisians will be determined to not let things go easy. Bayern have been defensively shaky this season, and will have to put on their best to edge past PSG and then face either of Borussia Dortmund or Manchester City in the semis.
This season finally seems to be the one where Pep Guardiola brings the Champions League trophy to Manchester City. They have been just as good defensively as they have going forward, and while they do face the most difficult draw in Borussia Dortmund followed by either of Bayern or PSG, the fact that City have the best players in every single position is only testament as to why they deserve the title this time around.