The Champions League has reached its quarter final stages and the race for club football’s most illustrious title is really heating up. As you’d probably expect at the beginning of the season, Spanish duo Barcelona and Real Madrid are currently being tipped to win the tournament, although the likes of Bayern Munich and PSG are heading into the last eight confident they can upset the odds. From the Premier League, only Manchester City remain in the tournament after Chelsea and Arsenal failed to make it beyond the Last-16 stage.
So, as we prepare for the final few weeks of this season’s Champions League, let’s have a closer look at those teams expected to be lifting the trophy at the San Siro at the end of May.
Barcelona: The reigning champions look as though they’ll be looking at competing for honours in multiple competitions this season but the Champions League could well be the Catalan giants’ main focus. Having cruised into the last eight after topping their group and then beating Arsenal 5-1 over two legs, Atletico Madrid will look to hand their La Liga rivals their first real test of the tournament.
Bayern Munich: The Bundesliga champions route into the quarter finals was a much more tense affair than Barcelona’s, needing extra time to edge past Juventus in the Last 16. Currently five points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, Bayern will be looking to send off Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola in the best possible style. While the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid might have the bigger name players, neither have the same strength across the field as the German team, and Bayern will be confident they can win a sixth Champions League.
Real Madrid: The 2013/14 winners will know that the Champions League could well be their only chance at silverware this season. Having been kicked out of the Copa del Rey having fielded an ineligible player, and seven points behind Barcelona in La Liga, Zinadine Zidane’s first season as Real boss is in danger of ending without yielding a trophy. With 13 goals to his name already, Cristiano Ronaldo is on track to finish as the tournament’s top scorer, and the Spanish giants will be confident of getting past Wolfsburg in the quarter finals.
Manchester City: Having failed to make any real impression in Europe ever since becoming one of the richest clubs in world football, there are some who feel Manchester City could be one of the dark horses left in this tournament. With the Premier League title now seemingly beyond them, the Champions League is now the last chance for City to end the season as double winners – having won the League Cup – and for Manuel Pellegrini to end his time at the club on a high.