• News

Arsene Wenger names his Champions League favorites

Arsene Wenger, Champions League
Getty Images

The former Arsenal manager has named his two favorites to win the 2019/20 Champions League as action resumes this week in Portugal.

After a five-month hiatus, Champions League football will return to our screens this week. Action begins with the last-16 stages in the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon.

Four ties are yet to be decided before we can progress into the quarter-finals in Manchester City/Real Madrid, Juventus/Lyon, Barcelona/Napoli, and Bayern Munich/Chelsea.

The remaining knockout rounds will then be settled in single fixtures rather than the traditional two-legged encounters. Thus, clubs will have no room for error this time around.

Despite the competition still in a relatively early stage, however, Arsene Wenger has backed Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain as favorites.

The chief of FIFA’s global football development department told Europe 1: “When you are playing a match against Atalanta or Atletico Madrid, anything can happen. But for me, Manchester City and PSG are the two favorites in terms of their potential.”

City head into Friday’s second leg of their last-16 tie against Real Madrid holding a 2-1 aggregate lead. Should they progress, either Juventus or Lyon will await them in the quarter-finals.

PSG, on the other hand, secured a quarter-final spot before the COVID-19 lockdown by beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate. They’ll meet Italian high-flyers Atalanta in the quarter-finals on August 12.

Although Wenger feels the Parisians, who won a domestic quadruple this season, are weaker than a few years back, despite now boasting the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

“I feel they are a little bit less strong than three or four years ago,” added Wenger.

“In terms of their holistic set-up, they were maybe a bit more complete three to four years ago, in all positions.

“The competition was stronger as well. But I think that there has been a general decline in the quality of European football at the very, very, very highest level and they are still amongst the two or three best in Europe.

“We shouldn’t be looking for false reasons why PSG have not yet won the Champions League. Even Real Madrid didn’t win it sometimes during 10 to 15 years, then they won it three times in a row.”

Think Wenger is right? Check out who the bookmakers think may win the Champions League in the link below.