- The draw for the Champions League Quarterfinals and Semifinals was released on Friday, with numerous tantalizing clashes ahead
- Four round of 16 matches still need to be concluded before the last eight will be finalized
- Find out the favorites to lift this year’s trophy below
With all domestic football across Europe slowly coming to a close, we now look ahead to one of the most exciting competitions: the UEFA Champions League. The remainder of this year’s tournament will be played in Lisbon as a single-game knockout format. The quarterfinals will be played from August 12th-16th, but before that, the second legs of several round of 16 fixtures will need to be played. Those matches will be completed on August 7th-8th at the home side’s respective stadiums.
Bayern Munich will host Chelsea, who they beat 3-0 in the first leg, while Barca and Napoli will meet as they’re tied 1-1 on aggregate. Also, Man City will welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad with a 2-1 lead. Lastly, Juve will look for a crucial home victory as they enter the second leg against Lyon, where they currently trail 1-0.
UEFA Champions League Odds
Odds taken July 10
The 2020 Champions League odds have slightly changed since it was announced the tournament would resume back in June. Atalanta has gone from +2250 to +1133 as they prepare to face PSG. Real Madrid, Atletico, and Napoli have also seen their odds shorten in the last month here. Real Madrid’s odds have seen a decent improvement, shortening from +3650 to +2767. This, despite them trailing their round of 16 tie with City.
A Look at The Favorites
Currently, both City and Bayern Munich are the co-favorites to capture Europe’s most prized trophy this year. Both teams have looked extremely impressive in this competition, but they will need to take care of unfinished business in the second legs of the round of 16 before they can look ahead to the quarterfinals.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) July 10, 2020
City has had their struggles in the Premier League this year, most notably at the back. Vulnerability at times in their defense has resulted in too many defeats in domestic play, but thankfully, their electric attack makes up for it a lot of the time. Although Liverpool has the title wrapped up in England, Pep Guardiola’s side has the opportunity to grab some European hardware this season if they continue to play well.
They put forward a classy performance against Madrid in the first leg at the Bernabeu, coming back from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1. With two away goals under their belt, Man City will definitely be feeling positive in their chances of advancing to the quarters. If they can do so, it will set up a meeting with the winner of Juventus/Lyon.
Bayern Munich has already conquered Germany, winning the Bundesliga once again and the German Cup. A third trophy looks increasingly possible as well, given their form this season. They absolutely dominated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the round of 16 and although they won’t be taking the Blues for granted back in Munich, it’s hard to imagine them collapsing in the second leg.
Robert Lewandowski hit the 50-goal mark this term and will surely play a key part in their success going forward in Europe, having already bagged 11 goals in UCL play. From star left-back Alphonso Davies to their dynamic frontline with the likes of Lewy and Serge Gnabry, Hansi Flick’s side will be a force to be reckoned with as we approach the later stages of this competition. If Bayern advance, they will face the winner of Napoli/Barcelona in the last eight.
Atalanta is a Team to Watch
Atalanta has been quite the surprise in Italy and Europe this season. They’ve scored a ridiculous 85 goals in just 31 league matches and beat Valencia 8-4 on aggregate across two legs in the round of 16. Their electric attack of Luis Muriel, Josip Ilicic, and Duvan Zapata will be an intriguing trio to watch as they look to upset French powerhouse PSG.
Considering that Bayern and City are the favorites to win it all this year, it’s interesting that the current draw for the Semis would see these two powerhouses meet. This would be one hell of a battle, but I’m giving Bayern the upper hand in regards to winning the Champions League. They haven’t shown any shortcomings all season long in any competition, while City has. Guardiola’s squad will advance deep into the competition, but in the end, Bayern will grab their third trophy and be crowned the champions of Europe.
Pick: Bayern Munich +300
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