The Champions League is the most special of all the world’s club competitions and this year looks set to be one of the most entertaining to date. In recent years this competition has been dominated by the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid but if there was ever a year for the changing of the guard, this year is it. Bayern Munich are struggling, so too are Real Madrid, so we could very well see a different set of events come the close of the tournament. I was chatting to my buddy and best football friend Matthew Knouff last week about who could win it this year, and here are our thoughts.
Paris St Germain
After investing almost a billion Euros in new talent, PSG should most definitely be in with a shout of winning this year’s tournament. Big money signings Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have hit the ground running and formed a prestigious attacking lineup with Edison Cavani. Paris face a tough task to get through to the quarter finals given that they face champions Real Madrid in the last 16, but with Real struggling, if PSG beat them, their path to the final could be made far easier given the confidence it would give them. Paris expects this year, and they could be odds on favorites to lift the trophy.
Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are so far making a mockery of the English Premier League having not been beaten all season and of late, they have been destroying teams with ease. Manchester City have struggled in recent years to convert their domestic form into the Champions League but this year that is not the case, and they look like the most likely of the English teams to win the trophy. City face Basel in the last 16, a somewhat easier tie than they could’ve had, and given their recent form, winning the entire tournament does not long beyond their reach.
Manchester United have a wonderful squad and despite being dogged with injuries to many of their star players, most of them will be back by February for the next round of the competition. The fact that United have Mourinho at the helm, who knows only too well what it takes to win this competition having done so 3 times already, will give the Reds a huge boost for this year’s tournament.
The Spanish sides cannot be counted out of course and Messi and co look set to be the most likely to win between them and Real. Assuming that the Catalan club can overcome a tough Chelsea side in the last 16 match up, they could well go on to take back the title which they have been chasing. Never underestimate this squad of players with its perfect blend of youth and experience, and of course, a certain Lionel Messi.
Who do you think wins this year’s tournament?