Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has backed Manchester City to win the UEFA Champions League this season.
The Cityzens have won four of the last five Premier League titles but have failed to translate their domestic dominance into continental success. Their second-place finish in the 2020-21 Champions League is as far as they have gone in the continental competition.
Zola, who won six trophies with Chelsea during his seven-year stay in West London, was asked to name his favourites in this season's Champions League. He responded (h/t AS):
"I see Manchester City, but I hope Guardiola doesn't read this because every year I say the same thing. ... and it's going to look like I'm jinxed (laughs) . Bayern Munich also have a serious chance."
Manchester City take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals this week. They play the first leg at the Etihad on Tuesday (April 11) before travelling to Allianz Arena eight days later for the return leg.
Bayern are six-time winners of the competition and last won the title in the 2019-20 season, beating Paris Saint-Germain to win their second continental treble. It's worth mentioning that Zola overlooked his former club when giving his pick to win the Champions League this year.
The Blues take on Real Madrid in the first leg of the quarterfinals on April 12 before hosting the second leg six days later. Chelsea will be managed by caretaker boss Frank Lampard till the board finds a permanent manager.
Frank Lampard sends message to Chelsea fans for UEFA Champions League QF tie
Frank Lampard has told Chelsea fans not to attend their quarterfinal clash against Real Madrid if they're worried about the team's chances.
Chelsea know they won't have it easy against the holders, who staged an incredible comeback against them to win 5-4 on aggregate in the quarterfinals last season. Los Merengues have won the competition a record 14 times and reached 17 finals.
The Blues, meanwhile, are in a spot of worry, as they languish in 11th in the Premier League with 39 points from 30 games. Lampard, nonetheless, is confident about his team's chances in Europe. The caretaker boss told the Daily Mail (h/t GOAL):
"We have an opportunity against a fantastic team, and we have to attempt to make the most of the opportunity. Go there with confidence, with a belief, because otherwise, as I said, if you’re worried, don’t come."
Lampard got off to the worst possible start to his second managerial reign at Stamford Bridge, as his team lost 1-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league on Saturday (April 8).