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Ranking the 5 favourites in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League

Bayern Munich won the 2019-20 Champions League.
Bayern Munich won the 2019-20 Champions League.
Devashish
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 03 Nov 2020, 15:23 IST
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The UEFA Champions League may have started late this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it hasn't been short of entertainment, thrills and shocks that the competition promises each year.

After Matchday 2 of the 2020-21 Champions League; there have been some results that make this year's competition the most open and unpredictable ones in recent memory.

The only big team that looks in form and ready to boss its opponents is last season's winner Bayern Munich. Traditional Champions League giants such as Juventus, Real Madrid and Inter Milan have all looked fallible. The trio looks to be going through a rebuilding phase but do have plenty of match-winners in their ranks who can take their teams deep into the tournament.

Manchester United and Barcelona, despite their domestic travails, have fared well in Europe this season. Both teams have a nice blend of youth and experience and seem to have the right men at the helm to take them into the knockout stage of the Champions League and possibly beyond.

After reaching their first-ever Champions League final last season, French giants PSG returned to winning ways at Istanbul Baseksehir after an opening-day home loss to Manchester United. The serial winners will be eager to take the next step and win it this year, with Neymar looking to prove his critics wrong by leading from the front.

On that note, here are the 5 favourites in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League.


Five favourites in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League

#5 Barcelona

Barcelona
Barcelona
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Barcelona are going through a tough phase right now: their board is in tatters, Ronald Koeman is their third manager in the last 12 months, and their best player Lionel Messi was unsettled and wanted to leave during the summer.

Eventually, the Blaugrana managed to hold onto Lionel Messi for another season. However, other significant issues such as the departure of Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann's best position and finding the best system to suit Messi undermined Barcelona's credentials going into this season's Champions League.

Nevertheless, a 100% start after two matches - the Blaugrana won 2-0 at Juventus - means that Barcelona look rejuvenated and brimming with confidence. Ronald Koeman is inching closer to finding his best Barcelona XI with each passing game, and Lionel Messi looks like a player reborn and on a mission to do away with the ghosts of last season's 2-8 drubbing at the hands of eventual winners Bayern Munich.

The chances of any team should never be underestimated when they have arguably the game's greatest number 10, let alone a club with the history and pedigree that Barcelona have in the Champions League.

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Also check out: Complete Champions League Schedule 2020/21


#4) Liverpool

Liverpool won the 2018-19 Champions League
Liverpool won the 2018-19 Champions League

After winning their sixth Champions League title in 2019 and ending their 30-year wait for a domestic title this year, Liverpool started this season as the favourites in both competitions.

Their Premier League title defence got off to a shaky start, though, as they fell to an improbable 1-7 defeat at Aston Villa and were then held to a draw by local rivals Everton. To make matters worse, Liverpool suffered a long-term injury to their talismanic defender Virgil van Dijk during the Merseyside derby.

However, the team will be boosted by the arrival of Champions League winner Thiago Alcantara as well as the addition of a high-quality attacking reinforcement in Diogo Jota.

Liverpool haven't looked at their best yet but have still managed to win both their Champions League games so far; which could be a sign of a champion in the making. Their chances will also be boosted as the knockout stage of the Champions League starts in February next year, by which time Virgil van Dijk could tentatively be available.

Also check out: Complete Champions League Results and live Scores 2020/21

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Published 29 Oct 2020, 22:08 IST
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