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Football

The 16 Champions League teams ranked by their chances of winning

George Priestman

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The 16 Champions League teams ranked by their chances of winning

The Champions League groups will be drawn on Monday, following the conclusion of the group stages, and we've ranked all 16 clubs by their chances of winning in June.

Real Madrid triumphed last year beating Liverpool 1-0 in a tight final win, after Karim Benzema inspired them past PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City in the knockout stages.

With Manchester City signing Erling Haaland, as well as PSG's front three looking as electric as ever - there's no doubt we'll see another tournament full of great match-ups and moments.

SPORTbible reckon that this year is as competitive as ever, with a lot of top sides strengthening even more, but it's the usual suspects at the top of the tree.

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1.) Manchester City - Given Pep Guardiola's side were minutes away from progressing to the Champions League final, the addition Haaland to this already masterful side has to put them amongst the favourites. Also add Kevin De Bruyne playing as well as he's ever done, as well as the likes of Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden and a highly talented deep squad - this may be the year that they finally secure that elusive first European Cup.

2.) Paris Saint-Germain - PSG have always had the star power to win the competition, but this season is different. Christophe Galtier has introduced a back three that has helped to get the best out of the whole team, plus their front three are all fit, motivated and firing on all cylinders. If they can continue doing that, they could blow anyone out of the water at any given time.

3.) Real Madrid - Last year's winners have begun this season in good form and can boast the additions of Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni on top of last year's CL winning squad. They have the experience, talent and know-how to win it again, but last year's success was heavily reliant on Benzema's magic and he won't be able to produce what he did last year. This could see them fall just short, but no team will want to play them.

Real won the competition last year. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Real won the competition last year. (Image Credit: Alamy)

4.) Bayern Munich - The new era of Julian Naglesmann is crying out for a big Champions League run and with the addition of Sadio Mane, they could well achieve it this year. We've already see them deal with Barcelona home and away, as well as Inter Milan, which you have to respect. As always, it's keeping their big names fit, with Joshua Kimmich essential to any success they may achieve this year. This could be the year they find themselves in the final four once again.

5.) Liverpool - Despite a poor start to the season, you can never write off a club with such a rich history in this competition, especially since they were runners-up last season. They have the experience and know-how to negotiate their way through almost any opposition. Plus, they will likely recruit in January and star man Mohamed Salah will be fresh after not appearing at the World Cup. Write them off at your own peril.

6.) Napoli - This year's surprise package, Napoli are top of Serie A and topped their group ahead of Liverpool. With players such as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Victor Osimhen and Kim Min-jae in such great form, they've been brilliant to watch so far this season. However, it's likely they'll come unstuck against a real top side, but they will give anyone in the draw an incredibly tough tie and could be the 'dark horses' for this year's prize.

7.) Chelsea - Champions of Europe just 2 years ago, Chelsea have a new-look team and manager and still possess a squad capable of going deep into the competition. If Chelsea can field their strongest eleven for as long as they're in the competition, then they could go far. However, Graham Potter still has a lot of work to do, but luckily, he has plenty of time to develop his team before the knockout games begin.

8.) Tottenham Hotspur - Tottenham reached the final in 2019 and celebrated their return to the competition by topping their group this time round. The firepower of Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane, Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski could see them go far, but their midfield and defence pails in comparison to the teams above them and combine that with Antonio Conte's extremely poor European record, it's likely they won't advance too far this time round.

Spurs sealed qualification with victory over Marseille on Tuesday. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Spurs sealed qualification with victory over Marseille on Tuesday. (Image Credit: Alamy)

9.) Benfica - The surprise pick in 9th is Benfica. Another team that qualifies as a 'dark horse' the Portuguese side finished above PSG to top their group and their 6-1 win over Maccabi Haifa was an example of their ruthlessness and quality. They've won 10 out 11 games in the league this season, with no losses, and drew both games with PSG in two tight contests. They also have one of the best young midfielders this season in Enzo Fernandez and their squad is a mix of experience and youth that fears no one and they will be happy to take on anyone at the Estádio da Luz.

10.) AC Milan - The reigning Italian champions qualified second behind Chelsea, but lost both times to the English side - albeit with a flood of injuries to the first-team. A fully fit Milan XI can be a handful for anyone, especially if Rafael Leao is firing, but a lack of strength in depth could hold them back.

11.) Inter Milan - Sitting behind their city rivals, Inter aren't an easy prospect for anyone - just ask Barcelona. With talents such as Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez, as well as a returning Romelu Lukaku, they pose a tough test for any side. But they have been very inconsistent so far this season.

12.) RB Leipzig - Possessing great attacking outlets such as Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner, Andre Silva and Dominik Szoboszlai means they will create against almost any side, but they're depth and defensive liabilities will most likely be their downfall. Whilst they can boast a win over last year's winners Madrid, they also sit 6th in the Bundesliga and won't be able to overpower the real top sides.

Leipzig defeated Real Madrid in the group stages. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Leipzig defeated Real Madrid in the group stages. (Image Credit: Alamy)

13.) Borussia Dortmund - A mainstay in the knockout stages of the Champions League, the loss of Haaland takes away their real star power, but their collection of young stars will pose a threat for any side. They gave Man City two very tough games and could well do the same to many other teams. However, they lack the experience, depth and firepower to go far.

14.) Porto - Typically, Porto always somehow manage to qualify out of the group stages, but they're usually stopped short by a top side (in recent years it's been Liverpool) However, this time they qualified as group winners and will receive a more favourable draw. If they avoid Liverpool and PSG, then they could be in a very competitive clash that they could win, but there's no way they advance any further than the quarter-finals if they do so.

15.) Frankfurt - The Europa League champions qualified with Spurs, but didn't set the world alight. They sit 5th in the Bundesliga and don't have the quality across the board to trouble the top sides in the competition.

16.) Club Brugge - For the Belgian side, it's a success just to reach the knockout stages. They surprised everyone by qualifying but in reality, they're the team everyone will want to play. Currently, they sit third in Belgium's top league and will need a miracle to advance past the round of 16.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Champions League, Football, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool, Napoli, FC Porto, Tottenham Hotspur, Club Brugge, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt, Inter Milan, RB Leipzig, AC Milan, Benfica

George Priestman
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