Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has backed Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to challenge for the Champions League title this campaign.
CANDIIDONLINE recalls that the European elite championship has been on hold since early March due to coronavirus pandemic but all is now ready for resumption this month.
Teams will conclude the rounds of 16 fixtures this weekend before the quarterfinal games kick-off next week.
Juventus will take on Lyon, while Pep Guardiola’s City host Real Madrid on Friday, August 7, and the games between Bayern Munich vs Chelsea and Barcelona against Napoli come a day after.
Then, UEFA will stage the remainder of the competition in Lisbon. Consequently, the quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place over one leg.
The organizers have slated August 23 for the final match.
However, with more experienced teams like Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, and others, Wenger believes that either Guardiola’s men or the PSG should be classed as Champions League favourites.
He told Europe1: “I think that there is an overall fall in the European level of very, very, very high level and that they are still among the two, three best in Europe.
“For me, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the two favourites (of the Champions League) on their potential.”
Thomas Tuchel’s men are already through. They dumped Borussia Dortmund out of the tourney 3-2 on aggregate before the Covid-19 shutdown.
The French League champions will take on Atalanta at Benfica’s Estadio Da Luz on August 12.
So, if PSG progress, they will battle the winner of RB Leipzig or Atletico clash in the last four.
Wenger put the Ligue 1 side up in the favourites category. However, he says he does not think that their team is as good as it was a few seasons ago.
He added: “Afterwards when you play in a match against Atlético Madrid or Atalanta, anything can happen.
“I honestly find them a little less strong than they were 3-4 years ago. In the overall structure, they were perhaps a little more complete 3-4 years ago, at all times. The competition (within the team) was also stronger.”