UEFA Football has become much more unpredictable in this COVID-era, which has led to several shocking results. One of the biggest shocks came in the Round-16 stage of the 2021 Champions League, as FC Porto stunned Juventus to knock Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates out of the competition. Does that shocking upset mean that a potential dark horse could win the competition this season, or will one of the Parimatch favorites run away as winners?
2021 Champions League: Manchester City
The Premier League title is already looking like a sure thing for Pep Guardiola and his team this season, but in truth, it will likely be the Champions League where the club is assessed at the end of the season. Guardiola was brought in to help City win their first Champions League title, but over recent seasons it has been the manager’s own shortcomings that have impacted their early exits. That was certainly the case last season, as City played unusual tactics in their quarterfinal loss against Lyon. They are the heavy favorites to win the competition this season, and should they play at the top of their game, they will be difficult to beat.
2021 Champions League: Bayern Munich
It would be hard to rule out the winners of the Champions League last season, as the Bavarians have breezed to the top of the Bundesliga and have one foot in the quarterfinals of the competition without even breaking a sweat this season. They have not been as defensively solid as they were last season, but no club in Europe can match the attacking talent that Bayern is able to call upon. It has been another excellent season for Robert Lewandowski, as he has scored 31 goals in 23 league games. If anyone is going to catapult them to European glory, then it would be hard to bet against the Pole doing just that.
2021 Champions League PSG
Like City, PSG has targeted a Champions League honor since being taken over by Qatar Sports Investments. However, unlike City, PSG came awfully close to having maiden success in the competition last season, as they were narrowly beaten in the final by Bayern Munich. PSG may have lost Thiago Silva in the summer, but they are still a very resolute side to break down, and with attacking players such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, they could have the tools to go all the way in the competition this season.
2021 Champions League: Liverpool
It has been a difficult 2020-21 season for Liverpool to this point, as they have whimperingly handed over their Premier League title. The Reds are also out of both domestic cup competitions, which means that their best chance of silverware will come in the Champions League. There is no denying that they will be a side that the big guns will be looking to avoid if Jurgen Klopp gets his team firing on all cylinders again, but their performances so far this season will not give fans much hope that they will be able to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Bayern Munich.
Much like any sport, upsets can happen, and the UEFA Champions League is no different. Will this year’s honors go to that team that looks to be a lock, or will the 2021 Champions League bear a Cinderella story?
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