The draw for the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League quarter-final has been made, and as expected, it has thrown up some hotly anticipated ties. The Champions League quarter-final might be the first real stage of the competition, with seedings and nationality no longer barriers.
Anyone can truly draw anyone (which makes you wonder why it takes so long). Here are the final eight teams ranked according to their chances of lifting the trophy in May.
UEFA Champions League Power Rankings Revealed
8. FC Porto
Being the underdog isn’t just a tag Porto will be happy with, it is also what they will inevitably get saddled with. Despite stunning Juventus in the previous round to get to the Champions League quarter-final, they’re still the least-fancied side to win it. Sergio Conceicao’s team have been drawn against a Chelsea side that haven’t lost in 13 matches since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel. Another upset is not out of the question, but the Portuguese side might have reached the end of the road.
7. Borussia Dortmund
Since the last time Dortmund reached the Champions League quarter-final in 2016/7, the club have changed managers four times. Dortmund have developed something of a reputation for choking in both the league and in Europe. They went out in last season’s Round of 16 after a disappointing second leg against PSG, and they gave themselves a scare against Sevilla this season. A pairing with Manchester City in the last eight might keep them on their toes, and they have a formidable forward in Erling Haaland. But it will be no surprise if they go out in this round.
6. Real Madrid
Real Madrid have a reputation for winning the competition when all is not well, as three successive triumphs between 2016 and 2018 showed. But this is their first Champions League quarter-final in three years, and this is still far from the most daunting Real side you could think of. A meeting with Liverpool might not bode well for Zinedine Zidane’s team.
Given Liverpool’s form in 2021, it is almost a surprise that they managed to reach a Champions League quarter-final so comfortably. The absence of key men at the back has hampered and destabilised every other area of the pitch, but this is still a formidable side, and the prospect of a final at Istanbul, where they pulled off a miracle in 2005, might be enticing enough.
4. Paris St. Germain
PSG remain something of a Schrodinger’s Team: you don’t quite know what you’ll get until you see it. When they thrashed Barcelona in the first leg of the last 16, they looked like world-beaters. Yet, they could easily have suffered a collapse in the second leg. Pochettino’s side are in a second successive Champions League quarter-final for the first time in six years, but come up against the holders in Bayern Munich. If ever they needed to find their A-Game, that would be the time.
When the draw for the round of sixteen was made, Chelsea looked like outsiders against Atletico Madrid. Many presumed they would be lucky to make a first Champions League quarter-final since 2014. But a managerial change and three months later, the Blues swept Atleti aside, without conceding a goal in either leg. Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have become solid at the back, even though they’re still finding their rhythm up front. They’ve become tough to beat and look like favourites against Dortmund in the last eight.
2. Manchester City
Manchester City will always divide opinion. To some, they’re probably the favourites for the trophy. To others, they probably should be lower on this list. Pep Guardiola’s side have made the Champions League quarter-final for a fourth successive year now, but the past three has seen City implode and fall away, despite being favourites. Buck that trend and the Champions League is surely theirs, but no one is placing bets on them just yet.
1. Bayern Munich
If Bayern Munich’s form in the Bundesliga form is still up for debate, they’re not letting up in Europe. They brushed Lazio aside with ease in the last round, and they’ve beaten Atletico Madrid earlier in the group stage. All that, and it still does not look like they have hit top gear yet. The champions are far from imperious, but they’re still setting the pace.