CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Champions League: Bayern, Man City clear favourites, says Klopp

Jürgen Klopp, whose Liverpool side saw their European title defence ended by Atlético, expects Manchester City or Bayern Munich to take the trophy.

Bayern and Man City clear Champions League favourites, says Klopp

Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the clear favourites to win this season's Champions League, believes Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.

Both teams are in strong positions to progress to the quarter-finals, City having beaten Real Madrid 2-1 while Bayern eased to a 3-0 victory away to Chelsea in the last-16 first legs.

This season's competition is set to resume in August in a mini-tournament format in Lisbon, having been put on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool's defence of the trophy was ended in a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Atlético Madrid, and Klopp expects one of City or Bayern to triumph.

Klopp: "I really think these two are the favourites"

"For me, the two big favourites are Bayern and Man City," he said ahead of Liverpool's Premier League meeting with Aston Villa. "That would be an interesting game.

"Bayern played obviously a very impressive season in Germany. After Hansi Flick took over, it was really impressive what they did. These are the two favourites. I don't know exactly how it could happen - we'll see in the semi-final or whatever.

Liverpool were Champions League winners last season, but Klopp's men were dumped out of this year's tournament by Atlético Madrid.

Champions League mini-tournament "will be really interesting"

"The competition will be really interesting because it's completely new. When you see Man City, when you see the squad... everybody needs luck: if you want to win the Champions League, you should have your best line-up ready for the final if that's possible.

"It's not that the other teams have no chance, but I really think these two are the favourites. Massive, massive chance. But, even in the game [Liverpool's 4-0 loss to City on Thursday], which City won deservedly, we should have scored three goals.

"We should have and we would have on a normal day. They have so much quality, but no team in the world is perfect. City are not, Bayern are not, we are not. But you need to be nearly perfect in these moments to win the Champions League, obviously.

"I will watch it, the little tournament, it will be really interesting, but unfortunately, we have nothing really to do with it this year."