After a hiatus of a few months, the Champions League will return this August. Fans will, of course, be delighted to see the best clubs on the planet back in action, and they will be rewarded for their patience with a glut of fixtures over just a few weeks. In short, the Champions League 2020 will rush to its conclusion in a similar manner to a World Cup tournament. Below we will breakdown all you need to know:
When Does the Champions League Restart?
The tournament will start again on the 7th August. Four Last 16 ties still need to be decided: Real Madrid vs Manchester City, Lyon vs Juventus, Napoli vs Barcelona and Chelsea vs Bayern Munich. Four teams – PSG, RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Atletico Madrid – have made it to the quarter-final stage.
What Will the Tournament Look Like?
As mentioned, the games will come thick and fast, with the entire competition taking place over a couple of weeks. All the games from the quarter-finals onwards will be hosted in Portugal, with the Champions League Final played on the 23rd August at Estadio de Luz, Lisbon. In a change from the regular Champions League format, all games will be in a single leg format.
Who is Favourite to Win the Champions League?
According to 888sport betting, Man City and PSG are the co-favourites with odds of 7/2 to win the trophy. Bayern Munich are just behind at 15/4. City and Munich look to be in the tougher side of the draw, however, and they could play each other in a potential semi-final.
What’s the State of Play?
Some of the Last 16 ties are finely poised. The Real Madrid and Man City tie, for example, sees City hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, whereas Bayern Munich can almost claim that the job is complete with a 3-0 lead over Chelsea.
Champions League Draw Details
RB Leipzig will play Atletico Madrid in the first quarter-final, with PSG playing Atalanta in the other. The two winning teams of those games will play each other in the semis. The other eight teams must complete the 2nd leg of the Last 16 games: Real Madrid (1) vs Man City (2) & Lyon (1) vs Juventus (0), Napoli (1) vs Barcelona (1) & Chelsea (0) vs Barcelona (3). As you can see, the lower half of the draw is a bit tougher, so PSG will be confident of making a first Champions League Final.
We are now in unprecedented territory for the Champions League. Teams can no longer count on elements like partisan crowds, and there will only be a few days between each game. Other factors could come in to play, too. For example, Real Madrid and Barcelona will be battle-hardened after fighting for La Liga title all summer. PSG, by contrast, already wrapped up the French Ligue 1 title in April before the season ended abruptly. That means the French side will not have played a competitive game in almost four months before picking up the baton in the Champions League. You could argue that PSG will be fresh, but they could also be rusty. Above all, though, the non-knowing makes for an exciting tournament ahead.
Note on the 2020/21 Champions League
Normally at this stage of the summer, we would already know the 2020 Champions League winners and the 2020/21 tournament would have begun with the Qualifiers. Those have been postponed, but will also take place in August (they will be one-legged ties). The 2021 Champions League proper will get underway with the Group Stage in October, and the Final should take place as scheduled on 29th May 2021 in Istanbul.