Champions League 2020 contenders
The Champions League 2020 group stage is at the halfway point, with some contenders for the title having made a stronger start than others. With the international break offering the ideal chance to take stock, this is how the top teams are shaping up in the Champions League so far.
Top of Group A with a perfect record of three wins out of three, Bayern Munich’s title defence is off to a flyer and two of their three remaining fixtures are at home.
Bayern have scored 12 goals in their three Champions League games so far with the addition of Leroy Sane from Manchester City adding even more firepower to an already impressive attack.
Robert Lewandowski has yet to catch fire, having dominated the competition last season, but there is no doubt Bayern look to be the team to beat in the Champions League. This is reflected in the betting odds, with Bayern currently the clear favourites to win the tournament. Their 4-0 demolition of Atletico Madrid indicated just how dangerous Bayern can be at their best.
Second place to Bayern in the Champions League outright market are Manchester City, another of the contenders yet to drop a point after three rounds of games in the Champions League 2020 group stage.
City fell behind against Porto in their Group C opener a few weeks ago but have not conceded since, rattling in nine goals at the other end and scoring three times in each of their games. With Pep Guardiola in the last year of his City contract and yet to commit to an extension, the Catalan coach will be hoping to go out on a high if this is his final year at the club.
City have looked great in attack despite injuries to Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, with new signing Ferran Torres scoring three Champions League goals after joining from Valencia.
Last season’s beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain must make a significant improvement over the second half of the group stage having taken just three points from three Group H games.
Defeats to RB Leipzig and Manchester United – who are ahead of PSG in the table – have left Thomas Tuchel’s side with a lot to do. Pressure is building quickly on the German coach.
PSG play two of their three remaining games at home but the return game against United at Old Trafford on December 2 already looks as though it could be decisive.
Off the field chaos does not seem to be affecting Barcelona too much and they already have a foot in the next phase of the competition after recording three straight wins in Group G.
Barca’s 2-0 win away to Juventus came as something of a surprise, although the Serie A giants were without Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal forward tested positive for COVID-19.
After trying to force a move away from the club during the transfer window, captain Lionel Messi has scored three goals in this season’s Champions League, though they were all penalties.
With six points out of nine, Juve are well placed to follow Barca out of Group G. Alvaro Morata is the joint-leading scorer in the competition despite regularly having his goals ruled out for offside.
Premier League champions Liverpool have a five-point cushion at the top of D thanks to their perfect record in the group stage so far.
Diogo Jota has proven a fine signing for the Reds with the striker netting a hat-trick in a superb 5-0 win away to Atalanta last time out.
Liverpool are yet to concede a goal in this season’s Champions League but their defence faces sterner tests ahead, with talisman Virgil van Dijk out long-term due to a serious knee injury.
Suffering a shock loss at home to a Shakhtar Donetsk side that was riddled by COVID-19 might have proven to be a wake-up call for Real Madrid
Three-time winners in Zinedine Zidane’s first spell in charge, Madrid should get out of a congested Group B easily enough even though they only have four points on the board so far.
Rodrygo’s late goal that sealed a 3-2 defeat of Inter last time out will surely be a crucial blow for Antonio Conte’s men, who currently prop up the section.
An unusual 2020 season affected by the Coronavirus crisis might prove the ideal opportunity for a shock Champions League winner, with Atletico Madrid among the contenders worth keeping a close eye on
Atletico should finish behind Bayern in Group A and have bounced back from that heavy loss to the German giants to beat Salzburg and collect an away draw at Lokomotiv Moscow. Signing Luis Suarez from Barca provides an extra winning mentality Atletico perhaps lacked before and their young star Joao Felix has hit five goals in all competitions so far this season
Borussia Dortmund could surprise a few people too. Lucien Favre has come under some pressure but BVB are top of Group F with six points despite losing away to Lazio. Erling Haaland has scored four goals in the competition this season already.
For a real outsider, how about another Bundesliga side – Borussia Monchengladbach? Top of a sticky section that includes Real Madrid and Inter, Marco Rose’s side have one of Europe’s most potent attacks with Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram both big threats in front of goal.
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