Rio picks two Champions League favourites and a dark horse

Rio Ferdinand claims Chelsea are a dark horse to win the Champions League this season but believes there are two clear frontrunners.

The former Manchester United defender picked Bayern Munich and Liverpool as the teams to beat in this year’s competition, with the German side the favourites.

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Liverpool drew 1-1 with Midtjylland on a night Mohamed Salah set a new Reds record, while Chelsea saw out a 1-1 draw with Krasnodar.

They will be joined by Manchester City in Monday’s draw for the last 16, but not United, who are finding positives despite defeat to RB Leipzig.

“I put Bayern Munich as favourites, but I’d have Liverpool second favourites close by,” said Ferdinand.

“Listen, I think it’s great to see big teams in there. The English boys are in there as well, bar Manchester United disappointingly – devasted about that, haven’t slept, look at the bags under my eyes!

“But I think the English teams are going to go deep in the tournament this year. I think we’ve got some real quality.

“Bayern Munich are probably the only team that are the threat. Possibly Paris Saint-Germain.”

Asked if Chelsea were a dark horse, Ferdinand continued: “Yeah they could be, definitely.

“I think they’re a team that’s starting to gel together and you can see that Frank has done very good business up until now in the transfer market.

“But it’s difficult. You’ve got to get through the Christmas period and New Year, see how the teams and squads are shaping up injury-wise and form-wise.

“Once the Champions League restarts again, we’ll have to readdress this as well. Our expectations for certain teams because form and injuries play a big part.”

Asked who he fancied to win it, Ferdinand said: “I think if Bayern Munich don’t have injuries, I think they’ll go on and do it again with that experience they’ve got in the team. Plus that explosiveness they’ve got up front and in the wide areas especially.”


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