Champions League Power Rankings: Manchester City lead the way but Real Madrid are close

Manchester City are favourites to win the Champions League but face a difficult path

UCL Champions League Power Rankings: Manchester City lead the way but Real Madrid are close

Joba Ogunwale 18:21 - 16.03.2023

Pep Guardiola’s men secured the biggest win in the round of 16, but Los Blancos still pose the biggest threat to their chances.

The Champions League is now at the business end after the round of 16 games were done and dusted on Wednesday night. 

The group stage started with 32 teams, but we are now down to the last eight. Manchester City were the biggest winners in the round of 16 after they thrashed RB Leipzig 7-0 in the second leg, having played 1-1 in the first leg. 

Meanwhile, Real Madrid knocked out Liverpool, securing a 1-0 win at home after thrashing Jurgen Klopp’s men 5-2 at Anfield. 

Italy’s Serie A has the highest number of teams in this year’s quarter-finals after the trio of Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan all came through unscathed in their round of 16 games. 

With the eight quarter-finalists set, Pulse Sports takes a look at their chances of winning it all in our latest Power Rankings. 

8th. AC Milan 

AC Milan are European royalty, having won the competition seven times, only second to 14-time Champions Real Madrid. 

AC Milan players celebrate
AC Milan defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16

However, Milan are the weakest side on paper out of all the eight teams in the quarter-final. The Rossoneri secured their spot in the last eight after knocking out Tottenham Hotspur. 

But while that is impressive, every club in the last eight will be hoping to get Milan when the draw is made on Friday. 

Stefano Pioli’s men will want to prove a point, though. 

Everything you need to know about the draw for the quarter-finals

7th. Benfica 

Benfica are Portugal’s last team standing, and they rightly deserved it. The Portuguese giants had topped a group that had Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus before seeing off Club Brugge 7-1 on aggregate. 

However, despite their impressive run, a lot of teams will fancy them in the quarter-final, which is why they are sitting in seventh spot. 

6th. Inter Milan 

Inter Milan showed great spirit to see off FC Porto across two legs. Inter defeated Porto 1-0 at San Siro before shutting out Porto in the reverse fixture in Portugal. 

Inter Milan in their clash against Porto
Inter Milan secured their spot in the Quarter-final after a 1-0 aggregate win over Porto

Simeone Inzaghi’s men stopped Barcelona from qualifying for the knockout stage, so they will definitely fancy their chances. 

However, they will need the luck of the draw if they are to qualify for the semi-final as the big European clubs may be too much for them. 

5th. Chelsea 

Chelsea know going all the way is their only chance of playing in the Champions League next season. 

The Blues were on the verge of a second-round exit after losing 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg. However, they turned it around in the second leg at Stamford Bridge, winning 2-0. 

Although Chelsea have the players to beat any team, they have struggled so far this season. There is nothing that suggests they will beat the likes of Manchester City or Real Madrid, although they will fancy their chances against the rest. 

4th. Napoli 

Napoli are flying high in Serie A and Europe this season. The Neapolitans are already champions-elect in Italy while they are in the Champions League quarter-final for the first time. 

Napoli dispatched Eintracht Frankfurt easily, beating them 2-0 in Germany before securing a 3-0 win at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. 

Napoli could be the surprise Champions League winner this season
Guardiola says Napoli are the best team in Europe

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Napoli are the best team in Europe this season, which is not an outrageous statement. 

While they will fancy their chances against any team, their lack of experience at this stage may cost them. 

3rd. Bayern Munich 

Bayern Munich were flawless in their two games against Paris Saint-Germain, sealing a 3-0 aggregate victory. 

The Bavaria giants remain on course for the treble and will definitely fancy their chances against any team. 

However, they will be wary of another upset after they were knocked out by Villarreal last season. Bayern tend to struggle against defensive teams, so that could be their undoing again this season. 

2nd. Real Madrid 

Real Madrid are the most successful club in the competition with 14 titles, so they will always be one of the favourites. 

Madrid have a habit of turning up in the Champions League even when the odds are stacked against them. 

Real Madrid players celebrate after knocking out Liverpool
Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League second leg clash at the Santiago Bernabeu

The Spanish giants are on course to retain their title after knocking out the same side they beat in last season’s final, Liverpool. 

No team will want to face Madrid because they are just unbeatable in the Champions League. 

1st. Manchester City 

Manchester City are ahead of Real Madrid because they play better football, which was evident in the way they dispatched RB Leipzig in the second round. 

City have always been favourites for the Champions League title in the last five seasons, but they have always come up short. 

Haaland scored five as Manchester City progressed to the quarter-final of the Champions League
Erling Haaland was in an inspirational form for Manchester City as defeated Leipzig

The closest they ever came was in 2021 but lost the final 1-0 to Chelsea. However, Guardiola has a better squad at his disposal this time around, with Erling Haaland leading the line. 

They will definitely be favourites against any team they are drawn against in the quarter-final. 

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