Champions League knockout stages: How will they work? Who are the favourites?
The latest odds for this season’s unique Champions League
Following the example of most of Europe’s top leagues, the Champions League is set to resume behind closed doors this summer.
But the lack of fans won’t be the only change from the regular format. With restrictions on travel and health and safety precautions to take into account, UEFA have changed the structure of this year’s tournament.
Before it gets underway, we’ve run through the changes and looked at the top contenders…
How will it work?
From the quarter-final stage, every game will be played as part of a straight knockout tournament in Lisbon from August 12-23.
That means ties will be played over one leg rather than two. If a match finishes level after 90 minutes, it will be settled by extra-time, then penalties if needed.
The games will be split between Benfica’s Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Sporting CP’s Estádio José Alvalade. The final will be held at Benfica’s 64,642-capacity ground.
This year’s final was due to be held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. The Turkish stadium will now host next year’s event instead.
Clubs are also unable to use players that they sign before the tournament restarts. For example, Chelsea can’t select either Hakim Ziyech or Timo Werner.
What about the rest of the last-16 ties?
Four of the quarter-final spots have already been claimed by Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain.
The other four are still up for grabs, with the second legs yet to be played. Those games are due to be played on August 7-8. A decision on whether they will take place at the home team’s stadium or in Portugal will be taken nearer the time.
The remaining last-16 ties are:
Juventus v Lyon (0-1)
Manchester City v Real Madrid (2-1)
Bayern Munich v Chelsea (3-0)
Barcelona v Napoli (1-1)
Who are the favourites?
Bayern Munich have been installed as 11/4 favourites as a result of their impressive form after the Bundesliga restart. However, after their DFB-Pokal final against Bayer Leverkusen, they’ll go over a month without competitive action before facing Chelsea. Will they be rusty?
Manchester City are next up at 3/1. They’ll know this could be their only chance to win the competition for a while, with a potential two-year ban looming.
Our traders have Barcelona at 11/2. Lionel Messi is now 33-years-old and the Catalan giants will want to make the most of him while they can.
The rest of the odds are:
Paris Saint-Germain – 7/1
Atletico Madrid – 12/1
RB Leipzig -12/1
Juventus – 16/1
Atalanta – 20/1
Real Madrid – 33/1
Lyon – 40/1
Napoli – 40/1
Chelsea – 150/1
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication