UEFA have confirmed the details on how the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League will be completed.
The competition had been three-quarters of the way through the round of 16 prior to the coronavirus disruption by mid-March, causing football to be suspended around Europe (with the exception of Belarus).
Manchester City are the current bookmakers’ favourites to win the trophy for the first time in their history, with odds as high as 3/1, as per oddsfactory.co.uk. Pep Guardiola’s side are followed directly by his former sides Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig had already booked their places into the quarter-finals before the disruption, whilst the following ties still have the second legs to be played:
Chelsea 0-3 Bayern Munich
Lyon 1-0 Juventus
Napoli 1-1 Barcelona
Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester City
UEFA have now announced the second legs of these four ties will take place on 7-8 August with the stadiums to be decided between the home team or a neutral ground in Portugal.
Afterwards, the new format of the competition becomes a single-leg tie with all matches taking place in Portugal, concluding at Benfica’s Stadium of Light. The dates are as follows:
Quarter-finals: 12-15 August
Semi-finals: 18-19 August
Final: 23 August
Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon could be considered to be at a disadvantage as the French authorities cancelled the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season by the end of April, meaning neither side will have had competitive matches since March when the Champions League restarts.
As for the other teams in the competition, Germany’s Bundesliga is set to finish at the end of June, with Bayern Munich already wrapping up their eighth consecutive title. The Spanish La Liga is set to finish the penultimate weekend of July and the English Premier League the following weekend. Italy’s Serie A restarts this weekend with no confirmed finish date so far.
With Liverpool set to confirm the Premier League title before the end of the month, Manchester City can fully focus on cup competitions for the rest of the season – they are in the quarter-finals of the English FA Cup before facing Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League tie, for a place in the final eight.
The bookmakers have made Bayern Munich second favourites after wrapping up another Bundesliga title. Hansi Flick’s side have looked fantastic since the start of the year, which included the 3-0 hammering of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Champions League second round tie. Though the German giants won’t have played a competitive game in July and are under an inexperienced coach.
Barcelona should not be overlooked as 7/1 third favourites. Quique Setien’s side have restarted their La Liga campaign with back-to-back comfortable wins as they look to wrap up another title. With Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and co, don’t be surprised if they go all the way in the new Champions League format between now and the end of August.