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Man City ‘standout favourites’ to win Champions League, says Ferdinand

Man City ‘standout favourites’ to win Champions League, says Ferdinand

Alasdair Mackenzie

Updated 06/03/2024 at 23:49 GMT

Can anyone stop Manchester City from defending their UEFA Champions League crown this season? Rio Ferdinand told TNT Sports that he can’t see anyone beating Pep Guardiola’s side over two legs, and that “stardust” will be required for any would-be rivals to take them down in the final. City saw off FC Copenhagen to reach the quarter-finals at the Etihad on Wednesday.

Manchester City’s Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland (C) celebrates with Manchester City’s Argentinian striker #19 Julian Alvarez (L) and Manchester City’s Portuguese midfielder #27 Matheus Nunes (R) after scoring their third goal during the UEFA Champi

Image credit: Getty Images

Holders Manchester City are a “level above” their rivals in the UEFA Champions League and can’t be beaten over two legs, says TNT Sports expert Rio Ferdinand.

The reigning European, Premier League and FA Cup champions cruised into the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday for a 6-2 aggregate victory.

“I just don’t see anybody beating them over two legs. Then it depends on who gets in the final,” Ferdinand said after the game.

“Whoever they are playing against in the final needs that stardust from one or two players who can turn a game on its head, then they have an opportunity, a chance.

“But City, I think they are standout favourites. They are a level above.”

Manuel Akanji, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland were on target for City as they brushed aside their Danish opponents at the Etihad to reach the last eight.

It marked their 10th consecutive Champions League victory, making the Manchester club only the third side to achieve that feat, and put them into what is already shaping up to be a star-studded draw next Friday.

City joined Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid in the quarter-finals after their victories over Lazio, Real Sociedad and RB Leipzig respectively.

The remaining four contestants will be decided next week, when Arsenal face Porto, Barcelona host Napoli, Borussia Dortmund take on PSV and Internazionale go to Atletico Madrid.

It is a talent-packed cast of clubs, but former City defender Joleon Lescott agreed with Ferdinand that the Citizens will fancy their chances of becoming the first side to defend the trophy since Real Madrid in 2018.

“City will be confident to win the competition,” said Lescott.

“But there are obviously factors; PSG, I think [Kylian] Mbappe’s performance last night, he was determined to make that game about himself, and he did that.”

Next up for City is a mouth-watering trip to Anfield to face Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday, with just one point separating the sides ahead of the game.

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