Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said that Barcelona are the favourites to win the Champions League despite the presence of four Premier League teams at the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The Champions League has already witnessed plenty of surprises this term with Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and holders Real Madrid bowing out at the round of 16 stage, and this has increased the prospects of an English club lifting the trophy.
Speaking at the launch of the 2019 MICFootball youth tournament, Pochettino was asked as to whom could lift the competition this term, and his answer was quite clear as he went with Barcelona, who possess the superlative talents of Lionel Messi.
“Barcelona is the favourite to win the Champions League. Barça has excellent players, extraordinary players and then has a genius. It’s different, he does things that nobody expects and continues to surprise,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
Spurs, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool are currently in the mix for the Champions League crown this campaign, but one of those teams are certain to be eliminated at the last eight phase of the competition.
Pochettino’s side tackle City in a double-legged tie next month and the match should provide plenty of entertainment despite Spurs struggling to overcome the Premier League holders in each of the past three meetings.
Elsewhere, Tottenham’s top-four hopes are hanging in the balance amid their recent poor form in the league, and they are currently just three points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United in the standings.
Spurs have a tough-looking trip to face Liverpool following the international break, and they need to pick up a positive result to avoid being caught up by Arsenal, United or Chelsea.