Champions League Front-runners Have Pep Guardiola Link

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The UEFA Champions League resumes next month, and the stakes will be substantially raised as now we’re into the knockout round. The English Premier League was the big winner during the group stages, as they made history by sending five clubs through to the round of 16.

Four of the five clubs -Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur- got through as winners of their groupings, which also set a new precedent. The fifth club, Chelsea, missed out on topping their group by just a point.

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The British charge towards European glory is led by Man City, who are absolutely running away with the Premier League right now. They are a whopping 15 points ahead of their next closest competitor, crosstown rivals United. Pep Guardiola can now afford to focus his efforts on the Champions League, boosting Man City to favorite for the Champions League title. The Man City boss leads a side that is considered the front-runner to win the tournament, and his former club, Bayern Munich, is projected to be the second strongest contender.

The Guardian did a round of 16 power rankings, and City topped the list. Guardiola’s current side is receiving the most favorable odds from the sports books, while his former side is consistently right there behind them. Prior to taking the City job in 2016, Guardiola managed Bayern from 2013-2016. Before his stint in Munich, the Spaniard took a sabbatical, and prior to that time off, he led Barcelona from 2008-2012.

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Guess who The Guardian ranked #2 in their power rankings? That’s right the Catalan club, who are also considered a strong front-runner by the bookmakers. Barca will take on the current Premier League champions Chelsea in one of the two biggest and best UCL round of 16 ties scheduled.

The other tie that jumps off the list right at you is Real Madrid versus Paris Saint-Germain. The two time defending European champions will take on the French side that is establishing themselves as the most aggressive, big money spending club when it comes to acquiring new players. Both Real and PSG are considered leading candidates to win all of Europe as well.

However, between City, Barca and Bayern, it’s highly probable that the semi-finals, and even the final, will have some kind of Pep Guardiola association.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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