Europe’s premier competition returned on Tuesday evening with a pair of fixtures in the last-16. Italian champions AC Milan managed to overcome Tottenham Hotspur at the San Siro, whilst Bayern Munich squeezed past French giants Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.
The fixtures keep on coming as the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and more aim to add to their haul of European crowns. Part of the punditry team on CBS Sports, Carragher and Richards were both asked to make their predictions over who they think will be lifting the trophy come the end of the campaign - each having selected first-time winners.
“I think Napoli. Napoli with their form have been brilliant,” former Manchester City defender Richards said.
“In terms of stand-out favourites, it’s difficult. You just think at the end of the season, teams are going to get better but on form I think Napoli.
“They really stand-out to me. If I was a betting man and I was putting money on right now in terms of form, I would pick Napoli because when I watch them, they’re dynamic, they defend well, they attack well. But over the course of the season, teams are going to be in form, they might lose a bit of form but right now I’d say Napoli yes.”
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Napoli, currently the favourites to claim the Serie A crown thanks to a scintillating season, take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the round of 16. Elsewhere, whilst Carragher noted how impressed he had been with the Italian side this term predicted that Richards’ former side Man City would end their long wait for a European crown.
“Yeah I think Napoli right now are the form team,” the former Liverpool man said. “I would love to see them win it, an outsider behind the big teams you expect to win it. But I think this could be the season of Manchester City.”
Pep Guardiola’s said head into the knockout rounds following an unbeaten group stage and are set to do battle with another German side in the form of RB Leipzig. Elsewhere, former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Thierry Henry also offered his view on the competition but was still unsure over who he thought would be lifting the trophy.
The Frenchman said: “For the first time, I don’t see a clear favourite. At the end, we always know the big guns are always in the final or one of the big guns wins it. It is open but still you have to knock those guys out for me.”
Two of the favourites for the competition arguably come together next week as Liverpool and Real Madrid face off. The pair already have 20 European titles between them.