Former Bayern Munich midfielder Lothar Matthaus has suggested that Chelsea are among the favourites to lift the Champions League this season.
The Blues have kicked off the defence of their crown in a relatively positive manner, having won three out of their four group games – with the only defeat coming away from home against Juventus.
It means that the current reigning champions sit second in Group H but will guarantee their place in the next round with a victory against the Italian giants as the competition gets back underway after the international break.
Matthaus ranks Tuchel’s side as ones to keep an eye on during the latter stages of the competition, albeit alongside their Premier League rivals and his former club Bayern Munich – who have thus far won every game in their group alongside Barcelona, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev.
Talking to Marca, he said: “For me, the favorites for the Champions League are Chelsea, Liverpool, City and Bayern Munich.
“Barcelona have their problems and Atletico have always been a dangerous team, but they are not as good a team as Liverpool or City.”
Interestingly, Chelsea boss Tuchel does not quite agree with his compatriot on the Blues’ standing within the Champions League despite having claimed the trophy against Manchester City last term.
Speaking ahead of the defeat against Juventus in September, he said: “Now it is easy to make us the favourites. We have the experience and that brings a higher value to play against us. It is a higher motivation to play against us, and we have to accept this.
“There is no secret. We like the role of being an outsider or a challenger to the title, which we still are. I don’t think we are the favourites, but we showed everybody what performances we are capable of.
“It’s very important we make ourselves free from these expectations, and these expectations do not become our expectations. We need to stay realistic. We demand high standards and the better we do this, the better for our performance.”
Source by Football London