Hargreaves picks out his three favourites for Champions League

Joe Williams

Owen Hargreaves has named the three sides he thinks will be contenders for this season’s Champions League.

Liverpool have been drawn to play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16, while Manchester City face a daunting tie against Real Madrid.

Tottenham will play current Bundesliga leaders Leipzig and Chelsea face another German opponent in Bayern Munich, who won all six of their qualifying games in Group B.

Other ties will see five-time winners Barcelona, Group F winners, play Napoli, who are currently eighth in Serie A, and Italian champions Juventus take on French side Lyon.

Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain play two-time finalists Borussia Dortmund and Atalanta, playing in Europe’s elite competition for the first time, have been drawn against Valencia.

“I think before everybody wanted to avoid Barcelona and Real Madrid, I think now everybody wants to avoid Liverpool,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.

“This team has virtually every style of play necessary and for me they’re the heavy favourites in this competition.

“I think maybe Barca and Manchester City are just in behind.”

On City’s draw, Hargreaves added:”It’s probably one of the worst teams they could have faced, let’s be honest. Real Madrid, as everyone knows, is a tough draw. I think City for me they’re the favourite team.

“Real Madrid with the issues that they have, Man City is an awful draw for them as well. You’d like to get one of the smaller ones and essentially they got the biggest team in it.”