Why a mini-tournament Champions League could be the best chance for the smaller teams to prove a point
In a recent news update from Bild (h/t Standard), the Champions League and the Europa League are likely to return in a mini-tournament format.
The tournament is likely to happen in either of Lisbon, Frankfurt or Moscow, and could be completed within a duration of 2 weeks. The UEFA are set to give fans an update soon.
As it stands RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid and PSG have qualified for the quarterfinals, with four more slots yet to be filled. Juventus are to play Lyon, with the latter holding a one-goal advantage after the first leg. Real Madrid are playing Manchester City, who won away from home 2-1.
Chelsea are scheduled to play Bayern Munich, who thrashed Chelsea 3-0 and Napoli will play Barcelona, who drew 1-1 in the previous leg.
Why the mini-tournament could be open up the chances for unlikely winners
The short one-legged rounds can be an advantage to smaller teams, with no home and away games as well as the tournament likely to be held in a single city. This could be a high motivation for the smaller teams and teams that haven’t won the UCL before. For PSG, the Ligue 1 is won and this means that they can turn their focus to winning the Champions League.
Manchester City, for example, can benefit from this type of tournament. For some reason, Pep Guardiola has not been able to win the Champions League at the Etihad. Winning the UCL takes something more than just a brilliant team. An X-factor is needed to win it. So this could be an ideal set-up for the Cityzens to push for the Champions League given that the league title is done and dusted.
The one-legged format also means that there is no second chance to make up and it is all about how the team performs on that day. The clubs will want to be at their prime and give it their all.
So all teams will be looking out to go and give their best shots and try to progress further in the tournament, and teams that have not won it before will be eyeing this as their best opportunity to go forward and aim to win the title.