Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has named Manchester City as one of his two favourites for this year’s Champions League.
Pep Guardiola’s side will meet Real Madrid at the Etihad on Friday in the last-16 tie, having beaten the Spanish giants 2-1 in the first leg in March.
Should City progress past Madrid on Friday, they will advance to Lisbon for an eight-team knockout tournament. Quarter-final and semi-final ties will take place over one leg ahead of the final on Sunday August 23.
City have never won the Champions League, and the club’s hierarchy have made no secret of their desperation to pick up the biggest club prize in world football.
And Wenger, who is now FIFA’s head of football development, has named Guardiola’s side and Paris Saint-Germain as his frontrunners for this year’s prize.
“When you are playing a match against Atalanta or Atletico Madrid, anything can happen,” he told Europe 1. “But for me, Manchester City and PSG are the two favourites in terms of their potential.”
On PSG’s chances, Wenger added: “I feel they are a little bit less strong than three or four years ago. In terms of their holistic set-up, they were maybe a bit more complete three to four years ago, in all positions.
“The competition was stronger as well. But I think that there has been a general decline in the quality of European football at the very, very, very highest level and they are still amongst the two or three best in Europe.
“We shouldn’t be looking for false reasons why PSG have not yet won the Champions League. Even Real Madrid didn’t win it sometimes during 10 to 15 years, then they won it three times in a row.”