Rio Ferdinand has named his favourites to win the Champions League – and despite Manchester City’s win over Real Madrid , he says Liverpool are still the standout team.

City are in the driving seat in their last-16 tie after beating Madrid 2-1 in Wednesday night’s Bernabeu clash, while Liverpool must overcome a 1-0 deficit when they host Atletico Madrid at Anfield next month.

Of the other English teams, Tottenham are trailing RB Leipzig 1-0 ahead of their second-leg clash in Germany, while Chelsea face the toughest challenge after losing 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich this week.

Barcelona’s clash with Napoli is finely poised at 1-1, while Juventus are 1-0 down to Lyon, Borussia Dortmund lead PSG 2-1, and Atalanta are 4-1 ahead against Valencia.

But with Liverpool just four wins away from their first top-flight in 30 years, Ferdinand reckons Jurgen Klopp’s reigning European champions will do the double and repeat last season’s Champions League triumph.

Rio Ferdinand has backed Liverpool for a Premier League and European Cup double

“I can’t look no further than Liverpool, if I’m honest,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“I think they’ll go through against Atletico Madrid. I think it’s a tough game but I think Anfield gives it a different dimension.

“Bayern Munich looked great yesterday against a team who are searching for form and their own identity at the moment in Chelsea.

“So they may have peaked a bit early, who knows – going forward they are great but defensively I would be concerned a little bit about Bayern.

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Liverpool are ‘standout favourites’ to successfully defend the Champions League title they won last year, according to Ferdinand

“But Liverpool are my standout favourites.”

Joe Hart, meanwhile, backed his former club City to beat Liverpool to Champions League glory this season.

The European Cup is the holy grail that continues to elude City – and the club’s ambition to win it this season has intensified after UEFA hit them with a two-year ban from European competition effective from next season.

“I’m obviously going to back Manchester City ,’ said goalkeeper Hart.

Joe Hart reckons his former club Manchester City could finally land the European Cup this campaign before their two-season ban comes into effect

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“I can’t believe they’ve not won it yet, I really can’t.

“From being a part of it and watching it and taking on Pep Guardiola, the greatest manager of all time as a lot of people have called him, I just believe it’s sooner rather than later.

“And obviously it’s going to have to be sooner now with what’s going on [with City’s Champions League ban].”





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