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Danny Murphy names Chelsea and Liverpool in list of six Champions League contenders but snubs Manchester United


Danny Murphy has named his six picks to win the Champions League (Pictures: BBC/Getty)

Danny Murphy has named the six clubs he believes can win the Champions League this season – including holders Chelsea and Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, but not Manchester United.

Murphy reckons English clubs could dominate in Europe this term, with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea hoping to defend their Champions League crown after they beat Man City in last season’s final.

Liverpool reached successive Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019 (winning the tournament at their second attempt) and will hope to challenge yet again with their squad bolstered by the return of star defender Virgil van Dijk.

Pep Guardiola is desperate to finally end Man City’s wait for a Champions League title, and Murphy insists the defending Premier League champions are one of the favourites along with Chelsea, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, PSG and Atletico Madrid.

But he does not expect Manchester United to be in the mix despite their stunning summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo completing a sensational return and Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane also arriving at Old Trafford.

Asked which teams he expects to challenge for the Champions League title, Murphy told MailSport: ‘I personally think the winners will come from one of six – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and PSG.

‘Atletico are an outsider because Diego Simeone has matchwinners in Luis Suarez and Griezmann in addition to the remarkable team spirit he’s fostered.’

Murphy does not consider Manchester United as Champions League contenders (Picture: Getty)

The former England midfielder added: ‘We’ve had two all-English finals in three years and all our clubs Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United will fancy themselves to go all the way.

‘It’ll be tough because PSG and Bayern Munich in particular look strong but it wouldn’t surprise me if we had three semi-finalists.

‘It’s a big shift because a few years ago we were asking why Premier League clubs weren’t doing better. But football is cyclical and now the Spanish giants are suffering financially and Italian teams are struggling.’

Asked if Pep Guardiola, Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would rather win the Premier League or Champions League, Murphy said: ‘It’s an easy one for Tuchel.

‘He’s just won the Champions League so he’d love the Premier League now, it is human nature to try and get what you’ve not achieved.

‘Likewise for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, he’ll crave the Champions League having been unable to get his hands on it yet in England.

‘It’s a harder one for Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I don’t think Klopp will differentiate in picking his teams but it’s a tradition at Liverpool to make winning the domestic league as your priority and they’ve still only won it once in 30 years so I think at a twist he’d prefer the Premier League.

‘For Solskjaer, any of them! He badly needs a trophy and either of these would put him in a phenomenally strong position moving forward.’

Manchester United and Chelsea kick-start their Champions League campaigns on Tuesday evening against Young Boys and Zenit St Petersburg respectively.

Liverpool and Manchester City are in action on Wednesday night, with the Reds facing AC Milan and Guardiola’s side taking on RB Leipzig.

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