Lisbon Confirmed as Venue for Champions League Mini-Tournament

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( — June 18, 2020) — The Portuguese capital of Lisbon has been selected as host for the unique Champions League knock-out tournament as the prestigious European competition returns following its coronavirus-enforced hiatus. 

The competition will be run off over a condensed twelve-day period in August, with the traditional two-legs scrapped for one in order to cater for playing demand and the limited time available. 

Structure of the new Champions League 

First and foremost, the second-leg of the remaining Last-16 games are to be played out. These include; Manchester City (2) vs (1) Real Madrid, Chelsea (0) vs (3) Bayern Munich, Juventus (0) – (1) Lyon and Barcelona (1) v (1) Napoli. 

These games will be played on the 7th and 8th August. However, UEFA has yet to decide whether these games will be completed at respective home grounds or in Lisbon, as will be the case for the remainder of the games. 

Already booking their spot in the Quarter-Finals courtesy of the results from their completed ties before the competition was suspended are Paris St. Germain, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid and RB Leipzig. 

The competition will then proceed to the Quarter-Final stage, where there it will be a straight knockout decided over one game, with the same format deciding the subsequent Semi-Final ties between the last four teams. 

The Quarter-Finals are due to be played over the 12-15 August, and the Semi-Finals will take place over the 18-19 August. The final will be held on the 23 August, where a new European power will take the throne from Liverpool. 

All games will be played at two different stadiums in Lisbon, either the Estadio da Luz, home to Benfica and holding 65,000 people, and the Estadio Jose Alvalade, smaller at 50,000 and home to Sporting Lisbon.

Plans for the 2020-21 season 

UEFA, the European football governing body, has announced that it is hoping for a mid-October start for the 2020-2021 Champions League, which would return to its regular format of group stages and two-legged knockout stages. 

However, it remains unclear how this will pan out, considering the uncertainty still caused to football as a result of the global pandemic. For example, there is no clear idea as to how the qualifying stages will be played, with many leagues across the continent ongoing over the summer period. 

Other facts about the return

UEFA have yet to confirm whether fans will be allowed to attend the games in Lisbon. This is entirely contingent upon the prevailing health situation and advice from the various countries. A decision is to be made on the matter in mid-July. 

Istanbul, the Turkish capital, was supposed to host this years Champions League final, but will instead house the 2021 decider, while the venues of St. Petersburg, Munich and London will also be pushed back to the following year. 

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: “I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions. Football is leading the return to a normal life here in Europe and I want to thank all those, particularly health workers, who have taken risks, and made sacrifices, to give us the opportunity to start playing again.” 

Who are the favourites? 

While new odds have not been released yet following the announcement of the competitions return, prior to its suspension Manchester City were the bookmakers’ favourites at 3/1, and it will be hard to knock them off their perch with their 2-1 lead over Real Madrid. 

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich are heavily favoured and will be brimming with confidence following their 8th successive Bundesligla, while Barcelona are also one of the favourites, who sat at 7/1. However, as it’s a straight knockout, who knows who will prevail. 

Once betting resumes and the European football is passed around again, punters may wish to use a bet calculator such as the 10bet football bet calculator tool to find the best odds to help them on their way.