Champions League predictions as Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea begin campaigns

English clubs return to European action this week with the start of the 2020-21 Champions League group stage.

Chelsea host Sevilla and Manchester United travel to Paris St Germain on Tuesday, while Manchester City face Porto and Liverpool play away to Ajax the following evening.

Bayern Munich beat PSG in last season's final in Lisbon thanks to Kingsley Coman's strike.

But will the Bundesliga giants retain their crown or can one of the Premier League clubs stake a claim for top honours?

Mirror Football's reporters give their 2020-21 predictions below:

Andy Dunn

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski

Liverpool: Semi-finals

Man City: Semi-finals

Chelsea: Last 16

Man Utd: Group stage

Unoriginal but cannot see why Bayern Munich should not go all the way again and if they do, you can bet Lewandowski will again be top of the scoring charts.

If Virgil van Dijk makes it back for the latter stages, Liverpool have a great chance but Manchester City’s defence is simply not good enough to win a Champions League.

Chelsea should get out of their group but their defensive naivety shows few signs of easing while Manchester United’s form – despite that win at Newcastle – is not good enough to get them out of a very tough group.

Mark Jones

Winners: Liverpool

Top scorer: Mohamed Salah

Liverpool: Winners

Man City: Quarter-finals

Chelsea: Last 16

Man Utd: Group stage

The loss of Virgil van Dijk seems as though it will hurt Liverpool more in the Premier League, where the opposition will be more willing to press high and also look to exploit any shortcomings in the air. In Europe things could be different.

The ability of Joe Gomez, Fabinho and Joel Matip to bring the ball out of defence could hurt some teams on the continent, and there looks like being plenty of goals in the Reds' Group D fixtures against Ajax, Atalanta and the Danish champions Midtylland.

Van Dijk should be able to return at the tail end of the season too, just in time for some big occasions.

Elsewhere Man City just look like there is something of a mental hurdle they can't overcome in Europe, Chelsea will entertain but fall short when they meet a big boy and Manchester United's prospects are severely hampered by RB Leipzig's presence in their group.

David Anderson

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski

Liverpool: Quarter-finals

Man City: Semi-finals

Chelsea: Last 16

Man Utd: Group stage

It’s hard to see past Bayern Munich retaining their European crown, because their rivals all appear weaker.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are in transition and not the forces they once were in the Champions League.

Chelsea are trying to bed in almost a new team, while Liverpool will be weaker without Virgil van Dijk to help shut up shop at the back.

Manchester City could be the Premier League’s best hope – if they have learnt the lessons of Lyon.

I fear for Manchester United in the proverbial group of death and I’m not sure they will emerge from such a horrible group, which includes last year’s finalists Paris St Germain and semi-finalists RB Leipzig.

Alex Richards

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Mo Salah

Liverpool: Semi-finals

Man City: Semi-finals

Chelsea: Last 16

Man Utd: Group Stage

Without Virgil can Dijk Liverpool will blast their way past opponents, before coming unstuck at the final four.

For City it looks set to be another season where they're good, but not quite good enough.

Chelsea are defensively just far too open, and will get caught out as soon as they meet a member of the elite.

PSG will win United's group, RB Leipzig, a better team, will finish second and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will head to the Europa.

Get the latest news straight into your inbox!

It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don't miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won't miss out.

To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

Darren Lewis

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski

Liverpool: Last 16

Man City: Last 16

Chelsea: Quarter-finals

Man Utd: Last 16

Chelsea should reach the last eight. With Mendy and Silva back they should be strong.

No Virgil van Dijk, no progress sadly for Liverpool, while Man City will also struggle to reach the latter stages.

United should meander through earlier on but not strong enough to progress with the more solid of the big beasts.

John Cross

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Kylian Mbappe

Liverpool: Semi-finals

Man City: Semi-finals

Chelsea: Quarter-finals

Man Utd: Last 16

David McDonnell

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Erling Braut Haaland

Liverpool: Quarter-finals

Man City: Quarter-finals

Chelsea: Last 16

Man Utd: Group stage

Mike Walters

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer:Cristiano Ronaldo

Liverpool: Quarter-finals

Man City: Finalists

Chelsea: Quarter-finals

Man Utd: Last 16

Tom Hopkinson

Winners: Bayern Munich

Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski

Liverpool: Round of 16

Man City: Final

Chelsea: Quarter-finals

Man Utd: Group stage

Source: Read Full Article