Former Liverpool captain and 2005 Champions League winner Steven Gerrard has gone against his beloved Reds and backed Premier League high-flyers Manchester City to win Europe's biggest prize this season.
City have made a frightening start to their domestic campaign, dropping just two points in their opening eight games, while converting a staggering 29 goals - with seven of those coming last weekend in their demolition of Stoke.
The Citizens have managed to transfer that domestic form to their European campaign, winning all three of their opening Champions League matches, which included a 2-1 win over an an equally domestically impressive Napoli side on Tuesday night, who remain unbeaten in Serie A.
Gerrard, speaking to BT Sport, claimed City’s performance against the Italian giants was a statement of intent, and part of the reason as to why he feels they can win the Champions League this year.
“Some of them got kind groups so you’d expect them to progress, but they’ve been doing well,” said Gerrard, as quoted by The Mirror.
“The statement performance was City against a good Napoli side. City look real big favourites in this competition for me.”
Gerrard’s former England teammate and fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand also chimed in, claiming that the English sides finally look to be competing in Europe once more, following a baron five years.
Ferdinand said: “The last few years have been a bit of a transition [for the English clubs in Europe]. Now money has been spent and it’s coming to fruition for them. The teams are starting to form a bond together and long may that success continue.”
City will look to continue their fine run of form this weekend in the Premier League when they face seventh-placed Burnley at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.