After being suspended indefinitely due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the 2019/20 Champions League will now be completed with a whopping 11 matches in 17 days, most of which will take place across two stadiums in Lisbon, Portugal, with the winner being crowned at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz on August 23rd.
Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Atlético Madrid, alongside the somewhat surprising omissions of RB Leipzig and Atalanta, have already booked their place in Lisbon, and they’ll be joined by the winners of Real Madrid vs Manchester City – who are the joint-favourites in the UEFA Champions League betting – Lyon vs Juventus, Napoli vs Barcelona, and Chelsea vs Bayern Munich – all of which will take place at the originally scheduled venue.
With the tournament gearing up for its eagerly awaited return, fans across the world won’t be the only ones excited. Europe’s elite players will, undoubtedly, be raring to go. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the race for the illustrious Golden Boot is shaping up ahead of the remainder of the Champions League.
- Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich: 11 goals
As always, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski has been in fine form this campaign. The 31-year-old, who was the favourite to land the Ballon d’Or before it was announced that there will be no ceremony this year, got his tournament off to a flyer, scoring in all of the first five match days before netting a record four goals in 15 minutes against Red Star Belgrade in the final group game. Lewandowski scored again when Bayern ran Chelsea ragged in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie at Stamford Bridge.
- Dries Mertens, Napoli: 6 goals
With Borussia Dortmund being shown the door by PSG, the prolific Erling Braut Håland can no longer add to his tally of 10 goals – meaning Lewandowski has a whopping five goal advantage over his nearest counterpart, Napoli’s Dries Mertens. The 33-year-old scored a penalty in his side’s 2-0 win over the Premier League champions Liverpool in the first game of the group stage, before netting twice more in the third group game against Red Bull Salzburg.
Another goal against Liverpool, and a penalty against Genk, notched up five goals in six games for the Belgian. The attacker kept up his goalscoring prowess in the Round of 16, firing his side into a shock lead against Spanish giants Barcelona. However, Antoine Griezmann equalised in the second half, and both teams have it all to play for at the Nou Camp on Saturday night.
- Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich: 6 goals
Bayern winger Serge Gnabry has also racked up six Champions League goals this campaign. The German international stunned Tottenham Hotspur with an impressive four goals in Bayern’s whopping 7-2 win over Spurs in the group stage. The former Arsenal player struck again against a London outfit, bagging two more goals against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea just before lockdown. With the second leg still to play against the Blues, can Gnabry add to his tally?
PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, who could recover from injury in time for his side’s quarter-final against Atalanta, is on five goals, alongside team-mate Mauro Icardi, Man City stars Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, Lyon’s Memphis Depay, and Atalanta’s Josip Iličić