Barcelona are favourites to win Champions League – Mauricio Pochettino

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Barcelona are the favourites to win the 2018/19 Champions League, according to Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.

English side Manchester United will come up against the Spanish giants in the quarter final stage of the continental club competition, but Pochettino says the Catalans have an edge over the Red Devils.

“If there is one favourite team to win Champions League it is Barcelona,” Pochettino said.

“(Ernesto) Valverde is doing a great job. They have players of extraordinary level, and then they have Lionel Messi.

“I think the Manchester United team that has been built during the past few years was built to win big things. But I think Barcelona are one step higher than Manchester United.”

Barcelona has won the Champions League five times already, and a win this year could put the gloss on an already stellar season that has seen them open a 10-point gap at the top of La Liga and also seen them get to the final of the Copa Del Rey.

Asked about his side’s chances against Manchester City in the quarter finals, Pochettino said the Londoners will draw motivation from their new stadium.

“It is clear that Manchester City are a team designed to win and with an obligation to win,” he added.

“We will try to compete. We know that in short tournaments the fitness of the team at the time is very important. We have the incentive that we have a new stadium and we will play with 62,000 spectators. That will create a special energy.”

Tottenham are scheduled to move into their new grounds, a 62,000-seater stadium, before they host City on April 9.