The favourites to win the Champions League - ranked

James Cormack
How can you bet against Real Madrid in the Champions League?
How can you bet against Real Madrid in the Champions League? / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

With the last 16 ties concluded, fans around Europe now know the identities of this season's Champions League quarter finalists.

Defending champions Real Madrid remain the team to beat in a competition they are synonymous with, but Manchester City are eyeing a first major European title while runaway Serie A leaders Napoli are expected to go deep too.

Here are the remaining sides in this season's Champions League ranked on their likelihood of winning the competition.

8. AC Milan

Malick Thiaw, Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Fikayo Tomori, Mike Maignan, Pierre Kalulu
Milan completed the job at Spurs / Nicolò Campo/GettyImages

AC Milan's last 16 tie with Tottenham was the joint-lowest scoring in the round, with the two sides managing only one goal between them - that being Brahim Diaz's strike at San Siro.

Spurs were poor across the two legs but that doesn't take away from the achievement of Stefano Pioli's side, who have reached the quarter finals for the first time since 2011/12.

7. Inter

FC Porto v FC Internazionale: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
Inter snuck past Porto in the last 16 / Zed Jameson/MB Media/GettyImages

Inter have done well to reach the quarter finals after being paired with Bayern Munich and Barcelona in the group stage.

However, Simone Inzaghi's side have failed to kick on this season and are well behind Napoli in the Serie A title race. They're a little more consistent than AC Milan, but a deep run seems unlikely.

6. Benfica

Roger Schmidt
Roger Schmidt's Benfica could surprise Europe's elite / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Benfica booked their place in the quarter-finals by overpowering Club Brugge and are the side that look primed to surprise Europe's elite down the stretch.

Roger Schmidt's doing an excellent job and the brilliance of his Benfica side was shown in the group stage as they completed the double over Juventus and twice drew with PSG.

This is the best Portuguese side we've seen in a long time, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them reach the semi-finals at least.

5. Chelsea

Joao Felix
They couldn't do it again, could they? / Mika Volkmann/GettyImages

Chelsea have no right to be this high on our ranking, but there's just something about the Blues and the Champions League. They typically do well in this competition when they aren't supposed to.

They progressed at Dortmund's expense and there have been green-shoots of recovery under Graham Potter in recent weeks.

4. Bayern Munich

Leon Goretzka
Bayern were too strong for PSG / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

It's not been plain sailing for Julian Nagelsmann in his second season as Bayern Munich boss, but there's no doubt the German giants are among the favourites to win this competition.

The Bavarian giants dumped out Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, so their pedigree in big games is proven.

Former RB Leipzig manager Nagelsmann will primarily be judged on the club's performance in Europe following last season's disappointing quarter-final exit.

3. Napoli

Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
Napoli have been the team of the 2022/23 season so far / Fantasista/GettyImages

The 2022/23 season has been all about Napoli. Luciano Spalletti has for so long been the bridesmaid, but he's poised to earn his time in the sun by the time the campaign concludes.

Napoli are waltzing to the Scudetto and are primed to enjoy a deep run in Europe. They play with such synergy and cohesion that they're almost impossible to slow down.

But do they possess the cajones to go all the way?

2. Manchester City

Erling Haaland
Just the five goals against Leipzig for Haaland / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

The Champions League crown has somehow eluded Pep Guardiola since he took over as Man City boss.

The Citizens have been regarded almost universally as the best side in Europe for much of the Catalan's tenure, but they simply haven't been able to get the job done.

Erling Haaland scored five goals in the second leg to see City comfortably past RB Leipzig and Guardiola will hope his electric striker proves to be the final piece of a Champions League puzzle he hasn't quite worked out yet.

1. Real Madrid

Karim Benzema
Real Madrid are looking to defend their title / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

There's an inevitability about Real Madrid in this competition. How can you ever bet against them after seeing what they accomplished last season?

There's no magic formula from Carlo Ancelotti, just stoicism. The Italian takes solace in knowing he possesses some of the world's best players, and that's enough to reach the pinnacle. They raise their gams when it matters most, failing to panic when any sort of plan goes astray.

That's what makes Real Madrid special. There's no system to fall back on, just experience and individual majesty.

The holders thumped Liverpool at Anfield, and are set for another memorable European journey in 2023.