Charlie Nicholas predictions: Man City and Liverpool destined

April 05, 2016 10:57
Charlie Nicholas predictions: Man City and Liverpool destined

As the Champions League and Europa League reach the quarter-final stages, Charlie Nicholas makes some interesting predictions. Here are those.

It was somewhat of an eye opener for Barca at the weekend. Obviously, their front three are brilliant, but can have an off night and that has exposed their frailties in midfield and defence.

Diego Simeone will go there, look to frustrate and hit on the counter-attack and after El Clasico, Barca should be better prepared for that task.

On Saturday, Real Madrid did it successfully but, even though Antoine Griezmann is an excellent player, Atletico are not quite as potent on the break and struggle to get the same numbers forward.

I can see few yellow and also red cards, especially from Madrid’s side.

With the way they'll approach it I can see it taking a bit of Lionel Messi magic to break them down, be it from the penalty spot or a free-kick.

There are several chances to get to a straightforward tie. Out of the 17 games,  Benfica may have won 16, but they won't be a match for the quality awaiting them at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern seem to have got past the issue of Pep Guardiola leaving now and are back on track in the league, winning their last three, without conceding.

Frank Ribery got their winner at the weekend and with him back and scoring there's a competitive edge to the squad again and they'll be more confident of stopping favorites Barcelona now. This one is simply a home banker for me.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unpredictable and appears as if he would be next season’s Premier League king, although there's one club he won't be playing for and that's the one which will be managed by Guardiola.

City need to score if they concede, as keeping clean sheet at home may not be possible. They've always got a chance of a goal with Sergio Aguero, while David Silva had his best game of the season at the weekend and Kevin de Bruyne's return considered as significant.

However, I fear they'll struggle against this PSG side and witness defeat, which will all but end their Champions League campaign.

This is a dangerous Wolfsburg side with plenty of goal threats and I don't see it being a straightforward first leg for Zinedine Zidane's men.

At the Nou Camp, Madrid’s victory will have been a real pick up and Cristiano Ronaldo to silence his critics, but in Pepe and Sergio Ramos they always make bad decisions at the back.

Jurgen Klopp is willing to go back for sure and show just what he's done with this Liverpool side but I see a lot of similarities between this tie and Manchester City's.

Dortmund have bags of pace and I just think they'll be able to punish the mistakes that Liverpool make at the back and for that reason I think Klopp's men should concentrate on score, to witness progress.

Finally, Charlie Nicholas opines that, Anfield is a special place on European nights, but so is Westfalenstadion and it's going to be a big ask for them to leave with the tie still alive.

By Phani Ch

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