Emile Heskey predictions – 9 April 2018

The Champions League takes the spotlight once again this week and all eyes will be on Manchester City as they attempt to overcome a deficit of monstrous proportions at the Etihad Stadium. While hope looks lost for the Blues, Barcelona and Arsenal are in cruise control of their European campaign. Domestically, PSG, Barca and Man City are also looking to edge closer to their elusive league titles. Here’s a preview of this week’s top games.

 

AS Roma vs Barcelona

Competition : UEFA Champions League
Date : Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
On aggregate : 1 – 4
Venue : Stadio Olimpico (Roma)

The word is out: Messi is 100 per cent and the Argentinean proved just that when he hung out the full 90 minutes in the La Liga tie against Leganes. What’s scarier for Roma is that he netted a hat-trick, including a spectacular free-kick from outside the box.

Can the Romans find goals against this team that has remained unbeaten domestically this season – yes, because Barca are prone to sloppiness from time to time. However, can Roma turn this tie around and progress into the semi-finals of the Champions League – probably not. Seeing how free-scoring Messi is and the unwavering movement of Suarez (although not as clinical), the Italian side would need a miracle to win this match – let alone progress to the next round.

Prediction: AS Roma 0-3 Barcelona

 

 

Manchester City vs Liverpool

Competition : UEFA Champions League
Date : Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
On aggregate : 0 – 3
Venue : Etihad Stadium (Manchester)

It’s do-or-die for Guardiola’s Blues as they welcome Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final. A bad call by the Man City honcho to leave out on-fire Sterling cost him dearly as the Reds ran riot at Anfield, netting three past the uncrowned Premier League champions.

Klopp has done well to rest key players in Salah, Firmino and Chamberlain in the Merseyside derby draw – all of whom were pivotal in Liverpool’s win last week. Milner was also given a break, playing only 68 minutes, and this would mean that Liverpool will be fielding their best 11.

Man City on the other hand are on the back of a defeat against arch rivals Man United, who fought back to win 2-3, denying the Blues a PL trophy celebration. The Citizens have the depth to come back from this deficit, and in order to keep hopes alive, they have to ensure that they do not concede the away-goal.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Liverpool

 

 

CSKA Moskva vs Arsenal

Competition : UEFA Europa League
Date : Friday, 13 April 2018
Kick-off : 3:05am (GMT +8)
On aggregate : 1 – 4
Venue : VEB Arena (Moskva)

Arsenal already have this quarter-final won. Moscow were completely listless and the Gunners were rampant at the Emirates last week. Even without Aubameyang, the combination of Lacazette, Ozil and Ramsey saw no signs of slowing down even after putting four past the Russian side.

Wenger was prudent to rest players for the PL tie against Southampton over the past weekend and this is a clear sign that the London faithful are going in for the kill. Apart from the moment of magic from Golovin’s free-kick, Arsenal’s backline held firmly to deny the pacey Musa. You can count on Wenger starting with a varied line up to see if they can hold Moscow, and if things get messy, he would switch gears to ensure they progress to the semis.

Prediction: CSKA Moskva 0-2 Arsenal

 

 

Tottenham vs Manchester City

Competition : Premier League
Date : Sunday, 15 April 2018
Game week : 34
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
Venue : Wembley Stadium (London)

Get in line if you’re in the mood to douse Man City with another dose of first-grade disappointment. Guardiola has had a string of poor performances as of late and if this match had anything to do with that, Tottenham will be the second team to delay the Blues of their title celebration this week.

Kane will be fit to play and hungry to score ahead of his World Cup 2018 campaign with England and there’s Eriksen too, who’s had his way last week against Stoke City, banging in a brace to gift Spurs their sixth consecutive Premier League win.

Pochettino’s men will be more eager to win this one to leapfrog Liverpool into third place, and remain hot in Man United’s heels for the second-place berth. Man City however, will surely be feeling the brunt of the tough Champions League game, and this alone will be the opener for Tottenham to swoop in hit the Blues while their down. Of course this is notwithstanding the fact that the Citizens have great team that can come off the bench and make an impact.

Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Manchester City

 

 

Newcastle vs Arsenal

Competition : Premier League
Date : Sunday, 15 April 2018
Game week : 34
Kick-off : 8:30pm (GMT +8)
Venue : St. James’ Park (Newcastle upon Tyne)

The wind is in Newcastle’s sails as they look to have erased the memories of last year dealing with back-to-back defeats while managing backroom shenanigans of club’s sale and ousting Benitez. While the tide is turning for the Magpies, who are close to avoiding the drop and appear in good form to press for a top-half finish in the Premier League, it’s a whole new ball game when it comes to this Arsenal side.

The Gunners always have a good result against Newcastle, having beaten them in the last five outings in all competitions. Add to that the current form of Ozil and Ramsey, the only way Benitez can get something out of this tie is to sit deep and catch Arsenal on the break. It’s an uphill battle for the Magpies, but with Europa League hopes still burning strong, Wenger will be pushing his team to get as many points as possible to fight for a top-4 finish.

Prediction: Newcastle 0-3 Arsenal

 

 

Barcelona vs Valencia

Competition : La Liga
Date : Saturday, 14 April 2018
Game week : 32
Kick-off : 10:15pm (GMT +8)
Venue : Comp Nou (Barcelona)

With a Champions League semi-final berth pretty much in the bag for Barcelona, all of their attention will be shifted to resume business as usual in La Liga and remain unbeaten and make history. No team has ever gone through a 38-game season without a loss in Spain, but with Barca, it’s definitely possible.

Valencia on the other hand, based on how they struggled to earn the win against Espanyol last week, will have their work cut out for them. Their poor finishing in the final third need to be rectified if Els Taronges want to maintain their proud position of being above Real Madrid. But, there is Messi – enough said.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-0 Valencia

 

 

PSG vs Monaco

Competition : Ligue 1
Date : Monday, 16 April 2018
Game week : 33
Kick-off : 3:00am (GMT +8)
Venue : Parc des Princes (Paris)

This game could have been the one where PSG can play for the Ligue 1 title, but because they flopped at Saint-Etienne last week, albeit with 10 men, the party is delayed for at least one more week. The Parisians will still be without Neymar who’s recovering from injury, and Kimpembe who was given his marching orders after a second yellow card last week.

PSG still have the firepower of Cavani, Mbappe and Di Maria, but if they continue to allow their opponents freedom to penetrate the final third, not-afraid-to-shoot Falcao and Tielemans will be asking questions of Emery’s defensive acumen and punishing them. With that said, Monaco haven’t been able to topple PSG in their last five meeting in all competitions.

Prediction: PSG 2-1 Monaco

 

 

 

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