Emile Heskey predictions – UEFA Championship League 2017/18

It’s Derby Day this week with a double-header in England – featuring both the Merseyside and Manchester derbies, and over in Spain, we’ll be entertained by the Battle of Madrid at the Bernabéu.

And while derbies promise exciting matches, the Champions League also returns with the last eight teams butting heads in the quarter-finals.

As important as all the games will be for the teams involved, none are more critical that the ones featuring Liverpool; who are fighting for a second-place spot in the Premier League and a long-awaited semi-final berth in the UCL, and Real Madrid; who are also jocking for position at the La Liga summit while trying meet expectations in their UCL title defence. One thing’s for sure, in the world of football, this week has to be one of the most compelling this year.

 

 

Barcelona vs AS Roma

Competition : UEFA Champions League
Date : 5 April 2018
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
On aggregate : 0 – 0
Venue : Camp Nou (Barcelona)

Any team with Messi will not lose – at least that’s the philosophy we’ve been dealt by Argentina and Barcelona in the past couple of weeks. And why is this an important factor? Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde confirmed that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will feature for the Catalan giants when Roma visit them for the Champions League quarter-final first leg encounter this week.

This cuts the Serie A side’s chances to walk away with a win by at least half.  Add to that Roma’s misfortune of never being able to progress beyond the last-eight in this competition, Barca have already psychologically won this match.

However, Roma can bank on Pique’s injury and Umtiti’s flaying mindset (due to transfer talks) to pull off an upset against the UCL title favourites. Much like their opponents, Roma are also off the back of a five-game winning streak, which could amount to something, but considering how the Italian side haven’t been able to beat Barcelona since February 2002, the future doesn’t look too bright for the three-time Serie A winners.

Prediction: Barcelona 4-0 AS Roma

 

 

Liverpool vs Manchester City

Competition : UEFA Champions League
Date : 5 April 2018
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
On aggregate : 0 – 0
Venue : Anfield (Liverpool)

Do not adjust your lenses ladies and gents – this is déjà vu in its purest form, to the delight of football fans worldwide. Manchester City go into this quarter-final first leg tie on a high after running through Everton and placing one hand on the Premier League trophy.

However, Guardiola will have his work cut out for him against Liverpool’s on form strike-force of Firmino, Mane and the elusive Salah. Although City have an important derby game in the weekend, they will be expected to field their best 11, because as big as the Man-Utd tie will be, a positive Champions League result is paramount – especially how the Reds have been able defeat them at Anfield in January.

De Bruyne, Sane and Silva will boost Man City’s midfield, but if Liverpool can somehow win the battle in the middle of the park and click in the final third as they’ve consistently shown thus far, they could record a second consecutive victory against the uncrowned PL champs.

 

Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City

 

 

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