DANNY MURPHY: The Premier League trio be happy with CL draw

DANNY MURPHY’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST-EIGHT GUIDE: This is the draw all three Premier League teams would have wanted – to avoid each other and Bayern Munich or PSG

  • The Premier League clubs will be glad to have avoided Bayern and PSG 
  • Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all have a good chance to progress 
  • I’d be surprised if Borussia Dortmund or Porto can win their ties over two legs
  • Liverpool have more goals in their squad which should give them an advantage
  • Bayern Munich’s Champions League final repeat against PSG will be fascinating 
  • Robert Lewandowski’s absence and Neymar’s return puts the tie on a knife-edge 

There is a good chance we could see three English teams through to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009.

This is the draw the Premier League managers would have wanted because they have avoided each other – and last season’s finalists Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

Here I give my verdict into the eight teams and say who I believe will advance into the semi-finals.

The English teams will be glad to have avoided reigning holders Bayern Munich at this stage

MANCHESTER CITY vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND

Tuesday, 8pm, live on BT Sport

Dortmund have the attacking threats of Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho and you could watch some of their goals and think they are unstoppable.

But they are dodgy at the back and facing City, with Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan against you, is the last thing they need.

It looks a tasty tie but if City don’t go through I think they will be devastated. Dortmund only edged past Sevilla 5-4 on aggregate in the last round and City are better than the Spaniards in attack. 

While Haaland is a handful, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are better prepared than anyone to cope.

Verdict: I’d be surprised if Dortmund can win over two legs.

Look out for: Jude Bellingham. He has played a lot of first-team games and is in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Not bad for 17! Bellingham likes to be creative but the big test for him is staying disciplined when City have long spells with the ball.

Manchester City will have to look out for Erling Haaland and youngster Jude Bellingham

The likes of Ruben Dias are better prepared than most to deal with the threat of Haaland

REAL MADRID vs LIVERPOOL

Tuesday, 8pm, live on BT Sport

Real’s teamsheet used to strike fear into opponents but not any more. Injuries have prevented Eden Hazard from becoming another Galactico and their best players, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, are all in their 30s. 

In fact, Liverpool carry the greater firepower with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota. Modric and Kroos are still capable of dictating the tempo of games but Real boss Zinedine Zidane will be concerned about the threat of Salah and Mane, who can spring attacks in an instant.

Verdict: Liverpool have more goals in their squad and I’d give them the edge.

Look out for: Mo Salah. No longer haunted by the dislocated shoulder that ruined his 2018 final against Madrid, the absence of his ‘assailant’, the injured Sergio Ramos, increases the likelihood that he will be able to exact revenge.

Real Madrid’s best players including Karim Benzema (left) and Luka Modric are all in their 30s

Mo Salah will be out to exact revenge on Real Madrid after the events of the 2018 final

BAYERN MUNICH vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

Wednesday, 8pm, live on BT Sport

This is a phenomenal match-up between last season’s finalists but the absence of Robert Lewandowski coupled with the anticipated return of Neymar for PSG puts this tie on a knife-edge.

Bayern’s 1-0 win gives them a psychological edge because they know how to beat PSG and there is always a little uncertainty facing a team that has beaten you recently.

Of course, there is no way this game is a foregone conclusion – how could it be when PSG have Kylian Mbappe – but Bayern have attacking threats with Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, who scored the winning goal in the final.

Verdict: Over 180 minutes, history favours Bayern.

Look out for: Mauricio Pochettino. I’m not sure he got the credit for what he did at Spurs and the number of players he improved so it’s fantastic to see him involved in such a huge game.

Bayern Munich have plenty of attacking threats despite the absence of Robert Lewandowski

It’s great to see Mauricio Pochettino back in a big game after what happened at Tottenham 

PORTO vs CHELSEA

Wednesday, 8pm, live on BT Sport

Against Juventus in the last round, Pepe won plaudits for being a defensive warrior while Sergio Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi have quality going forward. 

But Porto were stretched at times and slightly fortunate to get through. They will be pragmatic against Chelsea but Thomas Tuchel’s side are normally hard to score against in Europe (although not on Saturday in the Premier League!) and I think have enough matchwinners. 

Mason Mount is in amazing form, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho will control the midfield and the stage is set for Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic to produce some magic.

Verdict: Porto will try to be clever and hit Chelsea on the break but the Blues have too many threats.

Look out for: Mason Mount. Seems to turn up in every big game he plays and makes an impact. It says a lot that, for all the talent available to Chelsea and England, he is the first name on the teamsheet when it matters.

Pepe won many plaudits for his warrior like performance for Porto against Juventus

Mason Mount is one to watch out for in this tie as the England star turns up in every big game




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