Premier League Matchday 35: Tricky Away Trip For Manchester United
The Champions League has reached the quarter-final stage and all sides are in midweek action. Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the first leg last eight action.
Liverpool beat Porto in the round of the Last 16 last season winning the first leg in Portugal 5-0 before the sides played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
The Reds must do without the suspended Andy Robertson for the first leg, but Porto have failed to win any of their last 12 away knockout ties and I expect Jurgen Klopp’s side to take a sizeable lead into next week’s second leg.
The sides have met six times in European competition previously with Liverpool unbeaten (D3 W3) in those games although the Reds will have to watch out for striker Moussa Marega who is bidding to become just the fourth player in the history of the competition to score in seven successive CL games. The others are Edinson Cavani, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tip: Liverpool to win to nil at 11/10
The first ever European meeting between the clubs and I feel it will be advantage City after Tuesday’s tie at White Hart Lane.
City have been pulling up few trees in recent games, but they have been doing more than enough to maintain their challenge for what would be an unprecedented four major trophies. City have won 11 of the last 16 games played between the sides – all in the Premier League – and I expect them to take a lead back to the Etihad next week.
Pep Guardiola has won 26 knockout Champions League ties – the record currently stands at 27 held jointly by Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. I expect City’s Spanish boss to join that illustrious group midweek.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score at 23/10
Juventus have reached the quarter-finals for the third successive season, but I feel it will be honours even at the Johann Cruyff Arena.
Ajax knocked out holders Real Madrid in the last round but did lose the home leg before famously overturning the deficit in the Bernabeu. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored seven CL goals against Ajax and I feel Juve will score in Amsterdam in what promises to be a hugely entertaining tie.
Tip: Game to finish 1-1 at 6/1
This is the first Champions League meeting between the sides since Barcelona’s famous 3-1 win in the 2011 final– a game I watched in awe from the United bench as an unused Wembley substitute.
Lionel Messi has failed to score in his last 11 Champions League quarter-final ties for Barcelona and has attempted 49 shots in this barren period. United have already lost at home to Juventus and PSG in the Champions League this season and I feel the Spanish giants will edge what promises to be a cracking game with opportunities at both ends.
Tip: Messi to score first in a 2-1 Barcelona win at 24/1
Michael’s midweek Champions League treble: Liverpool, Manchester City and Barcelona 9/2