Champions League predictions: Soccer Saturday pundits pick their Champions League winners & discuss Premier League teams' prospects

Champions League predictions: The Soccer Saturday pundits run the rule of the Champions League challengers
Champions League predictions: The Soccer Saturday pundits run the rule of the Champions League challengers

Soccer Saturday's Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier discuss the Premier League challenge and pick out their favourites for this season's Champions League.


Phil Thompson

How will each English team fare in the Champions League?

Tottenham

They enjoyed a wonderful time last year, getting to the final against Liverpool. It was incredible, but both teams struggled so badly in the group stages and just about qualified. Tottenham went on a fantastic journey after this, getting results against Manchester City and Ajax. Once you get a taste of it, there is an expectation on the players and staff that they want a bit more and want to taste it again. I can see them getting to the quarter final with no issues. I can see all of the English teams getting that far. A lot of the English teams are showing they are at the top of the tree again. I will not pass judgement on Tottenham or Arsenal quite yet as you have to see how things pan out over a couple of months and you can then see what their results, recruitment and management has been like. Mauricio Pochettino wants to see progression in the Champions League and if they can sustain a good fight for the Premier League title too. It is called ambition.

Liverpool

It becomes the expectation once more. After Kiev against Real Madrid, the fans were tentatively looking at hotels for Madrid the following year. As I know, as the expectation grips you, people are already thinking about Istanbul in nine months’ time. You get a feeling when you are playing in European competition on how you play and how you get results. The group stages have not been 100 per cent perfect, but nobody wants to play Liverpool in a two-leg knockout. The expectation is massive and I think if they were not to get to the semi-final then it would be a disappointment.

Chelsea

They still have good players. Whether they are going to be good enough offensively to score enough goals I am unsure. Chelsea are better than many clubs in Europe. Will they have enough firepower and creativity to go all the way? I don’t think so. There are vulnerabilities at the back for this team. It will be a difficult one, but Frank Lampard has known what he has had to work with, so he knows what to integrate into the team. Chelsea have not had the perfect start, but they performed extremely well against Liverpool in the Super Cup and the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United was not reflected in the scoreline, so it is not doom and gloom at Stamford bridge.

Manchester City

The expectation will weigh heavily on Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. It is what the owners want and desire. City have cracked the Premier League and the owners can see themselves in the VIP box at Istanbul. I think Guardiola would like it before he moves on to his next challenge, and the players have had a taste of it too. You have to have the heartbreak before you taste success. They have got close, but not close enough, so they could go further. They have the squad and have two teams which could play in the Champions League itself!

Who will win the Champions League?

I would like to think Manchester City and Liverpool will be there. I also think PSG and Barcelona will make up the other two spots. I wouldn’t bet against Liverpool. It is the required knack of winning it. Real Madrid had the knowledge and know-how to get results and it seems to be that way.

Verdict: Liverpool (13/2 with Sky Bet)


Matt Le Tissier

How do you think each English team will fare?

Man City

I think Manchester City will be one of the favourites for the competition, given what they have achieved in the Premier League over the last two seasons. You sometimes just need luck to progress into the final stages and they haven’t had that. They are too good of a side not to get to the final, and win it at some stage.

Liverpool

It is a huge ask to retain the trophy. I would still see them going deep into the tournament. They will be the team that everyone wants to beat and will be a scalp that every team will want to knock out.

It will be hard to replicate the standards they set with their defence of last season. They have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League yet and have looked shakier at times this season as they did during the whole of last year.

Tottenham

It will be difficult for Tottenham to hit the heights of last season. Tottenham had their fair share of luck and more last year so if Tottenham can get to the quarter final, then it would be a pass for them.

Chelsea

It will be a tough one for Frank Lampard. Having lost Eden Hazard and relying on the younger players, if Chelsea can get to the quarter final then that will be a good achievement too.

The youngsters might absolutely love it and not feel any pressure. Hopefully for Frank’s sake that might be the case.

Which team do you think will win the Champions League? One of English teams or European powerhouses?

I think we might be entering a phase of another country dominating, and I see this being the time for the English sides to reign supreme. It will only be a matter of time before Manchester City win it.

Verdict: A Liverpool v Manchester City final would be nice. (Sky Bet odds: 15/2 for all-England final)

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Jurgen Klopp reacts during Liverpool's draw with Manchester United1

Klopp blasts United's system

Jurgen Klopp has expressed his frustration at Manchester United's defensive approach when they come up against Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford in action at Old Trafford2

Tom McDermott: Sunday reflections

Tom McDermott analyses Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford and wonders what ramifications the result will have for both sides for the rest of the season.

Adam Lallana celebrates his goal at Old Trafford3

Lallana denies United victory

Adam Lallana's late strike secured a point for Liverpool at Old Trafford. Watch the highlights of the Premier League clash.

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal4

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

Premier League and EFL football gossip and transfer rumours5

Paper Talk: Pay the man

Christian Eriksen's potential future club has taken another twist, while Raheem Sterling is on the brink of a new mega-contract.

Most Read Football

Jurgen Klopp reacts during Liverpool's draw with Manchester United1

Klopp blasts United's system

Jurgen Klopp has expressed his frustration at Manchester United's defensive approach when they come up against Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford in action at Old Trafford2

Tom McDermott: Sunday reflections

Tom McDermott analyses Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford and wonders what ramifications the result will have for both sides for the rest of the season.

Adam Lallana celebrates his goal at Old Trafford3

Lallana denies United victory

Adam Lallana's late strike secured a point for Liverpool at Old Trafford. Watch the highlights of the Premier League clash.

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal4

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

Premier League and EFL football gossip and transfer rumours5

Paper Talk: Pay the man

Christian Eriksen's potential future club has taken another twist, while Raheem Sterling is on the brink of a new mega-contract.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

Sporting Life's preview of Manchester United v Liverpool

Target these two at Old Trafford

Super Sunday sees the return of one of the Premier League's biggest rivalries as Manchester United take on Liverpool, and Tom Carnduff has a brace of bets.