January 18, 2021, 3:02

Liverpool and Tottenham to lose in Europe, Manchester United to draw, predicts Charlie Nicholas

Liverpool and Tottenham to lose in Europe, Manchester United to draw, predicts Charlie Nicholas

Charlie Nicholas provides us with his predictions for the penultimate round of Champions League group-stage fixtures.

Tottenham and Manchester City have already qualified for the knockout stages while Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea will join them with victories this week.

Celtic are already out, and have the odds stacked against them when they visit outright favourites PSG, but Charlie doesn’t think his former club are the only British side who could struggle.

Here’s what he is predicting for the six clashes…

Sevilla v Liverpool (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

Well this is a big one for Liverpool. I covered them at the weekend and if it wasn’t for the Mohamed Salah opener it was pretty subdued.

You look at their forward line and it is a very exciting four, but they are still fragile at the back and I can see pain for Jurgen Klopp’s side here.

Is he bold enough to pick that front four? This Sevilla side isn’t as good as we’ve seen in recent years but they’re still a decent side and this is a hostile place to go.

I thought Liverpool would wipe the floor with them at home and they failed to do so and I’m expecting a struggle for them here, with Nolito, who is looking happier back in Spain, doing the damage.

Charlie predicts: 2-1 and Nolito to score first (45/1 with Sky Bet)

Dortmund v Tottenham

Dortmund are struggling in the league and it’s been such a disappointing campaign. They must be incredibly frustrated and at some point there will surely be a backlash.

At the weekend people were saying that Spurs will want to go and get a result here, but I’m not sure that’s the case. The group is already settled as they just need to beat Apoel at home.

So if I’m Mauricio Pochettino, with Harry Kane looking 75 per cent fit and Christian Eriksen surely tired, I’d be more concerned about getting the squad right rather than trying to force a response out of the team.

He needs to make decisions at the back because for me Eric Dier isn’t a centre-back as he gives the ball away too much.

I think Dortmund will be out to prove a point with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming back in looking to put himself back in the shop window following his exile at the weekend.

Charlie predicts: 2-1 and Kagawa to score first (40/1 with Sky Bet)

Manchester City v Feyenoord

PSG, Manchester City and Barcelona are the favourite for me right now. We can see Pep Guardiola has learnt a lot from the mistakes he made and what they’ve got now is momentum, belief and swagger to go out and beat anybody.

You can’t go out and kick teams now with the way referees are so how do you stop this side? This isn’t getting carried away, Guardiola will not let his team’s levels drop and they are all at it to fight for their places.

I’d be looking at a -4 handicap here given the quality of the players they can bring in, with Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan coming in fit, even if they are a bit short of defensive options.

Charlie predicts: 5-0 and Aguero to score a hat-trick (45/1 with Sky Bet)

Basel v Manchester United (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Basel always seem capable of claiming a scalp and they are going well in the group, with a result here putting them in real contention to qualify.

I think these are the games where he’d like to have Zlatan Ibrahimovic in there, although we’ll have to see whether he’s ready to start a game, while I don’t think he’ll risk Paul Pogba.

The job has been pretty much done for Manchester United here, whereas Basel will fight tooth and nail for a result, so I think that evens things up.

Charlie predicts: 1-1 and Ibrahimovic to score first (20/1 with Sky Bet)

Qarabag v Chelsea

Chelsea have responded well to their issue but, as we saw Antonio Conte linked with the Italy job, the feeling still does seem to be when he will go, not if.

Eden Hazard is gradually looking sharper and Cesc Fabregas was fantastic at the weekend. Conte will just want the job done and to save as much energy before a long journey back.

I could see him resting Alvaro Morata, giving the young lad Charly Musonda another game, but I do still see a strong side taking care of business.

Charlie predicts: 0-2 and Willian to score first (25/1 with Sky Bet)

PSG v Celtic

Well I’m already worried about this one after what they did to us in Glasgow. Brendan Rodgers wants to change his style of football and they’ll need to this time.

The worst thing they did was had a pop at Neymar after the last game and I just thought why would you do that? He’s frustrating but he’s one of the finest talents in the world.

The only hope is that the PSG manager decides to rest a few players but they want to win the group before the Bayern game so I don’t see that happening.

It is going to be a painful watch for me but one I’ve anticipated since what happened in Glasgow. People are saying it could be a record margin, with PSG potentially winning 8-0 or 9-0, but Celtic are going to turn up and sit in rather than opening up again.

Charlie predicts: 4-0 and Neymar to score first (18/1 with Sky Bet)

Source: skysports.com

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