Pundit Alan Shearer has tipped Barcelona to be the team to go all the way in this season’s Champions League.
The Catalan giants take on Manchester United next in the Champions League quarter-finals, with Lionel Messi in sparkling form once again this season and looking like being a big factor in deciding the destination of this season’s trophy.
This is bad news for Man Utd as they hope for another memorable result under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who guided them to a shock victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the last round in thrilling style.
It also looks like Shearer doesn’t expect good news for Manchester City either, as he can envisage a Barcelona vs Juventus final, explaining that he thinks the quadruple may be just beyond Pep Guardiola’s side.
‘You cannot write off Manchester United after the way they fought back to beat Paris Saint-Germain,’ Shearer told the Sun. ‘But I just think Barcelona will have too much for them over two games – mainly because of that guy Lionel Messi.
‘I expect it will be Messi who makes the difference against United and he is the reason I think Barca will perhaps go on to win the whole thing.
‘United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserve this crack against Barca because of what they did in Paris. But I just think it will be a step too far for them.’
On City, he said: ‘The quadruple is still on and that in itself is simply staggering. But I still do not think they will pull it off. ‘I can see them winning the Premier League and the FA Cup.
‘But, even if they beat Spurs, I think there is too much quality in the Champions League, particularly Barcelona, with that man Lionel Messi.’
City have been superb over the last couple of seasons, but perhaps still look that little bit short in terms of competing with established European giants like Barca, while Liverpool will also run them close in the Premier League title race.
United, meanwhile, will have to hope for something of a miracle again against Barcelona, or they will only be fighting for fourth between now and the end of the season.