Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has given his Champions League predictions for this week’s games in an exclusive interview with CaughtOffside.
Liverpool take on Real Madrid this evening in what promises to be an intriguing tie between two European giants, though neither side have been at their very best this season.
Still, Chadwick expects Liverpool to get the better of Zinedine Zidane’s side over the two legs and has tipped Diogo Jota for a key role in the team as the Reds look to win the Champions League again after lifting the trophy less than two years ago.
Diogo Jota to fire Liverpool past Real Madrid?
“I think Liverpool seem to be sliding back into form a little bit, more like the Liverpool from last season. They tend to produce in the big games and I fancy them strongly against Real Madrid who have had a tough time under Zinedine Zidane this season,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“The talisman for them is Karim Benzema, he’s done it year in, year out for them for a long time now. Salah hasn’t been at his electric best for Liverpool this season but still has a fantastic goal record.
“And a player I think will play a huge role for Liverpool towards the end of the season is Diogo Jota, who scored a great header against Arsenal from Alexander-Arnold’s cross, having also shown great form for Portugal. I think he could be the key for Liverpool in terms of sneaking into the top four and adding to their Champions League hopes as well.”
City to have too much for Dortmund?
Manchester City will be among the favourites to lift the European Cup this year, and Chadwick thinks they’ll have too much for tonight’s opponents Borussia Dortmund, despite them coming up against one of the most in-form forwards in world football right now in Erling Haaland.
“I fancy Man City strongly in that game,” Chadwick said. “Dortmund have got some wonderful individual players like Haaland and (Jadon) Sancho, but as a team they’ve not really clicked this season. They’re under a lot of pressure and I think City will be too strong for them.
“It’s exciting to see Haaland play as he doesn’t need too many chances to score a goal. Obviously his father and agent have been jetting around Europe talking to clubs and I think City and United are in the running to sign him, but I think City have too much for Dortmund in this game and should win comfortably.”
Can Chelsea recover from West Brom shock?
Finally, Chadwick also expects Chelsea to get past their opponents Porto, though he warned that the Blues will have to improve after their shock 5-2 home defeat against West Brom at the weekend.
“A really strange result, obviously Tuchel’s had a fantastic start and then to get beaten 5-2 at home by West Brom is a big wake up call for him and his squad,” the pundit said.
“I think Chelsea probably got the best draw out of all the English clubs in the Champions League. Porto are steeped in tradition but haven’t been the strongest team for the last five or ten years. Chelsea are probably favourites but as big favourites maybe after the result against West Brom. They’ll have to tighten up defensively, but I fancy Chelsea to win that with their attacking options. I expect them to go through to the next round.”