Football

Champions League: Charlie Nicholas predicts Tottenham vs Olympiacos, Man City vs Shakhtar Donetsk



Former Arsenal star, Charlie Nicholas, has predicted some of today’s UEFA Champions League fixtures.

Manchester City will take on Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium after beating Chelsea 2-1 over the weekend in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur will face Olympiacos following a 3-2 victory over West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Speaking with Sky Sports, Nicholas gave his predictions thus;

Tottenham vs Olympiacos: “Olympiacos are bottom with a point and they got a cracking draw in the repeat fixture against Tottenham, who made it hard work for themselves with the thrashing from Bayern Munich.

“Jose Mourinho came in at the right time – Tottenham were down on their luck and feeling sorry for themselves, yet had bundles of quality. He should pick up the confidence easily.

“There are some problems still in defence. I think Serge Aurier is still rash, I am not sure how dedicated Danny Rose is to the cause, and I am unsure on the centre-backs.

“It will be a comfortable performance and three points, which means they will qualify. There are some favourable fixtures coming the way of Jose and after this one, he can say Tottenham are in the last 16 of the Champions League.”

Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk: “I feel there are still problems at the back for City. You could see that against Chelsea, but what a fabulous game of football. I kept seeing Riyad Mahrez and he was great – why did Pep Guardiola not take him off the bench at Anfield and let him run at Andy Robertson?

“Against Chelsea, he kept going back and back – why did he not take anyone on? He did it on one occasion and scored, taking on two players. I know Pep wants his players to pass it and go into the different sections, but Mahrez is a wide man. You don’t take that out of Raheem Sterling – that’s what we love about him. I don’t know if he has been brainwashed into the stats and the fact that he cannot give the ball away.”

“The Sergio Aguero injury will concern everyone, but I think Gabriel Jesus is probably ready to come into the team anyway. They will miss the quality of Aguero, but I don’t see any danger here. I have gone with 3-1 because there are still some frailties at the back.

“City could play Claudio Bravo as Ederson looked a tad rusty against Chelsea, so it could give him a bit more time to recover. They win this and they win the group, and then they can rest even more bodies in the last game, and that’s where this is going.”


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