Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions for Liverpool v Napoli and Barcelona v Tottenham

It’s the day of destiny for Spurs and Liverpool in the Champions League (Picture: Metro / Getty)It’s the last set of fixtures in the Group Stages of the Champions League and Michael Owen believes it will be a mixed set of results for our Premier League sides.

Once again our Brand Ambassador shared his thoughts on all the midweek action with BetVictor.

Barcelona vs Tottenham

Lionel Messi was in sensational form against Spurs at Wembley earlier in the competition (Picture: Getty)Since the start of the 1975/76 season Barcelona have lost just one of their 30 home European ties against English sides (Liverpool 1-2 2007) but Spurs must equal, at worst, Inter’s result (H PSV) if they are to qualify for the knockout stages.

Mauricio Pochettino rested Harry Kane at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, but the England skipper will be restored to the starting XI in the Nou Camp. Barcelona could rest some key players given they are already guaranteed to top the group, but I feel they will do enough to take a point against the Premier League outfit.

Michael’s prediction: Barcelona 1 – 1 Tottenham

Liverpool vs Napoli

Mohamed Salah was back to his best at the weekend (Picture: Getty)Liverpool have lost each of their away games in the Champions League this term but will still qualify for the knockout stages if they beat Napoli at Anfield 1-0 or by two goals or more granted PSG win at Crvena Zvezda.

Both sides warmed up for this massive tie with 4-0 wins at the weekend, but I feel the Reds will win what promises to be another wonderful European occasion at Anfield.

The Reds are unbeaten in 18 successive European home ties while Napoli have not won any of their last six away ties in the competition. It promises to be tense and one vital goal might be enough for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Michael’s prediction: Liverpool 1 – 0 Napoli

Manchester City vs 1899 Hoffenheim

Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the season (Picture: Getty)City have lost three of their four home Champions League ties in 2018 but I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to bounce back after losing their unbeaten Premier League record at Chelsea on Saturday.

City need a point to top the Group while Hoffenheim have yet to win away from home in Europe (D3 L3). City to get back to winning ways.

Michael’s prediction: Manchester City 2 – 0 1899 Hoffenheim

Valencia vs Manchester United

Paul Pogba is likely to start against Valencia having been benched at the weekend (Picture: Getty)Valencia have failed to score in six of their last eight CL ties, but I feel the La Liga side can win in the Mestalla although United can still, mathematically, top the group if they win in Spain and Juventus fail to do so in Switzerland against Young Boys.

United are guaranteed a place in next Monday’s draw for the last 16 and have won their two previous away games in the competition so far this season. They were, arguably, fortunate to win in Turin, however, and I feel Valencia will end their CL campaign with a win before embarking on a Europa league challenge in 2019.

Michael’s prediction: Valencia 2 – 0 Manchester United

Michael’s midweek Champions League treble: Liverpool, Manchester City and Valencia at 9/2

Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ‘not surprised’ at alleged racial abuse towards Man City’s Raheem Sterling

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (Picture: Getty)Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is ‘not surprised’ at the alleged racial abuse directed at Raheem Sterling during Manchester City’s defeat against Chelsea.

England international Sterling has told police he was racially abused at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

He informed members of the Metropolitan Police that he heard racist insults and other foul language as he went to retrieve a ball that had gone out of play during the 2-0 loss.

Cameras picked up several home supporters screaming at Sterling and the disturbing video has been shared by the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ian Wright and Patrice Evra.

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Klopp says the incident did not surprise him and that the culprits must be punished. He also hailed Sterling as ‘brilliant’ for not reacting to the abuse.

The Liverpool manager said: ‘I watched the game and I saw him pick the ball up and then I saw the guys shouting.

‘I thought his reaction was just brilliant. Looking at his face, he gave the right response. They don’t warrant any reaction or respect.

‘I’m not surprised about it. It won’t stop just because we talk about it. But I like that they put the finger on it. You cannot say whatever you want.

(Picture: Instagram)‘There needs to be punishments. They need to get punished. What I like is that 95 per cent are not like this.

‘Yes, punish them, but don’t talk too much about them because they don’t deserve it.’

In the aftermath of the incident Sterling, who played for Liverpool before joining Manchester City in 2015, said newspapers were helping to ‘fuel racism’ by the way they portray young black footballers.

‘All I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity and give all players an equal chance,’ the Premier League winner said.

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Jamie Redknapp warns Jurgen Klopp about a major threat to Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (Picture: Getty)Jamie Redknapp has warned Jurgen Klopp that dropping into the Europa League could derail Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes.

The Reds must beat Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday evening to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Klopp’s side overtook Manchester City at the top of the Premier League this weekend after maintaining their unbeaten league run with a 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth.

City were also unbeaten ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures but lost 2-0 at Chelsea.

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Redknapp sees Liverpool as genuine title contenders but fears their domestic push could be derailed if they enter the demanding and gruelling Europa League.

‘Tuesday night is Liverpool’s biggest game of the season,’ the former England international told the Daily Mail.

‘Their result against Napoli will have a huge say on whether they can win the Premier League.

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‘Qualify for the Champions League knockout stage and they go into Sunday’s Anfield showdown with bitter rivals Manchester United with incredible momentum.

‘Failing to make it through would not only be a significant blow to their confidence but could also mean they are playing Europa League football.

‘Playing on Thursday then Sunday is gruelling and it means you are more likely to have to play catch-up in the Premier League. It would threaten to derail their title push.’

Redknapp added: ‘Despite making their best start to a top-flight season, Liverpool are still only a point clear at the top.

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‘Manchester City may have lost to Chelsea but that result makes them no less formidable.

‘I cannot see them making many more slip-ups, especially when Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne return to fitness.

‘Since their last league championship in 1990, Liverpool have never looked better equipped to win the title.’

MORE: Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all in the Premier League title race, says Dimitar Berbatov

Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all in the Premier League title race, says Dimitar Berbatov

Former Premier League champion Dimitar Berbatov (Picture: Getty)Two-time Premier League champion Dimitar Berbatov says Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all capable of winning the title this season.

Liverpool, who thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday, climbed to the top of the table after Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea.

Defending champions City have looked in unstoppable form this term but saw their unbeaten run ended by Maurizio Sarri’s team at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool are now the only team yet to suffer a defeat in the Premier League this season and Berbatov insists they are a ‘big rival’ to Man City.

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But the former Manchester United striker also sees Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham as genuine title challengers.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, he said: ‘Liverpool are a big rival for Man City. We don’t like that but you need to give credit.

‘They’re playing great football. They enjoy the way they play. It is good for the league. Now you have Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal all in the race.’

Asked specifically about Chelsea’s title credentials, Berbatov added: ‘Sarri said they were not in the race. But then they beat Man City. Was it a trick?

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Liverpool? Manchester City? Graeme Souness predicts who will win the Premier League

Souness believes City have the edge (Picture: AMA/Corbis via Getty)Graeme Souness believes Manchester City ’have the edge’ in the race for the Premier League title, although he expects Liverpool to ‘challenge right until the death’.

The former Reds ace was impressed by the manner in which Jurgen Klopp’s side blew Bournemouth away in a 4-0 win – a result that maintained their unbeaten run in the Premier League this season.

Their comprehensive victory against Eddie Howe’s men saw them rise to the top of the table, although Manchester City will return to the summit if they avoid defeat against Chelsea later on Saturday afternoon.

Neither side has been defeated yet in England’s top flight and Liverpool are posing a serious threat to Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.

Klopp and Guardiola are fighting for the title (Picture: Getty)But Souness still believes City have enough to see off their title challenge and expects them to be crowned title winners.

‘I think Liverpool have got strength in depth now,’ Souness told Sky Sports. ‘I think Liverpool will be fine. I think Liverpool will challenge right until the death.

‘I think it’s between – with all due respect to the others and they’ll go on runs and make an impression – Liverpool and City.

‘If you ask me right now, I think City have the edge.

‘For anyone who has aspirations to win this league you have to finish in front of City.’

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Liverpool ‘in contact’ with Paris Saint-Germain over Adrien Rabiot transfer

Rabiot seems set to leave PSG (Picture: Getty)Liverpool are in talks with Paris Saint-Germain over the potential transfer of Adrien Rabiot, according to reports.

The PSG midfielder is in the midst of a contract stand-off with his club, refusing to sign a new deal.

Rabiot’s deal expires in the summer and several top clubs are eager to snap up the Frenchman on a free transfer.

Barcelona and Liverpool are in talks with PSG (Picture: Getty)L’Equipe claim Liverpool and Barcelona are in ‘contact’ with PSG about Rabiot.

PSG want Rabiot to sign a new deal, but are thought to be desperate to ensure he does not sign for Barcelona.

Since Neymar swapped Barcelona for Paris, relations between between the two clubs have soured.

(Picture: Getty)That could give Liverpool a major advantage over Barcelona, although there are claims Rabiot wants to join the La Liga giants.

If Rabiot does run down his contract, he will be free to chose the club he wants to play for.

The 23-year-old is thought to be unhappy with his wages at PSG, compared to some of the superstar salaries in the squad.

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PSG do not want Rabiot to join Barcelona (Picture: Getty)Rabiot earns £55,000-a-week, while Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are on contracts upwards of £200,000-a-week.

Liverpool and Barcelona are not the only side to have made contact with PSG, as Metro.co.uk understands Manchester City are keen on a move.

Jurgen Klopp is keen for another midfielder after failing in his bid to sign Nabil Fekir from Lyon.

MORE: Jurgen Klopp explains why James Milner is playing right-back for Liverpool against Bournemouth

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool

It’s another packed weekend of Premier League action (Picture: Getty / Metro)Manchester City and Liverpool are setting a scorching pace at the top of the Premier League and the visit of the champions and league leaders City to Stamford Bridge is the weekend highlight.

Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the action.

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Xherdan Shaqiri has become an increasingly influential player in recent weeks for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Bournemouth bounced back after four successive Premier League losses to beat Huddersfield at the Vitality Stadium midweek although they were far from impressive.

Liverpool have made their best-ever start to a top-flight season after coming from behind to beat Burnley on Wednesday, but still trail City by a couple of points.

The Reds unsung hero James Milner will play his 500th PL game at the Vitality Stadium and it was no surprise to me that it was Milner who was the catalyst for Liverpool’s dramatic comeback against the Clarets midweek.

Michael’s prediction: Bournemouth 1 – 2 Liverpool

Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the current Premier League top goalscorer (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are unbeaten in 20 games in all competitions and four points this week from the visit of Spurs and a trip to Old Trafford shows just how far Unai Emery’s side have come in such a short period of time.

Town have lost eight of their last nine top-flight games against the Gunners and failed to score in each of those games. I fancy a similar scoreline at the Emirates.

Michael’s prediction: Arsenal 2 – 0 Huddersfield Town

Burnley vs Brighton

Both games between the sides finished goalless last season and it is hard to see a goal-fest at Turf Moor especially when you consider these two teams have had the fewest shots on target so far this term – Burnley 40 and Brighton 44.

If there is to be a winner at Turf Moor I think Sean Dyche’s side might nick the points, but it is unlikely to be a classic.

Michael’s prediction: Burnley 1 – 0 Brighton

Cardiff City vs Southampton

Mark Hughes was sacked by Southampton earlier this week (Picture: Getty)Southampton fans can take heart from the fact that their new Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhüttl won 120 points in the Bundesliga during his two-season spell as manager of RB Leipzig; only Bayern Munich (166) won more in this period.

Saints hit the woodwork three times against Spurs midweek and deserved their late – albeit consolation – goal. Cardiff have come from behind to win their last two home league games, but I feel they will have to settle for a point in their quest for a hat-trick.

Michael’s prediction: Cardiff City 1 – 1 Southampton

Manchester United vs Fulham

Jesse Lingard rescued a point for Manchester United against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)United continue to show their character and fight having picked up a point from behind at both Southampton and at home to Arsenal in the last week.

No side has made as many changes as United so far this season which suggests the club have had their fair share of injuries, but also that Jose Mourinho does not know his best starting XI.

Fulham have lost their last six PL away games and I can’t see them getting anything at Old Trafford although the Cottagers have improved under Claudio Ranieri and the hosts will not have things all their own way.

Michael’s prediction: Manchester United 2 – 1 Fulham

West Ham vs Crystal Palace

The team scoring first in the 14 previous PL games between these clubs has never lost and I expect West Ham to grab the opener and the points in this London derby.

Palace have not won in their last five away games and I was disappointed they were not able to get at least a point against 10-man Brighton at the Amex midweek.

Michael’s prediction: West Ham 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

Chelsea vs Manchester City

N’Golo Kante could be key to stopping the Man City juggernaut (Picture: Getty)Chelsea have lost two of their last three and only mustered seven shots in the two league games – both won by City – between the sides last season.

Chelsea are a different proposition under Maurizio Sarri, especially at the Bridge, this season and I feel they can keep a point. City were far too good for the Blues in the Community Shield in the season curtain-raiser but, back on home soil, I feel Chelsea will get a draw from a 1-1 draw as they did against Liverpool earlier in the season.

Michael’s prediction: Chelsea 1 – 1 Manchester City

Leicester City vs Tottenham

Harry Kane is looking to score for the third game in a row (Picture: Getty)Spurs have not had a PL draw in their last 19 games and I feel they will take maximum points at the King Power from an entertaining clash in the late kick-off on Saturday.

Harry Kane has scored 13 times in his 11 previous games against the Foxes and the England skipper may again be the difference between the sides at the weekend.

Michael’s prediction: Leicester City 1 – 2 Tottenham

Newcastle United vs Wolves

Wolves came from behind to beat Chelsea at Molineux midweek, but they are struggling for goals on the road and if there is to be a winner at St James’s Park on Sunday then I feel it will be the hosts.

I was very impressed with the Magpies defensively at Goodison midweek with the returning skipper Jamaal Lascelles outstanding in a three-man defence. It will be interesting to see if Rafa Benitez perseveres with the system back on home soil.

Michael’s prediction: Newcastle United 1 – 0 Wolves

Everton vs Watford

Everton ran out of steam and ideas against Newcastle midweek and still seemed to be smarting after their Merseyside derby defeat.

Marco Silva was in charge of Watford when the Hornets lost the corresponding fixture 3-2 (goalless at halftime) last season and the visitors will travel to Goodison having lost their last four.

Richarlison scored for Watford at Goodison last season but his equaliser against Newcastle midweek was his seventh strike of the season and the young Brazilian looks sure to play a leading part in what I expect to be an entertaining contest with the hosts just edging it.

Michael’s prediction: Everton 2 – 1 Watford

Michael’s midweek wager: Arsenal, West Ham and Everton at 9/2

Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

Man City forward Riyad Mahrez rates Chelsea and Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League

Riyad Mahrez helped Manchester City beat Watford on Tuesday (Picture: Getty)Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez insists Chelsea and Arsenal are capable of winning the Premier League title this season.

City have made a superb start to their title defence, winning 13 of their 15 league fixtures to move two points clear of nearest rivals Liverpool.

Liverpool are the only other club yet to suffer a defeat in the Premier League this term, while Chelsea and Arsenal also occupy a top-four place.

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A number of pundits have claimed Man City and Liverpool will battle it out for the title, but Mahrez says Chelsea and Arsenal could also challenge.

‘Of course, everyone in the top four can win the league,’ the former Leicester City playmaker told CityTV after Pep Guardiola’s side beat Watford on Tuesday evening.

‘Nothing is done and we need to keep working very hard for each other and the team and trying to win every game.’

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Manchester City outplayed Watford at Vicarage Road and Leroy Sane gave the visitors the lead shortly before half-time.

Mahrez then added City’s second immediately after the break, before Abdoulaye Doucoure scrambled home a late consolation goal for Watford.

‘You are not going to win every game 4-0 or 5-0. Going through these types of games makes you stronger,’ Mahrez added. ‘We played very well up until the second goal.

‘After that we created more chances and tried to kill the game but in football when you are 2-0 up and the opposition score, the crowd get behind them and it’s difficult.

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‘We are very happy to win and get the three points. You are not going to win every game 4-0 or 5-0. Going through these types of games makes you stronger.

‘Now we need to focus every three days. We need to be ready and at our top.’

Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge to face Maurizio Sarri’s in-form Chelsea on Saturday.

MORE: Chelsea open talks with Real Madrid over permanent Mateo Kovacic transfer

Pep Guardiola responds to Jurgen Klopp’s wild celebrations against Everton

Jurgen Klopp celebrated wildly at the end of the Merseyside derby (Getty Images)Pep Guardiola offered a sympathetic view on Jurgen Klopp’s exuberant celebrations at the end of the Merseyside derby by insisting that football is ‘an emotional game’.

Klopp has come in for some criticism for after he sprinted onto the pitch to celebrate Divock Origi’s 96th minute winner for Liverpool against their fiercest rivals Everton.

After the game, Klopp stated he had apologised to his opposite number Marco Silva for his celebrations, however the Portuguese subsequently claimed no such apology had been made.

Guardiola has also been known to make the odd extravagant celebration in his time as a manager and he admitted he wasn’t happy with himself after celebrating a winning goal against Southampton last season in similar circumstances.

Pep Guardiola remonstrated with Nathan Redmond after Raheem Sterling’s injury-time winner against Southampton last season (Getty Images)‘I did it against Southampton. There are a lot of emotions in those moments. I know when I did it I was not happy to it,’ he said.

‘I can understand [Everton boss] Marco Silva, but sometimes it is what it is. It is an emotional game, the last minute and everything happening in the mind and your heart and your body.

‘Sometimes you can do that. I talk for myself, you have to be respectful.

‘When you win it is personality, when you lose it is a lack of respect. You judge after it happens. When you do these things when you lose you are impolite, you are a bad guy, you are not correct.

‘When you win everything is acceptable. We live in a world where we judge the winners and make a lot of big compliments only because you win.’

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Origi’s goal could prove to be a significant one as had Liverpool drawn the game, they would have slipped four points behind Manchester City in the Premier League table. Instead, they remain just two off Guardiola’s side.

Klopp also made a beeline for his goalkeeper Alisson when he rushed onto the pitch, perhaps because the Brazilian had helped keep the scores level with a point-blank stop from Andre Gomes.

After the game, Klopp accepted that he could be the subject of a charge from the Football Association, saying: ‘I’m not sure what the FA has to do in a situation like this but I will have to wait.’

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When is the FA Cup third round draw and what are the ball numbers?

Chelsea won the FA Cup last season (Picture: Getty Images)Traditionally one of the biggest moments of the football season, the draw for the FA Cup third round takes place on Monday evening.

The Premier League and the Championship sides join the fray at the third round, and smaller clubs will be hoping for a draw against one of the big teams of the English game.

Unai Emery provides Mesut Ozil injury update ahead of Man Utd clashThe ties will not be played until the new year, but there will be plenty of excitement this evening for any of the lesser lights that can look forward to a trip to Old Trafford or Anfield.

Here is everything you need to know about the draw and which numbers to look out for…

The FA Cup third round is a huge part of the football season (Picture: Getty Images)When is the FA Cup third round draw?

The draw takes place on Monday 4 December at 7.30pm.

The games will be played on the weekend of Saturday 5 January 2019.

Where to watch the FA Cup third round draw

BBC One will be showing the draw live following the One Show and you will also be able to watch it on the BBC website or BBC iPlayer.

Ball numbers

1 AFC Bournemouth2 Arsenal3 Aston Villa4 Birmingham City5 Blackburn Rovers6 Bolton Wanderers7 Brentford8 Brighton & Hove Albion9 Bristol City10 Burnley11 Cardiff City12 Chelsea13 Crystal Palace

14 Derby County15 Everton16 Fulham17 Huddersfield Town18 Hull City19 Ipswich Town20 Leeds United21 Leicester City22 Liverpool23 Manchester City24 Manchester United25 Middlesbrough26 Millwall27 Newcastle United28 Norwich City29 Nottingham Forest30 Preston North End31 Queens Park Rangers32 Reading33 Rotherham United34 Sheffield United35 Sheffield Wednesday36 Southampton37 Stoke City38 Swansea City39 Tottenham Hotspur40 Watford41 West Bromwich Albion42 West Ham United43 Wigan Athletic44 Wolverhampton Wanderers45 Guiseley or Fleetwood Town46 Luton Town47 Wrexham or Newport County48 Tranmere Rovers or Southport49 Barnsley50 Shrewsbury Town51 Solihull Moors or Blackpool52 Grimsby Town53 Peterborough United or Bradford City54 Woking55 Oldham Athletic56 Lincoln City57 AFC Wimbledon58 Oxford United59 Barnet60 Portsmouth61 Walsall or Sunderland62 Accrington Stanley63 Doncaster Rovers64 Gillingham

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