Michael Owen’s Champions League final prediction as Real Madrid face Liverpool

Owen has made his predictions for the CL final (Picture: VCG via Getty)It goes without saying that Real Madrid have a great European pedigree and Kiev will be their 16th European Cup/Champions League final – more than any other club and Zinedine Zidane is the first manager to reach three consecutive Champions League finals since Marcello Lippi between 1996 and 1998.

Indeed, under Zidane Real Madrid have never been knocked out in the Champions League, progressing in all nine of their two-legged Champions League ties as well as winning the two finals they have appeared in.

This shows the magnitude of the task facing Liverpool on Saturday.

All season I have thought Los Blancos were the team to beat in the Champions League and any side who have knocked out PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich deserve to take their place in the final.

They have not faced a side, however, with the pace, energy, skill and passion of this Jurgen Klopp-inspired Liverpool side and I expect to see Jordan Henderson pick up a sixth European Cup/Champions League Trophy for the Reds in Kiev.

Can Klopp inspire Liverpool? (Picture: Getty)Liverpool of course have their own rich heritage as far as the competition is concerned having reached their eighth European Cup/Champions League final (first since 2007) at least three more than any other English side.

The Reds became only the third team to score 40 goals within a single season in the Champions League after their two goals in Rome in the semi-final second leg, after Barcelona (45 in 1999-00) and Real Madrid (41 in 2013-14).

Mo Salah (10), Roberto Firmino (10) and Mane (9) have scored 29 goals between them in the Champions League this season and the Reds front-three can again be the difference between the sides in Ukraine. The Whites are a great team but they are not blessed with great pace in their back four and I expect Liverpool to exploit that weakness in what promises to be a cracker.

If there is an early goal, I honestly believe it could be any score.

My head says Real Madrid but my heart says Liverpool.

Prediction: Real Madrid 1-2 Liverpool

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For tips from Michael read his column here.

Michael Owen’s Champions League & Europa League predictions, including Liverpool v Roma

We’ve reached the semi-final stage in the Champions League and Europa League with Liverpool and Arsenal representing Premier League interests respectively. Looking ahead to the ties, BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions.

Liverpool v Roma – Champions League, Tuesday

Liverpool are yet to lose in the European Cup/Champions League to Roma in three previous meetings – including the penalty shoot-out success in the 1984 Final in Rome – and I expect the Reds to take a lead back to the Italian capital for the second-leg in just over a week’s time.

Liverpool have scored 33 times in the Champions League this season and I expect to see the Reds come flying out of the traps at Anfield. The fans played their part against City in the quarter-final and I expect to see the same passion and energy on and off the pitch.

Liverpool were brilliant in the quarter-final as they came past Manchester City (Getty)Roma have won just one of their last 14 Champions League games on the road – and that was at Qarabag earlier in the season – and are without a clean sheet in their last 26 away games in the competition.

Newly crowned PFA Footballer of the Year Mo Salah has scored in his last four Champions League starts for the Reds and will meet up with a number of old friends and former team-mates.  That friendship will be put on hold for 90 minutes, however, in what will be a white-hot Anfield atmosphere – I take Liverpool to take a significant lead to Rome.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Roma

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Bayern Munich v Real Madrid – Champions League, Wednesday

These two great clubs have played 24 times previously in European competition with nothing between them – 11 wins each and two draws, although Real Madrid have held the upper hand in recent years winning the last five.

The Whites have won on their last two visits to the Allianz Arena (4-0 in the 2014 semi-final and 2-1 in last year’s quarter-final) and on both occasions the Spanish giants have gone on to lift the trophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo is this season’s Champions League top scorer (Getty)I cannot split the sides midweek but hope and expect my old side to find the back of the Bayern net. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in his last 11 Champions League games, which seems almost inconceivable such is the quality of the opposition.

I make no apologies for hoping and expecting to see two of my former clubs Liverpool and Real Madrid, in next month’s final in Kiev. Whilst the Reds should take a lead to Italy, I feel Los Blancos will have to settle for a draw.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 1-1 Real Madrid

Arsenal v Atletico Madrid – Europa League, Thursday

This is the first time these clubs have met in European competition and it promises to be a tight, cagey affair despite the fact that Arsenal have scored the most goals in the competition so far this season (29) and Atletico have scored 15 times in six games since they entered the competition.

The Gunners have scored at least three times in their last six home games in all competitions, but the Spanish side will represent a much tougher challenge. Atletico were held 0-0 at home by Real Betis – who had the best opportunities to break the deadlock – at the weekend, but Diego Simeone rested a number of key players- including Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann – and Betis went into the game having won their last six games.

Arsene Wenger will be looking to go out on a high at Arsenal by winning the Europa League (AFP)Atletico currently sit second in La Liga and have kept 11 clean sheets on the spin at home in all competitions. Arsenal cannot afford to lose the first leg and I do not think Arsene Wenger will play quite as attacking a side as the one who faced West Ham on Sunday. A clean sheet would give the Gunners every chance of reaching the final in Lyon next month.

Just a word on Arsene Wenger who announced his retirement last week. Wenger was a pioneer who changed the footballing landscape forever. He built a dynasty at Highbury/Emirates that will never be forgotten, and he will always be remembered as being one of English footballs greatest ever managers. Your innings well played sir.

Prediction: Arsenal 0-0 Atletico Madrid

More: Arsenal FC

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

Michael Owen’s Premier League and FA Cup semi final predictions, including Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal

It’s a huge weekend of Premier League and FA Cup semi-final action (Picture: Metro)The FA Cup semi-finals and the coronation of Manchester City as Premier League champions 2017/18 are the weekend highlights and again, Brand Ambassador Michael Owen shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the action.

Manchester United v Tottenham

Jose Mourinho must decide whether or not to restore Alexis Sanchez to his starting line-up (Picture: Getty)Manchester United have won their last three FA Cup ties against Tottenham, but I just feel Spurs will end their semi-final hoodoo – they have lost their last seven FA Cup semis – at Wembley on Saturday.

Both sides were in Premier League action on the south coast midweek with United meeting Bournemouth on Wednesday whilst Spurs were held 1-1 at Brighton twenty-four hours earlier.

Spurs were not at their best against Champions Manchester City on Saturday or against the Seagulls, but Mauricio Pochettino rested a number of key players at the Amex and I expect to see a rejuvenated Spurs come out firing in their “home” semi.

United did not show up at a subdued Old Trafford against West Brom on Sunday which was a surprise given their remarkable Derby comeback at the Etihad the previous weekend.

Romelu Lukaku has scored in every round of the Cup so far this season and Alexis Sanchez has scored five times in his four FA Cup games at Wembley – United need big games from the pair on Saturday evening.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham

Chelsea v Southampton

Alvaro Morata endured another difficult evening against Burnley (Picture: Getty)Southampton have won four of their five FA Cup ties against Chelsea but they surrendered a two-goal lead at St Mary’s in the league on Sunday and I expect the West London outfit to confirm the form at Wembley.

The Blues – who meet Chelsea at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Thursday – have won their last five games against the Saints and Antonio Conte has a big call to make as to who leads the Blues line following Olivier Giroud’s brace after coming on as a second half substitute last weekend.

I expect to see an entertaining clash with Chelsea making it through the final for the 12th time from their last 15 semi-finals.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton

West Brom v Liverpool

Mohamed Salah will continue his quest to win the Golden Boot (Picture: Reuters)Nothing wrong with West Brom’s spirit and I wonder how many sides have been relegated at the end of a season they have gained wins at both Old Trafford (Premier League) and Anfield (FA Cup).

Liverpool entertain Roma on Tuesday and could be forgiven for having one eye on their Champions League semi-final first leg, but this is a very focussed, motivated Reds side and I expect them to have too much quality for the Baggies.

Mo Salah became only the third Liverpool striker to score 40+ goals in all competitions – after Roger Hunt (1961-62) and Ian Rush who achieved the feat twice in 1983-3 and 1986-87. He has been magnificent so far this season although you sense there is still more to come from the Egyptian who must be looking forward to meeting his old Roma teammates at Anfield.

Prediction: West Brom 0-2 Liverpool

Watford v Crystal Palace

Watford have only picked up one point from their last 30 on the road and have only gained a solitary draw from their last five games. The Hornets did pick up enough points earlier in the season to be almost certain of maintaining their Premier League status but their current form is a worry with next term in mind.

Palace got the maximum points their recent home form deserved when they beat Brighton in their south London derby last weekend and I think they can build on that success at Vicarage Road.

Prediction: Watford 0-2 Crystal Palace

Arsenal v West Ham

Arsenal are in action just 48 hours after Arsene Wenger confirmed he is to stand down at the end of the season (Picture: Getty)I thought Arsenal played well for long periods at St James’s Park but the bottom line is they have now lost five successive away league games for the first time since 1984. That is simply not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s heritage.

The Gunners home form remains good, however, and I expect them to go into Thursday’s Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid with three points safely tucked away from this London Derby.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

Stoke City v Burnley

Stoke had two points cruelly taken from them at the London Stadium on Monday and the draw means they are five points from safety. You feel they must beat Burnley at the weekend if they are to have any chance of maintaining their Premier League status.

That is easier said than done, however. The Clarets, at the time of writing, have won their last five league games and they are challenging Arsenal for a place in the top six. What a season it has been for Sean Dyche and all involved with the club.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-1 Burnley

Manchester City v Swansea

Manchester City were confirmed as Premier League champions last weekend (Picture: Getty)I would like to add my congratulations to Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side who have been quite magnificent this season and showed great character, to match their undoubted talent, at Wembley on Saturday when they demolished a very good Spurs side.

Raheem Sterling scored his 22nd goal of the season for City at Wembley, he has brought more consistency, and goals to his play this term – he has a massive role to play for the Three Lions in Russia this summer.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Swansea

Everton v Newcastle United

Everton were fortunate to come away with all three points at St James’s Park in the reverse fixture over Christmas and former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, eyeing a top ten finish, would gain great satisfaction if his Newcastle side finished above the Blues this season.

Former United manager Sam Allardyce has steadied the ship at Goodison, but the natives have not been best pleased with the quality of football the Blues have served up. Make no mistake this is no end-of-season affair between two mid-table teams.

I do not expect the Magpies to lose.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Newcastle United

Michael’s weekend treble: Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Arsenal at 11/2

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal

It has not been the best of weeks for top-of-the-table Manchester City and things might get even worse for the Champions-elect this weekend given they meet a Tottenham side who are looking to cement their Champions League spot for next season.

Ahead of that match, and the rest of the weekend’s Premier League action, BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions…

Southampton v Chelsea

The opening goal is normally very important in any game but perhaps less so at St Mary’s this weekend, given both sides failed to hang on to a lead last time out. Indeed, Southampton have now failed to win any of the last six Premier League games in which they have opened the scoring!

Southampton lost to Arsenal last weekend despite having been in the lead (Getty)The Saints badly need the points as they look to maintain their Premier League status and if there is to be a winner at St Mary’s I feel it will be the hosts, despite them having lost their last four league games against Chelsea.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Chelsea

Burnley v Leicester City

Burnley manager Sean Dyche (Getty)Burnley are looking to win five consecutive top-flight games for the first time since November 1968 and Sean Dyche must be a leading candidate for LMA Manager of the Year irrespective of the outstanding claims of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Only Mo Salah (21) has scored in more Premier League games than Jamie Vardy (15) so far this season and I fancy the Foxes will pick up a hard-earned point at Turf Moor.

Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Leicester City

Crystal Palace v Brighton

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha (Getty)Palace have not had much luck at Selhurst Park in recent months but that might change this weekend in their ‘derby’ clash with Brighton.

Brighton have failed to score in five of their last seven away Premier League games and I think they will struggle to cope with the pace and flair of Wilfried Zaha. You would have got big odds at the start of the season had you backed Luka Milovejic (10) to be top Premier League scorer for the Eagles this term and it is about time that Christian Benteke stepped up to the plate for Roy Hodgson’s side.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Brighton

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Huddersfield v Watford

There have been 32 goals in the last seven league games between the sides and I expect to see another entertaining clash in West Yorkshire.

The Hornets have only picked up one point from their last nine Premier League away games and coach Javi Gracia is yet to see his side score a goal away from Vicarage Road in four previous games. A hard game to call but I would be surprised if we did not see goals at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-2 Watford

Swansea v Everton

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal (Getty)I was disappointed with Everton, despite them picking up a point, against Liverpool in last weekend’s Merseyside Derby. They were second best for much of the game before suddenly waking up in the last fifteen minutes due to the fact that the Reds were there for the taking.

It might be a long time before they a have a similar opportunity to break their Derby hoodoo such is the respective strength of the two clubs at present.

Carlos Carvalhal has won seven of his nine home matches since taking over at the Liberty Stadium and both defeats have come at the hands of Spurs. I think the Swans might edge a low-scoring contest.

Prediction: Swansea 1-0 Everton

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Mohamed Salah will be looking to crack the 30 goal mark (Getty)Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 18 home Premier League games and when they take the field at Anfield on Saturday evening against Bournemouth we will just know the winner of the 2018 Grand National – which starts fifteen minute earlier. But more importantly we’ll also know who the Reds will meet in the semi-final of the Champions League.

The Cherries have only won at Stamford Bridge against the ‘Big Six’ sides on the road in the history of the Premier League and I cannot see past another home win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Mo Salah has scored in 21 Premier League games so far this season and is one goal from becoming just the eighth player in the history of the competition to score 30 league goals in a season. Seventeen of those goals have come at Anfield but his midweek goal at the Etihad again showed just what a great player he is.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth

Tottenham v Manchester City

It’s been a poor week for Pep Guardiola (Metro.co.uk)Manchester City have played two great halves of football against United and Liverpool this week, but they were not able to sustain that brilliance over 90 minutes and it has to go down as a disappointing week for the club.

That should not detract, however, from a magnificent season for the team and they will be fitting champions – even if the champagne is currently on ice.

Spurs have won their last two home league games against City and the visitors would not be human if they did not feel a little sorry for themselves.

As an England supporter, I am concerned that England’s first-choice defender John Stones did not even make the bench for either of the games this week and Gareth Southgate must be a little worried about his lack of regular playing time.

These two sides can only play one way and that is to attack, but I feel the hosts will keep the points in the capital.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City

Newcastle v Arsenal

Can Rafa Benitez mastermind a win over Arsenal? (Reuters)Newcastle will be well aware that they have lost their last 10 Premier League games against the Gunners but I think they will buck that trend at St James’s Park on Sunday.

United have won their last three league games while the Gunners have actually lost their last four Premier League games on the road. Yes – they have not played an away league game since their 2-1 defeat at Brighton at the beginning of March!

Arsenal have only won thirteen of their 54 points so far this season on their travels and if there is to be a winner on Sunday, I expect United will edge it.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal

Manchester United v West Brom

Manchester United stunned Man City last time out (Getty)Manchester United have kept a league-high 16 clean sheets in the league so far this season and with a trip to Bournemouth to come on Wednesday I expect to see a no-frills success from Jose Mourinho’s side whose confidence must be sky-high after their Etihad derby win.

The Baggies have not won in their last 15 away league games while United have won their last five league games. This looks a banker home win.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 West Brom

West Ham v Stoke City

David Moyes would love to see his side win the Monday night game (Getty)You have to go back to December 2016 for the last time West Ham gained back-to-back home wins and I feel the Potters might take a vital point in the capital on Monday night.

Stoke are fighting for the Premier League lives but do have a good record at West Ham where they are unbeaten in their last five league visits.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Stoke City

More: Manchester United FC

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

MORE: Thibaut Courtois ‘very interested’ in Paris Saint-Germain move but Chelsea have plan to block transfer

Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions, including Man City v Liverpool

Manchester City must overturn a three-goal deficit when they entertain Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals tonight – so can they do it? BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen looks ahead to that match and the rest of the Champions League action.

Manchester City v Liverpool (Agg: 0-3)

Only two teams in the history of the Champions League have overturned a 3+ goal deficit from the first leg in the knockout stages – Deportivo v Milan in 2004 and Barcelona v PSG 12 months ago. That shows the magnitude of the task facing Manchester City.

Liverpool won 3-0 in the first leg (Getty)That said, the tie would almost be in the balance had City scored at Anfield, but I can’t see them keeping a clean sheet against the Reds who have so much pace and power on the break.

I expect to see goals and although Liverpool will miss both Emre Can (injured) and Jordan Henderson (suspended) Man City old-boy James Milner has been a revelation in recent weeks for Jurgen Klopp’s side who I feel will do more than enough to be in Friday’s semi-final draw in Switzerland.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool

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Roma v Barcelona (Agg: 1-4)

Luis Suarez celebrates his goal in the first leg (Getty)I was not impressed by Barcelona in the first leg and it would be fair to say that the scoreline flattered the Catalan giants in the Nou Camp.

Luis Suarez scored a terrific goal – his first in 10 Champions League games – but he looked out of sorts for large periods of the first leg, and Roma have never lost at home to Barcelona. Indeed, Barcelona have not won any of their last six Champions League away games against Italian sides.

I expect Barca to qualify but Roma to get at least a draw in the Italian capital.

Prediction: Roma 1-1 Barcelona

Bayern Munich v Sevilla (Agg: 2-1)

Bayern Munich train ahead of the second leg (Getty)Sevilla have never reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and Bayern have won their last seven Champions League games so you would imagine things would be straightforward for the Bavarian giants in Munich.

That said, I didn’t think Bayern played particularly well in Spain and I am beginning to get quite excited about the prospects of my former clubs (Liverpool and Real Madrid).

Bayern have won 20 of their last 21 home games in the competition and they should be far too good for the La Liga side.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-0 Sevilla

Real Madrid v Juventus (Agg: 3-0)

Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to add to his Champions League tally (Reuters)Juventus have won two of their eight away games in the Bernabeu although one was back in 1962 and the other a decade ago. Real Madrid are looking to qualify for the last four of the competition for the eighth consecutive season – an extraordinary feat.

The whites have score in their last 24 Champions League games – one might be enough to settle this tie.

Prediction: Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus

More: Liverpool FC

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

MORE: Mohamed Salah should be ‘fine’ to play against Manchester City, claims Sadio Mane

Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions, including Liverpool v Manchester City

We have reached the last eight in the Champions League and the highlight is the all-Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City.

BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen once again shares his thoughts on all the midweek quarter-finals, including the first-leg of the Liverpool v Man City tie at Anfield.

Juventus v Real Madrid – Tuesday

This is the 20th time these two great Clubs have met in the European Cup/Champions League and history shows there is very little between them with nine wins for Real Madrid, eight for Juve and two draws.

This is of course a repeat of last season’s final in Cardiff which my old club won 4-1 but Juve are unbeaten in their last 27 games at home in European competition and have won six and drawn the other tie in their seven previous home games with the Whites.

Juventus overcame Tottenham in the previous round (Getty)Spurs came near to ending the Old Lady of Italian football’s proud European home record in the last round, however, and I feel the La Liga side will get a draw – and a vital away goal – to take back to the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in every game he has played against Juventus – seven goals in five games – including two in last season’s final. This is the Whites’ only chance of silverware this season but I think they can get a draw in what promises to be a wonderful occasion with Zinedine Zidane returning to Turin for the first time as a coach.

Zinedine Zidana (C) speaks to Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Isco ahead of this week’s tie (Getty)Zidane won two Italian titles and a Ballon d’Or at Juventus and said in the build up to the game, ‘I became a man in Turin. I will always be Juventino.’ It is sure to be an emotional return to Turin for my former teammate.

Prediction: Juventus 1-1 Real Madrid

Sevilla v Bayern Munich – Tuesday

Bayern Munich’s players attend a training session at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Sevilla (Getty)Sevilla threw away a two-goal lead at home to Barcelona in La Liga at the weekend and I cannot see past a win for the Bundesliga side, despite the fact that Bayern have been knocked out of the competition by Spanish sides in each of the last four seasons.

I do think Manchester United missed a trick not going all out for a goal in the away leg of their last 16 tie with the La Liga outfit, but don’t expect Bayern to make the same mistake. The clubs have never met in European competition and this is Sevilla’s first appearance in the last eight of the Champions League. It promises to be a hugely entertaining clash with the Bavarians just having the edge.

Prediction: Sevilla 1-2 Bayern Munich

Barcelona v Roma – Wednesday

Lionel Messi has scored six Champions League goals this season – half the number scored by Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty)Roma have never made it beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League and I expect Barcelona to take a lead back to the Italian capital next week.

Roma have a raft of injury concerns ahead of the game in the Nou Camp while Barca were able to rest Lionel Messi for over an hour against Sevilla at the weekend before he almost single-handedly snatched a point for the champions-elect.

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last nine Champions League ties and have conceded only two goals in those games. Roma have only won one of their last 13 Champions League games on the road and I cannot see past a comfortable home win.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-0 Roma

Liverpool v Manchester City – Wednesday

The atmosphere at Anfield promises to be something special (Getty)The 179th meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City but the first in European competition and what a wonderful occasion it promises to be.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their 10 previous Champions League games this season and I expect them to take a slender lead back to the Etihad next Tuesday. One thing is for sure, City will have a harder game at Anfield than they had on their last visit to Merseyside given Everton’s pale and limp performance at Goodison on Saturday.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp and Man City’s Pep Guardiola (Getty)

Liverpool v Manchester City

Previous meetings this season…

Sep 2017, Premier League: Man City 5 Liverpool 0

Jan 2018, Premier League: Liverpool 4 Man City 3

Top scorers in Champions League…

Roberto Firmino – 7Sadio Mane – 6Mohamed Salah – 6Sergio Aguero – 4Raheem Sterling – 4

Path to the quarter-finals…

Liverpool topped Group E ahead of Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Maribor without losing a game. Jurgen Klopp’s side then thrashed Porto 5-0 away in the Round of 16 before cruising through 0-0 in the second leg.

Manchester City topped Group F ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord. Pep Guardiola’s side won their first five games but lost 2-1 to Donetsk in the final match having already won the group. Man City overcame Basel 5-2 on aggregate in the first knock-out phase.


Liverpool to qualify: 4/9

Manchester City to qualify: 17/10

Fixture and draw dates…

First leg at Anfield: Wednesday 4 April

Second leg at the Etihad: Tuesday 10 April

Semi-final draw: Friday 13 April

Most people expect a game full of goals and opportunities at both ends especially when you consider the two league games between the sides this season have produced 12 goals. I wonder, however, if you gave Jurgen Klopp a 0-0 draw whether he would take it.

There is too much quality and flair on show for the game to be a tactical stalemate and I expect Liverpool – roared on by the crowd – to take a lead to the Etihad but for City to have scored what might prove to be an all-important away goal.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Manchester City

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

MORE: Jurgen Klopp reveals Liverpool gameplan for facing Man City in Champions League

Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Chelsea v Tottenham

The Premier League returns this weekend following the final international break of the season with the visit of Tottenham to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge the highlight of the fixture list.

BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen shares his thoughts on every top-flight match…

Crystal Palace v Liverpool

You have to go back twenty years for the last time Liverpool did the double over Crystal Palace in the Premier League but I will be surprised if the Eagles prevent the Reds from taking the points at Selhurst Park in the early kick-off on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool (Getty)Mohammed Salah has scored in 20 of his 30 Premier League games so far this season and he is only one away from the record set by Robin van Persie (2012-13) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08). That statistic shows vividly what a tremendous impact he has had on the Premier League in just his first season.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool

Brighton v Leicester City

Jamie Vardy scored for England against Italy during the international break (Getty)Brighton have won their last three home league games at the Amex but I feel they may have to settle for a point against a Leicester side who put four past West Brom in their last away game.

Twenty of Leicester’s thirty Premier League games so far this season have seen both sides find the back of the net – more than any other side in the division – and I think we will see goals again at the weekend.

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Leicester City

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Manchester United v Swansea

Romelu Lukaku is one goal away from joining the 100 club (Getty)Manchester United have already beaten Swansea twice so far this season and I think they will land the treble at Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku has 99 Premier League goals to his name and I feel he will join the 100 club against a Swans side who have won their last two league games against ‘big six sides’ albeit both at the Liberty Stadium.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Swansea

Newcastle v Huddersfield

Dwight Gayle is Newcastle’s top scorer (Getty)Huddersfield have failed to score in their last three Premier League games and I feel they will struggle against a Newcastle side who have won their last two home Premier League outings.

Dwight Gayle is the Magpie’s top Premier League scorer with five so far this season, which highlights the fact that United have struggled for goals this term, but they put three past Southampton in their last game and I expect the hosts to keep the points in a low-scoring contest.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 Huddersfield

Watford v Bournemouth

Watford manager Javi Gracia (Getty)Watford have only lost one of their last 16 home games against Bournemouth and the Hornets will be keen to put behind them their five-goal defeat at Anfield last time out. The hosts have a perfect three from three home record under Javier Gracia and they have never lost to Bournemouth in five previous Premier League games between the clubs.

Prediction: Watford 2-1 Bournemouth

West Brom v Burnley

Alan Pardew’s side look doomed (Getty)West Brom have lost their last seven league games but I feel they can take a point at the Hawthorns against a Burnley side who have only conceded 14 times on the road so far this season. To put that into context only leaders Manchester City (10) have shipped fewer.

The Baggies have fond memories of Burnley, however, winning nine of their last 10 home league games against the Clarets. Albion are ten points from safety and look sure to be playing Championship football next term, but they will not lack for commitment and I feel they might take a point.

Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Burnley

West Ham v Southampton

West Ham will be fearful of a repeat of the ugly scenes that marred their last home fixture (Getty)This is a massive game near the foot of the Premier League table and Mark Hughes will have been delighted by the Saints’ win at Wigan in the FA Cup a fortnight ago.

It is well-documented that West Ham have their problems on and off the pitch having lost their last three league games by a three-goal margin. It looks sure to be a tight, tense affair and if there is to be a winner, I feel the Saints might take the points.

Prediction: West Ham 0-1 Southampton

Everton v Manchester City

Man City boss Pep Guardiola (Getty)Everton won the corresponding fixture 4-0 last season and Manchester City have not actually beaten the Blues in their last four Premier League games, having picked up a point at the Etihad earlier in the season.

Pep Guardiola has never beaten Everton in three previous attempts as a manager but feel he will buck that trend at Goodison as City play the first of two very big games on Merseyside over the next week.

Prediction: Everton 1-3 Manchester City

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Arsenal v Stoke City

Arsene Wenger’s side will be seeking back-to-back league wins for the first time since November (Getty)Arsenal have won their last 15 home games against Stoke in all competitions and it is hard to see past another home win at the Emirates on Sunday.

The Gunners have won their last 24 home league games against sides who started the day in the bottom three but if they beat the Potters at the weekend, it will be the first time they have won back-to-back in the league since November, which highlights their inconsistency this term.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City

Chelsea v Tottenham

Chelsea have an incredible record over Spurs at Stamford Bridhe (Getty)Chelsea have not lost at home to Spurs in the league since February 1990 – a run of 27 games. Indeed, Spurs have never won at Stamford Bridge in the history of the Premier League – an unwanted record of 25 games and counting.

Sunday’s clash promises to be a quality, full-blooded encounter and I expect to see goals. Spurs have taken the lead but failed to hang on in their last two league games at the Bridge losing 2-1 last term and, famously, surrendering a 2-0 lead back in May 2016 – a result that went down particularly well in Leicester.

Both sides came through difficult FA Cup quarter-final away ties before the international break and this could be a dress rehearsal of the FA Cup final in May, although Manchester United and Southampton will have much to say in the semi-finals.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham

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Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Michael Owen’s Premier League and FA Cup predictions

After a winning Champions League midweek treble, it is back to domestic action and BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen again shares his thoughts on how he thinks things will unfold this weekend.

On the agenda are the FA Cup quarter-finals and four Premier League clashes.

FA Cup

Swansea City v Tottenham – Saturday

Any club side in the world would miss Harry Kane and his goals but Spurs have to show they are not a one-man band at the Liberty Stadium against an improving Swansea side.

Tottenham will look to Son Heung-Min in the absence of Harry Kane (Getty)Spurs are unbeaten in their last 15 games against the Swans in all competitions although the South Wales outfit did pick up a point at Wembley earlier in the season. Son Heung-Min stepped up to the plate in Kane’s absence at the Vitality Stadium last weekend and the South Korean might again be the difference given he has scored nine times in his last 10 FA Cup starts.

Prediction: Swansea City 1-2 Tottenham

Manchester United v Brighton – Saturday

Romelu Lukaku could be the man to lift the gloom around Manchester United (Reuters)I think Manchester United will be stung by their midweek Champions League defeat, and the criticism of their performance against Sevilla, and expect them to bounce back against Brighton.

Romelu Lukaku has scored 11 goals in his last 10 FA Cup appearances and the only tie in that period he failed to score in was against United in the 2016 semi-final for Everton when he missed a penalty for the Blues.

You have to go back to 1986 for the last time Brighton won an away FA Cup match against top-flight opposition and they may have to wait at least another twelve months to buck that trend.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Brighton

Wigan Athletic v Southampton – Sunday

Mark Hughes will take charge of his first game as Southampton manager (Getty)Wigan have already beaten Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester City en route to the last eight and it will be interesting to see what side new Southampton manager Mark Hughes fields at the DW Stadium given their current position in the Premier League.

There are no replays in the quarter-finals this year and it would be no surprise if the tie went to extra-time or penalties but if there is to be a winner in 90 minutes, I think the 2013 winners might edge out the Premier League side.

Prediction: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Southampton

Leicester City v Chelsea – Sunday

Chelsea will have to bounce back from their defeat to Barcelona (Getty)Chelsea have won twelve of their last 15 games against Leicester but the champions had a tough game at Barcelona midweek and they will have to be at their best against a Foxes side who put four past West Brom last weekend.

Chelsea cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after they hit the woodwork no less than four times over the two legs against Barca and it is hard not to conclude that Lionel Messi was the sole difference between the sides.

This looks sure to be a close, entertaining affair and I can see opportunities at both ends – but if there is to be a winner in 90 minutes perhaps the hosts can shade it.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

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Premier League (all fixtures on Saturday)

Bournemouth v West Brom

Both of these sides lost 4-1 at home last weekend and West Brom’s defeat at the hands of Leicester was probably their death knell as far as their Premier League status is concerned.

The Cherries played their part in a cracking game against Spurs on Sunday and I would be surprised if they did not get back to winning ways having scored in their last 11 league games.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom

Huddersfield v Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have lost their last four in a row (Getty)Palace were thrashed by Huddersfield at Selhurst Park on the opening day of the season and the Eagles find themselves back in the bottom three having lost their last four in a row. The hosts start the day four days above the drop zone and a draw would not be the worst result in the world for the Terriers. Palace have only kept five clean sheets so far this season and I expect to see goals at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Prediction: Huddersfield 1-2 Crystal Palace

Stoke City v Everton

Paul Lambert will be targeting maximum points (PA)A massive game for Stoke City who have not won in their last three home games under Paul Lambert. The Potters were no match for City on Monday, but they will have targeted maximum points against Everton – this is a game they simply cannot afford to lose.

Everton have lost their last five Premier League away games and will miss the creativity of the injured Gylfi Sigurdsson, but Cenk Tosun has scored in his last couple of games for the Blues who I feel will take a point.

Prediction: Stoke City 1-1 Everton

Liverpool v Watford

Liverpool will be looking to return to winning ways (Reuters)Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 17 home league games and I expect the Reds to return to winning ways after the disappointment of last weekend’s Old Trafford defeat.

Jurgen Klopp has never lost back-to-back in the Premier League and the Reds put six past the Hornets in the corresponding game last season. The sides shared six goals at Vicarage Road on the opening day of the season and I expect to see goals at Anfield – with Liverpool getting more than their fair share.

Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Watford

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Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael, read his column here.

Michael Owen says Liverpool should fear three Champions League rivals – but not Manchester City

Michael Owen insists Liverpool should not fear Manchester City (Picture: Getty)Michael Owen has named the three clubs Liverpool should fear in the Champions League after they progressed to the quarter-finals.

A goalless draw at home to Porto saw the Reds cruise through to the last-eight, following their 5-0 demolition of the Portuguese outfit in the first leg.

Real Madrid joined Liverpool in the hat with an impressive victory over Paris Saint-Germain, while Manchester City and Tottenham can follow suit in their home ties on Wednesday evening.

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Manchester United face Sevilla next Tuesday, before Chelsea travel to the Nou Camp to try to knock Barcelona out the following day.

Owen insists the next round will be a tough ask for Liverpool whoever they draw, but believes three clubs stand out as particularly formidable opposition.

Premier League champions-elect Manchester City are not one of them, however, with Owen highlighting Liverpool’s victory over Pep Guardiola’s side in January as the reason they should not fear such a fixture.

Liverpool cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)‘It’s very hard because we don’t know who’s in there just yet,’ Owen told BT Sport. ‘They should fear Real [Madrid], Barca and Bayern [Munich], the normal suspects.

‘You wouldn’t fancy Man City but then again Liverpool beat them a few weeks ago. They wouldn’t be quaking in their boots [if they drew City], put it that way.

‘The big hitters are all there, there was a few comfortable teams in this round but the next one will be tough.’

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, said he ‘doesn’t care’ who his side face after praising their performance in the 0-0 draw with Porto on Tuesday.

The Reds boast incredible attacking threat (Picture: Getty)‘I don’t mind to be honest, I don’t care, you have to take it as it comes,’ he said. ‘There’s five English teams in so at one point you will meet each other if you stay in.’

Liverpool can move back up to second in the Premier League if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Reds boast one of the most exciting attacking units in Europe and both Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand believe they can continue their Champions League journey.

‘Liverpool are a dangerous team,’ club legend Gerrard said. ‘The big improvement in Liverpool is defensively, the goalkeeper is in great form and Virgil van Dijk has made a big impact.

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‘It’s looking positive for them.’

Ferdinand added: ‘I feel they’ve got the potential. You wouldn’t want to play Liverpool, that front three is on fire.

‘They’re going to be a hard proposition for any team in this tournament.’

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Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions, including PSG v Real Madrid and Spurs v Juventus

The Champions League returns this week with two of the three Premier League sides in action taking big leads into their home ties. 

It means the big games are PSG v Real Madrid and at Wembley where Spurs and Juventus are all-square at 2-2 after the first leg in Turin.

BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen shares his thoughts on all the midweek action…


Liverpool v FC Porto (Agg 5-0)

Liverpool thrashed Porto in the first leg (Getty)No team has progressed to the next round of the Champions League having lost the first leg 5-0 at home and I expect Liverpool to make serene progress into the quarter-finals.

Despite what he’s said Jurgen Klopp is likely to make changes to his starting XI given the Reds travel to Old Trafford at the weekend, but he has a squad full of quality and I expect to see players such as Adam Lallana get some valuable first-team action.

Liverpool have scored 25 goals in their last five games in the competition and Porto have never won a Champions League game in England – a comfortable home win.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 FC Porto

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PSG v Real Madrid (Agg 1-3)

Ronaldo, who scored twice in the first leg, is in sensational form (Getty)The statistics suggest Real Madrid are favourites to go through to the last eight given just one in three sides who lose the first away leg 3-1 have made it through to the next round of the Champions League – and I agree.

Neymar is a huge loss to PSG and much will be expected of Kylian Mbappe and Edison Cavani. The Whites have only conceded one goal in their three previous Champions League ties against the French champions, but Paris have a proud home record and it promises to be a wonderful occasion.

The hosts must be wary of Madrid on the break and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored in every Champions League game so far this season. I expect to see goals.

Prediction: PSG 2-1 Real Madrid


Manchester City v FC Basel (Agg 4-0)

Manchester City were brilliant in the first leg (Getty)City are unbeaten in their last 12 Champions League games at the Etihad and Basel’s record in the knockout stages of the competition on the road (0-11 in two games) does not exactly give cause for optimism if you are a supporter of the Swiss outfit.

City have shown no sign of a dip in form in recent weeks despite their loss to Wigan in the FA Cup and three wins and three clean sheets against Arsenal and Chelsea in the last week suggests they continue to go from strength to strength.

Gabriel Jesus is likely to get a start midweek and he will be eager to get back among the goals following his recent injury.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 FC Basel

Tottenham v Juventus (Agg 2-2)

Tottenham and Juventus were involved in a high quality 2-2 draw in Italy (Getty)Spurs are one of only three teams unbeaten in the Champions League so far this season – alongside Liverpool and Barcelona – but they have only kept one clean sheet in their six Champions League games at Wembley and I expect a tight, tense encounter against the Old Lady of Italian Football.

Juve have kept a clean sheet in their last three away games in the knockout stages of the competition, but if Spurs score then the Italians need two to progress and I feel the Premier League side will gain a famous Wembley win.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Juventus

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael, read his column here.

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