• Betting

Pundits predictions: Who will reach the Champions League quarter-finals?

Champions League
Getty Images

Check out expert predictions from Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, and Charlie Nicholas on who will win the remaining four Champions League last-16 ties.

A near five-month wait is finally over as Champions League football returns to our television screens tonight, starting with the remaining last-16 ties.

Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig are already through to the mini-tournament coming up in Lisbon this month. So who else could join them in the Portuguese capital?

To answer this question, we turned to the verdicts of three former famous footballers in Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and Charlie Nicholas, who only covered the English teams.

Manchester City vs Real Madrid (agg. scoreline: 2-1)

Most eyes will be on the Etihad Stadium tonight as two of the finest managers around in Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane go head-to-head in another round. Out of the two of them, Zizou has the hardest job. 

The Frenchman’s Real Madrid side fell to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City. Not only did they concede two valuable away goals, but they lost Sergio Ramos to a red card. Therefore, he’ll be suspended for tonight’s return leg in Manchester.

And as Charlie Nicholas pointed out on his Sky Sports column, Pep knows how to get Los Blancos on the wrong foot. So banking on the former Barcelona boss to lead City to victory seems a sound bet.

Charlie Nicholas: 3-2
Michael Owen: 3-1
Dimitar Berbatov: 1-0

Juventus vs Lyon (agg. scoreline: 0-1)

Cristiano Ronaldo may be known as Mr. Champions League, but will that be enough for Juventus tonight? The Bianconeri’s dreadful run of form and a 1-0 first leg loss to Lyon leaves them on the back foot. In fact, Maurizio Sarri has already had to deny rumors this could be his last match as manager.

But Lyon have only played one competitive game since March in last week’s Coupe de la Ligue final defeat to PSG. To be fair, they did well to contain Neymar and Angel Di Maria. But can they do the same against Ronaldo? Looks like a solid no from Owen and Berbatov.

Michael Owen: 3-1
Dimitar Berbatov: 3-0

Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (agg. scoreline: 3-0)

A nightmare 3-0 home defeat in the first leg has left Chelsea on the brink of a last-16 exit. To progress to the next round, they’ll need a miracle. Three unanswered goals in Munich would take the tie into extra-time and possibly penalties. A fourth one, on the other hand, ensures victory.

But stopping Robert Lewandowski and an in-form Bayern Munich in Germany on Saturday night is probably a tad too much for Frank Lampard’s men.

Charlie Nicholas: 2-0
Michael Owen: 2-0
Dimitar Berbatov: 2-0

FC Barcelona vs Napoli (agg. scoreline: 1-1)

Barcelona are undefeated at home in the Champions League for over seven years and are big favorites to book a quarter-final spot.

Napoli may have beaten Juventus in the Coppa Italia final and held the Catalan giants to a 1-1 at home in the first leg, but victory at Camp Nou is just a dream. Especially with Lionel Messi hungry for Champions League glory.

The fact that Barcelona haven’t played since July 19 may have done them some good. It would’ve given the squad a chance to regroup after the disappointment of losing La Liga and the growing tensions inside the club.

Michael Owen: 2-0
Dimitar Berbatov: 2-1