September 18, 2021, 19:11

Charlie Nicholas’ Champions League predictions: Liverpool face PSG, Man Utd in Switzerland

Charlie Nicholas’ Champions League predictions: Liverpool face PSG, Man Utd in Switzerland

The new Champions League campaign gets underway this week, and Charlie Nicholas makes his predictions for the opening group games.

Tottenham and Manchester United are on their travels to Inter Milan and Young Boys respectively, while Liverpool host Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. Competition favourites Manchester City face Lyon on Wednesday.

With four English teams in action, here is what the Soccer Saturday pundit is predicting…

Inter Milan v Tottenham (Tuesday, 5.55pm)

I think Inter Milan are a club on the up, whereas Tottenham’s reputation at the moment is getting a bit tarnished and suddenly, you are going from Premier League contenders to danger signs about a lack of investment.

Harry Kane is just out of form. He is making the same moves and maybe looks a bit sluggish, but every season at the start of a campaign, Kane gets slaughtered for never scoring in August. Then he gets into the routine, scores at Old Trafford and all of a sudden, everybody is saying he is fatigued. He is not fatigued – he and Spurs are not playing well.

Poch leaves out Trippier, Alderweireld

Two weeks ago, I would have put a banker on Spurs winning this but now there is an uncertainty. They have good players and I think they are a better team than Inter but they are a bit timid at the moment, confidence is low so I am going for 1-1.

I am expecting Kane to start, but I’m going for Lucas Moura to score first. The way their current form is, I think that’s a good result. Barcelona is the one where everyone is going to be pointing the finger at how good or how poor they are and that will take care of itself. Spurs are in a one-game-at-a-time situation right now and if they walked away with a draw and a better performance, I think they will be content with that, so it would be a half-decent result for them.

Charlie predicts: 1-1 and Lucas Moura to score first (35/1 with Sky Bet)

Liverpool v PSG (Tuesday, 8pm)

It is an absolute belter of a game in all honesty. PSG, on their day, are probably as good as you have ever seen and I include Barcelona in that. They just do not quite do it all the time, as regularly as Barca did in the past.

Liverpool more than deserved to win at the weekend but I do not think it was as sparkling up front as what it has been. Salah is just a little bit edgy and a little bit self-indulgent in certain circumstances, whereas last season his awareness was better.


Jugen Klopp is hopeful on Roberto Firmino after his eye injury

There will be so many superstar footballers on this pitch. Liverpool could actually play this like a counter-attack game because PSG are so open, but I am guaranteeing goals here. I am going for 2-2 and Neymar and Roberto Firmino both to score.

Charlie predicts: 2-2 and Roberto Firmino to score anytime (60/1 with Sky Bet)

Man City v Lyon (Wednesday, 8pm)

Lyon will be getting caught in an awkward situation because they are leaking goals at the moment, while young Moussa Dembele went there from Celtic.

Even at the weekend, it was a stroll in the park at 3-0 for City. It seems like Pep has gone ‘this isn’t good enough’ but what he has done is got Leroy Sane back into the team and scoring goals, Raheem Sterling is scoring and is all of a sudden looking at Sergio Aguero asking ‘what happened to this superstar starting the season? Gabriel Jesus, where are you these days?’ He is asking questions of them.

But when you are asking questions and still looking good, I think it’s promising for Man City. I am always unsure what Pep is going to do up front, but I have a feeling he is going to bring in Jesus and I am going for a very convincing victory.

Charlie predicts: 4-0 to Man City (9/1 with Sky Bet) and Gabriel Jesus to score a brace

Young Boys v Man Utd (Wednesday, 8pm)

It’s down to Manchester United. There has always been a scalp or two in Switzerland in the past, Basel were a team who did it to them in the past, and these are awkward games. What I will say to Man Utd is it is yours to lose. It is a game you should turn up and win even if you do not play that well.

Romelu Lukaku is not everybody’s favourite – he’s not my favourite – but he gets goals. If you give him service, he gets goals.

Man United should be way too strong. In reality, I see this being an unimpressive three points for Man United and I am going for 1-2 and Lukaku brace.

Charlie predicts: Manchester United to win 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet) and Romelu Lukaku to score a brace

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