Manchester United and Leicester to lose, predicts Charlie Nicholas
Last Updated: 12/04/17 7:46pm
Charlie Nicholas provides us with his predictions as the quarter-finals of the Champions League and Europa League get under way.
Leicester and Manchester United represent the Premier League's remaining hopes, with the Foxes being Sky Bet's longest-priced outsiders at 33/1 to win Europe's elite competition, while Jose Mourinho's side are favourites to land the Europa League title.
But who is Charlie Nicholas tipping for glory? Read on to find out...
Atletico Madrid v Leicester (Wednesday, 7.45pm)
Can Leicester get a result here? My honest feeling is no. They finally suffered their first defeat under Craig Shakespeare on Sunday and, while lots of players have been doing a lot better, this is a far more difficult proposition.
Atletico play the same way as Leicester as a counter-attacking team with a rigid defence and they only need 30 per cent of possession to win a game.
Leicester got lucky with the first leg in Sevilla and Diego Simeone will be perfectly happy if his side get a 1-0 win rather than go out and force the game, which leaves Leicester between a rock and hard place if they go behind.
Antoine Griezmann is obviously the star and Yannick Carrasco has established himself as a really important counter-attacking player.
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid (Wednesday, 7.45pm)
Zinedine Zidane has managed to pick Real Madrid up despite Cristiano Ronaldo not really doing it at the same level this season, with Sergio Ramos all too often having to save them.
Bayern will feel like they can get at Zidane's defence, with Robert Lewandowski too much of a handful against Real's back four, who for all their experience are still rash under pressure.
I'm expecting quite a physical contest here and I'd be looking at backing plenty of yellow cards, and Bayern, with the ability to handle that physical element, capable of establishing a decent advantage.
Anderlecht v Manchester United (Thursday, 8.05pm)
I don't think this is as easy as everybody is expecting. When do United commit and go all in for the Europa? They're still in the top-four picture so it's not like they've had the chance to rest players and focus on this tie.
With the players Anderlecht have this isn't a gimme and you could even see against Sunderland that there's still vulnerable aspects to Jose Mourinho's side.
Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring on Sunday will have given them a boost but I have a feeling that United will get an early goal and then fail to see it out.