Charlie Nicholas' Champions League predictions: Man City to suffer first defeat

Generic Charlie Nicholas image 10/08/2016
Image: Charlie Nicholas previews the week's Champions League action

Charlie Nicholas provides us with his predictions for the final round of Champions League group-stage action.

Manchester United joined Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in topping their Champions League group after beating CSKA Moscow 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Chelsea are also through to the knockout stage after drawing 1-1 with Atletico Madrid while Liverpool can become the fifth Premier League club to progress if they avoid defeat against Spartak Moscow at Anfield.

Charlie's former club Celtic, meanwhile qualified for the Europa League despite losing 1-0 to Anderlecht in their final match.

How will Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City fare on Wednesday? Read on for Charlie's predictions as this season's Champions League group stage comes to an end...

Liverpool v Spartak Moscow (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Will Liverpool bottle it? I'd be very surprised if they did even after what happened in Seville. I'd expect them to do the business after another fine win at the weekend.

We know they've got defensive problems, especially with Joel Matip out, but I actually see this being a really comfortable night with their home record being very decent this season.

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BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates with team-mates including Jordan Henderson after scoring his team's fourth goal

This is another one where I see the home crowd getting to the visitors and I think Liverpool will pick them off when they get desperate and come out.

Charlie's RequestABet

Charlie's RequestABet

Find out what Charlie is tipping up in his Liverpool v Spartak Moscow RAB here.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-0, Mane to score first (20/1 with Sky Bet)

Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Manchester City have been fabulous, breaking records in the league and their fitness has been incredible with how they keep the ball and pick teams off.

They are serious contenders for the Champions League, with them, PSG and Bayern Munich the favourites for me, but I do see an awkward result coming somewhere and Shakhtar are a decent side.

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola celebrates their win on the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester C

Pep Guardiola won't want to lose but he must have one eye on the Manchester derby and he won't want to risk Vincent Kompany, so I'd expect to see Eliaquim Mangala again and perhaps a couple of youngsters.

I think Napoli will get the result they need to put the pressure on and I think Shakhtar will get the result they need to get them through and end City's stunning unbeaten run.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1, Bernard to score first (35/1 with Sky Bet)

Tottenham v APOEL Nicosia (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Well, I'm going for Spurs to get back on the winning trail. APOEL were awkward at home before Spurs put their foot on the gas impressively.

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his side's first goal with team mates during the Champions League

I suspect Mauricio Pochettino is getting a bit frustrated with a few players and I think Christian Eriksen will be rested. I think the double-header with the Republic of Ireland took a lot out of Eriksen, physically and mentally, so he could do with a checkout.

There will be a few changes with Fernando Llorente and Moussa Sissoko coming in, but they should still have enough quality to complete a fantastic set of results in the group stages.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0, Llorente to score first (13/1 with Sky Bet)

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