Danny Murphy previews the Champions League quarterfinals
In his weekly column in the Mail on Sunday, Danny Murphy has focused on the upcoming Champions League quarterfinals.
All four Premier League sides remain in the competition. But for how much longer?
One of Tottenham or Man City will exit in the final 8 as they’ve been drawn against each other.
Man United have a tall order to reach the semifinals as they take on FC Barcelona.
Liverpool dodged a bullet being paired with Porto, while Ajax take on Juventus.
Man United vs Barcelona
Man United are underdogs to knockout Barcelona.
The Catalans are flying at the top of La Liga, while United have three defeats in four games.
Yet Murphy believes two defeats to Wolves and another loss to Arsenal are merely blips:
Manchester United fans are realistic enough to know they were going to have the odd blip after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s perfect start to life at Old Trafford.
Others have argued that these defeats aren’t blips. Instead, Man United were overachieving in the early weeks of OGS’s tenure.
Looking at the Barcelona tie, Murphy suggest the Red Devils have little to lose:
This quarter-final against Barcelona is a free hit.
I don’t think United will be passive and the fans will forgive defeat as long as they make it close and competitive.
Tottenham vs Man City
Can Spurs beat Man City in their quarterfinal?
When these clubs met earlier in the season in the Premier League, City beat Spurs 1-0 in London.
Yet Murphy points to Tottenham’s stadium move as a reason for Spurs fans to be positive:
This could be a much closer tie than most neutrals expect but Spurs can’t afford to go too gung-ho.
It’s a balancing act for manager Mauricio Pochettino. They will be aware of the current feel-good factor in north London and try to use it to their advantage. But it’s just as important they show the required patience. Then they will have a chance.