>My weeks Champions league predictions


Once again Premier League teams are involved at the business end of the Champions. While I think Inter will easily overcome CSKA Moscow, I can’t really comment on the all French tie. Here though, are my predictions for the two UK:

Barcelona vs Arsenal
In truth this tie should be over, and if Barca reach the levels of their first half (not 20 minutes Wenger) performance at the Emirates they will comfortably overcome Arsenal. While the loss of Pique and especially Puyol should not be underestimated Barca do have quality in depth. Furthermore, a weakened central defensive partnership is only a problem if Arsenal get enough of the ball to attack. The loss of Alex Song, who was the only Gooner to stand up and be counted in the first half last week, is a blow to Arsenal and S*l C*ampbell is either an injury worry or slow liability. The other factor that should not be underestimated is the awesome, intimidating Camp Nou. When they walk out, I’m not sure some of the Young Guns will not know what has hit them. I will put a small disclaimer here, Bendtner is on form and there is no doubting that Arsenal will be up for it. If they can hold on and the Catalan crowd get nervous, anything can happen towards the end.
Prediction:  Barcelona 2 Arsenal 0 (Barcelona qualify 4-2 on aggregate)

Manchester United vs Bayern Munich
This is far and away the hardest tie to call as you can justify almost any result. Home advantage will be a massive advantage to Manchester United, as is the away goal. Furthermore it’ s almost unthinkable that Man Utd will lose 3 games in a row. The Germans though looked very organised, efficient and capable of scoring another goal. The loss of Rooney is unquestionably a key factor in this tie, and Scholes, Giggs and Neville have begun to look a bit tired. Darren Fletcher will be as energetic and terrier like as ever, and Valencia is proving to be a constant danger. Manchester United are never going to lay down and die, they will attack with energy and determination but the Germans have most of the cards in the hand too as they don’t have to attack in a risky manner. United scoring first will bring the away goal in to play, but I still think Bayern have enough attacking options to cancel it out.
Prediction: Manchester United 1 – Bayern Munich 1 (Bayern Munich qualify 3-2)


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