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Chelsea have a chance to progress to the Champions League semi final stage, but must first go past Porto in the quarterfinal.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool and Real Madrid star Steve McManaman has backed all English sides to go through to the Champions League round of 16, as he feels that the English sides are ‘just generally better’ than their European opposition in this round.
While speaking ahead of Liverpool’s first leg clash with Real Madrid, McManaman backed Liverpool to beat Real Madrid, and also expected Chelsea to come out tops against Porto.
“I don’t believe the tie will be straightforward for Liverpool as that does a disservice to Real Madrid, as Real grow in terms of stature when they’re in the Champions League,” McManaman told Horseracing.net.
“They haven’t been at their strongest in La Liga this season and La Liga itself isn’t as strong this year. The financial situation at present has hit Spanish sides worse than most.
“The fact that Real Madrid haven’t bought anyone over the last couple of transfer windows and that they’ve let players such as Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic, Martin Odegaard and James Rodriguez leave either on loan or permanently, highlights the constraints that Real Madrid have to deal with at the moment.
“I’ve said it all year long that I believe the English sides are much fitter, stronger and just generally better than most other teams in Europe at this moment in time.
“Not only do I believe that Liverpool will be favourites for their clash with Real, but I believe the same regarding Chelsea against Porto and Manchester City against Borussia Dortmund.
“I think that all the English teams will qualify for the Semi-Finals. I saw Real Madrid get knocked out by Manchester City last season and I understand Eden Hazard is still currently out for Real, so if they go into this tie with a similar team they fielded for the Atalanta Round-of-16 clash, then I believe that Liverpool will be too strong and too fit for this current Madrid outfit.”
Liverpool were beaten 3-1 in the first leg away from home, and they now face an uphill task to qualify to the next stage.