Jose Mourinho has given his picks for the teams who will progress from Wednesday’s remaining UEFA Champions League last 16 ties, as Bayern Munich face Liverpool in Germany and Barcelona host Lyon in Spain.
Both ties are on a knife-edge after 0-0 draws in the first legs. Liverpool were frustrated at Anfield by a resilient Bayern, while Lyon managed to keep out Messi and Co in France despite the Catalans having 25 efforts on goal.
As part of his new RT Show ‘On the Touchline with Jose Mourinho’, the Portuguese managerial mastermind gave his take on the games and offered his picks to progress to the quarterfinals.
BAYERN VS LIVERPOOL
Liverpool have faltered in their Premier League title bid in recent weeks, slipping to second in the table behind Manchester City after a series of draws.
They have also failed to reach the heights away from home of their Champions League campaign last season, where they lost in the final to Real Madrid.
The Reds lost each of their three Group Stage games away from Anfield, and on Wednesday Jurgen Klopp’s men face a resurgent Bayern side that have put a poor start to the season behind them and have returned to the top of the Bundesliga table ahead of Borussia Dortmund on goal difference.
Mourinho said Bayern were definitely a team “on the up,” and predicted a night of heartbreak for the visitors.
“I see Bayern, in spite of an up and down season, I see Bayern on the up… they can score goals even with the danger of Liverpool scoring, it’s a completely open tie…. If I had to choose, I would choose Bayern,” Mourinho said.
BARCELONA VS LYON
Wednesday’s other tie is also deadlocked at 0-0 after the first leg, but Barcelona will be heavily fancied to ease past Lyon, despite the French team seeing the return of star striker Nabil Fekir due to suspension.
Mourinho said it would be a shock of seismic proportions should Lyon progress, but said Messi’s men would have too much for their French opposition.
“If Lyon goes to Barcelona and gets a draw with goals or wins the game and knocks out Barcelona, in spite of [the fact] they are a good team… it would be like a thunder in European football if Barcelona is the third big team to be knocked out at home, it would be a tornado.” Mourinho said.
“I don’t believe Messi and these fellows will lose this opportunity, so Barcelona has to win.”