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One-off knockout ties put everyone in with a big shout


Lyon’s Memphis Depay can do the business for the French side

Lyon’s Memphis Depay can do the business for the French side

Lyon’s Memphis Depay can do the business for the French side

With the players locked away in the same hotel all the time and matches coming thick and fast, the Champions League this season is more like a World Cup or European Championship finals.

The players are living together and can establish a real bond and a 'we have nothing to lose here' attitude. So any of the teams left have a real chance of winning it.

People have looked at the fixtures, presumed Manchester City will beat Lyon tomorrow and then play either Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the semi-final.

But I'd be very wary of Lyon. Sometimes in a mini-tournament like this a group of players can get a result like Lyon did against Juventus and think, maybe our name is on the cup this year.

City are clear favourites to beat Lyon but I have heard Pep Guardiola speak about them and he's urging caution. He knows how good they can be and in a one-off game anything can happen.

He'll have seen Atalanta against PSG on Wednesday night and how close that one was.

These clubs have put so much work, and money, into getting here and it's all down to one game at a time.

One red card, one VAR decision might go against you and you are out. Or a team like Lyon gets a late winner, which could easily happen. This Lyon side went to Turin, defended for their lives and came away with what they needed to knock out Juventus. So City are by no means already through.

City should win, but PSG should have breezed past Atalanta and they had a real scare.

With the structure of the tournament now, I think teams like Lyon really feel they can win it, and that might not be the case in a standard two-legged tie.

And I'd fancy Bayern ahead of Barcelona tonight, they are due to win the Champions League at some stage and this could be their year.