Charlie Nicholas previewed both the Champions League and the Europa League for prospective winners of the semi-final. In the run-up to the European football championship season finals,
Atletico Madrid v Arsenal
Nicholas believes that this match, slated for 8.05 pm, will not be a great match for Arsenal. At the same time, neither is Atletico a great playing side for an outright victory. He does not see Arsenal winning the game but definitely hopes that his former club does well and goes on to win the final. The repeated faults that Arsenal has made in its previous games are a harbinger of a lukewarm performance on May 6. He predicts 2-1 and expects Diego Costa to make the opening goal.
Now, Costa is on a come-back, and if playing in tandem with Kevin Gamiero their attacks could force some converts at the goal posts. Similarly, there is scope for another player pair Aaron Ramsey-Alexandre Lacazette to set up some winning goals. The former’s quick and dangerous play in the middle can create the right chance for Lacazette to head home some winners, says Nicholas.
Roma v Liverpool
With the match slated for Wednesday night, Nicholas predicts 1-1, with Dzeko, the crowd favorite likely to make the first score.
In his reading of Roma team, Charlie as he is fondly called by his fans, says that they are playing a defensive game. This was especially true against Barcelona in the previous match. In fact, Nicholas stated, “I covered both of Roma’s legs against Barcelona on Soccer Special, and it was similar in terms of them being a defensive wreck in the first leg, but they got away with kicking lumps out of Lionel Messi in the second, with the referee being a joke.”
Roma could see that Barcelona was under pressure, and their repeated forays and attacks on Messi only indicate Barcelona’s dependence on their single star player. Their attempt to block Messi with their kicking lumps is an exception since most referees would not allow it to go unpunished.
Liverpool breaking the tie
In contrast to Barcelona, Liverpool, helmed by Klopp is a strong team and is likely to take on Roma with a more attacking game. Besides, Roberto Firmino, who was a surprise player in the weekend, is likely to score at these matches. In fact, there is an opinion, which is shared by Nicholas that Arsenal made a big mistake by not snapping up Edin Dzeko, the wonderfully talented player when he left Manchester City.
Commending his great play, Nicholas expects to see Dzeko unsettle the game. However, in the end, it would be Liverpool victory because the match is likely to end in a tie! Additionally, it will see some fancy footwork from Liverpool to break the tie.
Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich
Nicholas credits Bayern with some strong gaming sensibilities and hopes that they will not be able to repeat bad play at Allianz Arena. Touting as the worst semi-final ever seen in the first leg, Bayern is expected to fare better. However, all eyes will follow the golden player – Cristiano Ronaldo, who has set a record of scoring a goal in nearly every match.