The last nine months have been a renaissance for English soccer. First, England made it to the World Cup Semifinals for the first time since 1990. The Three Lions knocked off Colombia and Sweden to make the semifinals before falling to World Cup darlings Croatia in the semifinals.
Now, four of the final eight teams in the Champions League hail from England. Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool are in the Champions League Quarterfinals and three of those teams will be in action on Tuesday. Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will ensure that an English team makes the semifinals when they square off in their clash, while Liverpool are heavily favored to make it two English teams in the semifinals against Porto.
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Manchester City -0.5 and -1 at Tottenham Hotspur, O/U 3
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are set to meet three times in the next two weeks. They will play the first leg of their Champions league clash on Tuesday, and they will play the return leg in Manchester next Wednesday. Three days later, they meet in a Premier League tilt in Manchester, and they will probably be sick of each other by that point.
Spurs haven’t been playing good football lately. They have lost four of their last six Premier League tilts, but they did beat Crystal Palace in their most recent domestic match. That sparked hope as someone other than Harry Kane appeared on the score sheet with Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen netting in the win.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are surging once more. They are still ahead of Liverpool in their EPL horse race, and they haven’t lost in any competition since falling to Newcastle United in late January.
It’s looking unlikely that Eric Dier will suit up for Spurs, but City are more optimistic when it comes to the status of Sergio Aguero. He is considered probable, and that’s great news since he is the Premier League’s leading scorer.
City won the earlier meeting between these teams 1-0 on the strength of an early Riyad Mahrez goal. This meeting will have more scoring, but it will end in a City victory.
Liverpool FC -1.5 vs. FC Porto, O/U 3
These teams met in the Champions League last year in what quickly proved to be a one-sided affair. Liverpool and Porto faced off in the Round of 16, and the first leg was in Portugal. Porto were optimistic they could earn a result, but Sadio Mane registered a hat trick, and Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah added goals in a 5-0 blowout.
This Porto team has more offensive options. Tiquinho is the top scorer with 12 goals in league play this season, and Moussa Marega and Yacine Brahimi are close behind. Brahimi has been the go-to guy in the Champions League with six goals in eight matches.
Porto are unlikely to have Alex Telles available though. Telles is the team’s starting wing back and their designated penalty taker, but he injured himself taking a penalty last week against Braga and has not been on the field since that time.
Liverpool have not been as proficient on offense as they were last season. Salah and Firmino may have been affected by not having the offseason to recover, but Mane has continued to improve. The big difference is in the defensive third though, with Alisson shoring up the goalkeeper position and the Reds playing much better defense.
It won’t be a one-sided blowout this time around, but Liverpool will defeat Porto by multiple goals in Anfield. I think they will shut out the Portuguese side in a 2-0 or 3-0 win.
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