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UEFA Champions League Previews and Predictions

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Let’s join Charlie Nicholas to quickly preview some of the top UEFA Champions League matches we have tonight and as well take a look at his predictions.

Manchester United v FC Basel (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

Basel always seem to have troubled English sides, United included, but they’re not the same threat as they have been, winning just one of their last four games.

United’s defence was a bit of a mess against Stoke and Jose Mourinho looks like he wants to fight the world, except for Mark Hughes that is!

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Stoke
Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Stoke

Assuming that defensive display was a one-off, I think United are Britain’s best hope of winning the competition with the balance they have in their side.

I think they’ll make a few changes and I’d like to see both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford both in the side to really give them electric pace.

Celtic v PSG (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

It’s a Hollywood game to start with for Celtic and I think it’s a fabulous fixture, but they are not here to make up the numbers.

I’ll be covering the game on Soccer Special and I’m really looking forward to it because the atmosphere will be unbelievable. This crowd at Celtic Park really does give them extra energy and belief.

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Celtic play a lovely flowing game but still got well beaten at times in Europe last season. They are used to 60 to 65 per cent possession but you have to adapt with PSG’s forward line. If you don’t and leave yourself wide open to the counter-attack then you will get destroyed with the pace of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Cavani is the one that really concerns me. His movement is incredible, he’s very, very brave and his runs across the line are a nightmare for defenders.

Celtic will be in their faces from the start and my old friend Scott Brown won’t let me down with a booking, and I think they will rack up a fair few cards. I hope I’m wrong here but I can’t see anything other than a PSG win.

Chelsea v Qarabag (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

I covered Chelsea at the weekend and they were very impressive. Eden Hazard looks like he’s got a bit of work to do to get his sharpness back but this is an absolutely ideal game to get him into shape.

I do think it will take him a long time to get back to the top of his game with those slaloming runs and he needs about four games to get into the right shape.

Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring for Chelsea at Leicester
Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring for Chelsea at Leicester

Alvaro Morata missed a few chances but was getting into the positions, while N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko were good and Cesc Fabregas was absolutely fabulous with the balls he was picking out.

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I think Antonio Conte will make a few changes and Willian will come back in for Pedro and I can only see it being a comfortable night for them.

Liverpool v Sevilla (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Sevilla won 3-0 at the weekend but they are not quite the force they have been in previous seasons.

Nolito has gone there, Jesus Navas has gone back and they’ve also got threats in Wissam Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel.

Sevilla represent a tough test for Liverpool
Sevilla represent a tough test for Liverpool

However, the European nights are back at Liverpool without the strain of the play-offs so the magic back should be back. Anfield and Celtic Park are my two favourites grounds on a European night.

It really is a huge advantage for them and I can see them making a winning start with Sadio Mane making amends for his controversial sending off at Manchester City at the weekend.

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