Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Alan Green: Champions League agony ahead for English clubs

I’m off to Milan this morning. I gather it’s as cold there as it is here but it doesn’t matter.

The resumption of the Champions League throws a switch in my brain: spring is here or as near as.

The last sixteen will feel odd without the presence of, plainly, England’s two best teams because of their premature departure. Both City and United must make do, in European terms, with the woeful Europa League.

If they’ve any wit, they’ll make a swift exit to concentrate on determining who’ll win the Premier League though I think that scenario will be more in the mind of Ferguson than Mancini.

Do I think either Arsenal or Chelsea will win the Champions League? No, I can’t see that happening however much I’d love either of them to end their ‘duck’: certainly not while Barcelona and Real Madrid are in contention or, for that matter, the hosts of May’s final, Bayern Munich.

Indeed, I’m not that confident they’ll get past their Italian opponents in this round. Must be this winter weather that’s making me such a depressive sod!