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City to be crowned European champions

City to be crowned European champions

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Champions League review for this week – any dark horses emerging?

Obviously Man City got that late winner against Hoffenheim – David Silva was excellent. It was a great game to watch but Hoffenheim came unstuck right at the end – I think they were playing for a point in the second half.

Liverpool had a poor result against Napoli, which has thrown their group wide open. 

I think City will go close this season – they’re learning every year. The experience from previous seasons should help them further down the line in this year’s competition.

Real Madrid have been hit and miss, but Barcelona have been very good – Lionel Messi was on fire against Spurs and you can’t count them out.

I do think an English side will win it this year, so I’m going to say City.

Fulham vs. Arsenal prediction.

Mitrovic to score a header – 6/1

Arsenal to win – 20/31

Arsenal to keep a clean sheet – 43/20

This is a tricky game for Arsenal – I watched them against Watford in their last home game and the Hornets could have been two or three up. Fulham gave them plenty of chances – but they showed great spirit. They have Mitrovic up front, who’s always a threat especially from set plays. These are the sort of sides you have to go to and get the three points if you want to finish in the top four. Arsenal are on a great run themselves – a couple of clean sheets recently.

I’m not sure if Emery will shuffle his pack after the mid-week game, but Fulham will fancy this as a good time to play Arsenal – they’ve travelled a long way to Azerbaijan and will look to take advantage of that.

However, I expect Arsenal to win the game. I like what I’ve seen of them under Unai Emery – he’s very animated on the sidelines. I spoke with Steve Bould in pre-season and he said the intensity level had been excellent.

What he’s done so far has been pretty positive.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City prediction.

Man City to win 2-1 – 39/4

2-2 draw – 11/1

This is massive. I remember this one last year – 4-3 at Anfield. Let’s hope it’s the same sort of game. Liverpool played poorly against Napoli – they didn’t record one shot on target. Keïta going off – I’m not sure how bad he’s done his back, so that’s another blow for them. It’s a tough one to call.

Liverpool really seem to up their game against the big sides at Anfield however, I have a funny feeling that Man City can get a result there and win the game.

I think there will be goals – I’m going for 2-1 to Man City or a 2-2 draw.

Middlesbrough Championship review so far and prediction for the season  

Middlesbrough to be promoted – 6/5

Tony Pulis has played it down saying they’re not good enough to go up this year – but at the moment they’re performing, and got another result away from home mid-week. 

The good thing about Boro is that come the January window, if they’re in contention, the chairman will go and get the players he thinks will add to the squad. 

I’m hoping the return to the Premier League – it’s always nice seeing your old team do well. But as everyone knows, this league is wide open and very competitive – it’s great to watch. Every week there are surprises and shocks.

Usually a team who has a good run in March [8 wins in a row] – they’re most likely to sneak into the play-offs.

There are so many clubs in the league that could go up – Villa, West Brom, Leeds – Derby with Frank Lampard. You could probably call the Premier League easier than the Championship – it’s so unpredictable. 

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Ray Parlour Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Romford Pele’, Ray is one of football’s great characters. In a career which saw him make nearly 500 senior appearances, he won numerous honours including three Premier Leagues and three FA Cups, as well as representing his country 10 times. Part of Arsenal’s invincibles during a 12 year stay with the Gooners, Ray is now a regular on talkSPORT radio.