Sportsmail's experts have their say on the Champions League

Porto to stun Chelsea, Man City can FINALLY go all the way and Kylian Mbappe will be the King of the Champions League… Sportsmail’s experts have their say on who will reach the semi-finals, which team will win it and the competition’s star man

  • The Champions League returns this week for the start of the quarter-finals
  • Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are the Premier League representatives
  • Bayern Munich will have to make do without star striker Robert Lewandowski 
  • Kylian Mbappe appears primed to star for PSG against the Bundesliga giants
  • Porto will be looking to pull off another shock win when they take on Chelsea

The Champions League is hotting up and soon eight must become four as the quarter-finals of the competition get underway on Tuesday night. 

Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are flying the flag for the Premier League, while heavyweights Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid remain strong contenders for the top prize. 

Here, Sportsmail’s experts give their verdict on who will make the last four, their tips for the final and who the star man will turn out to be. 

Real Madrid face a re-run of the 2018 final when they take on Liverpool in the quarter-finals

Porto stunned Juventus in the previous round and could cause a surprise against Chelsea

MATT BARLOW

Who will make the semi-finals?

Real Madrid vs Chelsea, Manchester City vs Bayern Munich.

And the winner? 

City to win it. The Premier League is sewn-up and they are in sublime form with the depth of squad to keep going on multiple fronts. Unlike previous years, Bayern might actually have a fight on their hands to retain the Bundesliga title.

Who will be the tournament’s star man? 

Kevin De Bruyne… finally time to shine on the European stage.

Manchester City are backed by many with Kevin De Bruyne expected to shine on the big stage

JACK GAUGHAN

Who will make the semi-finals?

Liverpool vs Chelsea; Manchester City vs Bayern Munich.

And the winner?  

Bayern Munich.

I can’t look beyond Bayern Munich again. Manchester City ought to have enough against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals but the reigning champions might be a step took far for them. 

Who will be the tournament’s star man? 

Robert Lewandowski. 

Bayern are so adept at grinding out results on the biggest stage that they will probably take some stopping. And Lewandowski is set to break the 50-goal mark again, scoring more than one every game.

It is difficult to look past defending champions Bayern Munich as the tournament favourites

Who will make the semi-finals?

Manchester City vs PSG, Porto vs Liverpool.

And the winner?

I tipped PSG for the trophy at the start of the competition and though the quarter-final against Bayern Munich will be a huge test, they have the quality to avenge last season’s final defeat and move into the last four.  

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool should get past a flaky Real Madrid side in the last eight, too, and would see off Porto for a place in the final. 

In a PSG-Liverpool final, I would take Mauricio Pochettino to claim his and PSG’s first title, with Kylian Mbappe the decisive factor in the game.

Who will be the tournament’s star man? 

Kylian Mbappe. 

Mbappe is the most dangerous attacker in Europe at the moment and when he is at his best, there is no defence capable of resisting him. 

Mauricio Pochettino (left) has a golden opportunity to win this competition as PSG manager

KIERAN GILL

Who will make the semi-finals?

Bayern Munich vs Manchester City, Real Madrid vs Chelsea.

And the winner?

Bayern Munich.

Who will be the tournament’s star man?   

Robert Lewandowski.

Manchester City’s John Stones and Ruben Dias have been ridiculously good together but they’ll be seriously tested by the goal machine that is Robert Lewandowski. 

I cannot see him going goalless over two legs in the semi-finals against City and I suspect he’ll ultimately prove the difference.

I can see Lewandowski downing PSG in the quarters, City in the semis, then Chelsea in the final. Pep Guardiola and his players have their work cut out if they’re to get to that final.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski will pose a huge threat to City’s defence in the semi-finals

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNER – ODDS

Manchester City 2/1

Bayern Munich 7/2

Chelsea 5/1

Liverpool 11/2

PSG 15/2

Real Madrid 10/1

Borussia Dortmund 25/1

Porto 35/1

Odds courtesy of Betfair 

JOE BERNSTEIN

Who will make the semi-finals?

Manchester City vs PSG, Liverpool vs Porto.

With the caveat that all ties are on a knife-edge, Liverpool should be too strong for an ageing Real Madrid whose squad don’t match the illustrious club name. City are better all-round than Dortmund who rely so much on Erling Haaland. 

I fancy upsets in the other two ties, PSG have the stars to win a knockout against Bayern and after beating Juventus, goal-shy Chelsea won’t have any fears for Porto.

And the winner? 

PSG.

Any of the quarter-finalists could go all the way – even Porto. While domestic leagues have become monopolies, the Champions League is more like the NFL, the talent is spread. But in the race to succeed Messi and Ronaldo, this is a good time for Kylian Mbappe, aided by Neymar, to land PSG their first Champions League.

Who will be the tournament’s star man? 

Kylian Mbappe.

Already a World Cup winner, he is running into the sort of unplayable form that even the mighty Bayern won’t fancy opposing. 

Key men in the other quarters; Mo Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, the best the Premier League have to offer, and Pepe of Porto – still an incredible leader and defender.

Borussia Dortmund appear overly reliant on Erling Haaland (right) ahead of facing Man City

Kylian Mbappe has the flair and form to go and dominate the remainder of the tournament




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