Rio Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott are both in agreement that an all English Champions League final between Manchester City and Liverpool is on the cards.
City edged past Atletico Madrid to make the last four where they will face Real Madrid. Liverpool will face Villarreal in the semi-finals after beating Benfica. Both semi-finals will be tough but Ferdinand and Lescott say the Premier League duo have the edge.
Manchester City overcame a bruising encounter in Madrid to hold Atletico to a goalless draw. They go through 1-0 on aggregate and now face Chelsea’s conquerors Real.
City and Liverpool have the edge
“I think City go through by two goals,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
Lescott agreed and feels that City will be much happier playing Real than they would had Chelsea made it through.
“English teams are used to playing against Man City and having longer spells without possession,” he added. “I don’t think foreign teams are because they dominate at home and are more used to having the ball.”
Liverpool will face Villarreal who knocked out Bayern Munich. The Reds are battling with City for the Premier League title. They also meet in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend.
But Ferdinand believes Jurgen Klopp’s men have quality to handle the pressure and go through.
“I feel Liverpool are a well-oiled machine,” he added. “They know how to get through these situations. They have been here time and time again in recent years. Liverpool have the experience, they have the firepower and they will be too strong for Villarreal over two legs.”
Lescott has warned against complacency and says neither Spanish side can be written off. But if you have to “hang your hat” on someone, City and Liverpool go through.
Champions League could be decided by injuries
If both English sides do make it through to the Champions League Final they will be hard to separate. Ferdinand believes it could come down to injuries at the time.
City are already sweating over the fitness of Kyle Walker and Kevin de Bruyne. They both limped out of the clash with Atletico and could be facing spells out injured.
“It will depend how they get there,” Ferdinand said. “What shape is their squad in physically. We don’t know if Walker and De Bruyne will be fit. Are the Liverpool players all going to be fit like they are at the moment?
“How they both get there for that final game of the season would determine my thinking.”
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