Kevin Doyle previews the return of the Champions League

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It’s great to have the Champions League back this weekend and it looks very competitive at this stage. Looking at who will win it, you can make a case for many of them.

However, one team I don’t fancy is PSG. They can get to the last 16 but they don’t seem to have a real club ethos or history to go all the way.

With them it just seems to be all about the money and I know that is part and parcel of football but it particularly applies to them. There is something quite fake about them and no matter what they spend it doesn’t seem to get them what they want and that’s a Champions League title.

I have a sneaky feeling that Juventus could pull it out of the bag and they look nice value as well. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 31 league goals this season and he is a formidable force for the club.

They are a massive club who are steeped in Champions League history. I think I might be on my own backing Juventus though.

Man City and Bayern Munich are favourites for the title and out of those teams, I would side with Bayern Munich to go further.

The Champions League has evaded Pep Guardiola with City and that is why he was hired. He has only won the Champions League with Lionel Messi in his squad which is a huge advantage to have obviously but with City, he hasn’t done what he’s been asked to do at European level.

He has done it domestically with City and Bayern Munich, but they really signed him to win the Champions League. There is pressure on him big time but I would put Bayern Munich ahead of them.

Juventus v Lyon

I just think Juventus will come out on top here. Nothing can replace competitive match play and Lyon haven’t had that which is a huge disadvantage for them so it’s hard to see them getting anything here. Juventus have been crowned Italian champions again and I think they will win 3-0.

Prediction: Juventus 3-0

Man City v Real Madrid

This is an interesting match and now with the Gareth Bale stories coming out of Real Madrid, it seems a slightly unsettled place.

Real Madrid are a massive club, Zinedine Zidane is brilliant manager who has the respect of the players and he has done it before with them. However, they’ve just had an ok season. I have already touched on the reasons as to why I am questioning Man City and I think this will be a tight game.

I would have to side with City here. Yes, Real Madrid have more experience, the squad have been together a long time although might be a little bit past their best. I suppose they have had a good rest and you can look at it that way but I think City have the stronger team.

I don’t think either side will be winning the competition, but I am siding with City for this game to win 2-1.

Prediction: Man City 2-1

Barcelona v Napoli

I think this will be a close game as neither team are firing on all cylinders. I am going to go with Barcelona though.

They have the stronger side, with more history and experience which I think will carry them through this game.

When neither team are playing that well, I look at the experience and the players they have. It helps having Messi and Suarez in your ranks. I am going with 3-1 Barcelona.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-0

Bayern Munich v Chelsea

I think Bayern Munich will go through here. Chelsea suffered that FA Cup disappointment last weekend, I think they will have a hangover from that and coming here will be very difficult for them.

The end of the season has been a bit of a damp squib for them. Frank Lampard has done really well but showed a bit of inexperience as a manager getting dragged into that row with Liverpool. It seemed a bit petty and it didn’t come across well.

I just think he needs to have a break now and get some new players signed up.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-0

Kevin.

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Kevin Doyle

After a top-line career banging in the goals for Reading, Wolves and Colorado Rapids, former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle now brings Ladbrokes his thoughts and opinions on the beautiful game.