Man Utd assistant Mike Phelan posts classy message after Liverpool Champions League win – Express

Man Utd assistant Mike Phelan posts classy message after Liverpool Champions League win - Express

Manchester United may have to reverse Champions League games for Manchester City

Manchester United may have to reverse their Champions League quarter-final fixtures to accommodate neighbours Manchester City.

The pair join fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham in Fridays draw in Nyon, Switzerland, where the route to the Madrid finale will be decided.

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There is no seeding or country protection at this stage, but UEFA has announced that United will have to reverse their fixture if drawn at home in the same week as rivals City.

It is another big weekend as we enter the final stages of a gripping Premier League season, with Manchester City and Liverpool separated by just one point atop the table.

England has four teams in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in a decade after Liverpool joined both Manchester clubs and Tottenham in the last eight of the competition with victory over Bayern Munich.

Under the stewardship of David Murray, the club invested heavily in the side with a number of big names leaving and were replaced by the likes of Arthur Numan, Gabriel Amato, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Andrei Kanchelskis and Colin Hendry.

Not since Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Chelsea reached the same stage in 2008-09 have Premier League teams been so dominant in Europe – although Barcelona ended up as champions that season.

The Parkhead sides wage bill was comparable to Aston Villa (£16.6million) and Leeds United (£17.4million), plus much higher than Manchester City (£6.9million). However, that season City were playing in Englands third tier.

The English clubs will have to wait until Friday to find out if they have avoided one another as they go into the draw with Barca, Juventus, FC Porto and Ajax. In the meantime, MailOnline takes a look at how well the four teams are equipped to go all the way in the Champions League this season.

The appointment of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid and imminent Manchester United coronation of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer means Daniel Levy should ‘toast his fellow suits’ for ‘closing off’ his manager’s ‘summer exit routes’. Don’t the four years left on Pochettino’s contract do precisely that?

English footballs most successful club in the European Cup progressed to the final under Jurgen Klopp a year ago and will be hoping to go one better this season.

Pochettino will have money to spend in the next transfer window, and if he doesn’t then you have a point – he probably will be ‘growing tired’. But he doesn’t need to ‘compete with the top clubs’ in the market; Manchester City were hardly after Moussa Sissoko or Heung-min Son, were they?

For all Citys goals against Schalke in the last-16 and Uniteds guts in coming back to beat Paris-Saint Germain, Liverpools 3-1 away win against an established European heavyweight like Bayern was just as impressive.

Klopps side are significantly stronger to the one that brushed City aside in the semis last season before losing to Real Madrid in the final in Kiev with the summer acquisitions of defender Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson Becker making Liverpool a different proposition at home and abroad.

Occasionally people can get under your skin but you cant show the slightest sign of weakness because people will say youre losing it or youre out of control, and that can pass over to your players, Allardyce told talkSPORT.

It has given the five-time European champions the defensive stability to complement one of the most feared forward lines on the continent.

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Critics will point to Klopps record in losing his last six cup finals as manager of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund – including Champions League final defeats with both clubs – but the German will fancy his chances if he gets there again.

Key player: Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch colossus demonstrated his importance to Liverpool again in Munich, contributing to the first goal and scoring the crucial second while keeping Robert Lewandowski under wraps.

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