Andy Gray: English quartet can kickoff Champions League with wins. Man City, Chelsea must believe

Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…
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Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…

THE CHAMPIONS League group stages are set to start this week and there is no doubt that the real glamour tie is Manchester City’s trip to Real Madrid – and I believe they are good enough to worry Jose Mourinho’s side.

They certainly have enough in their locker to go toe-to-toe with the La Liga champions. I’ll be at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night and I’m really excited about it.

I’m looking forward to seeing the progress City have made since last year when they were a little naive in the group stages.

They pulled a tough group last time round and an even tougher one this year, but they’ve grown – winning the Premier League title was a big thing for them.

When I was at Everton we won the league in 1985 and went on to win more trophies. When you win the first cup – which was the FA Cup for them – you look to follow it up with more and more and they’re already doing that.

I don’t think Real Madrid have started well this season. Cristiano Ronaldo is whingeing and moaning already about how he is feeling ‘sad’, causing a few problems, and they had a couple of bad results in the league.

There’s no reason for City to go into this stadium and fear anything. Madrid can definitely be got at – they’re not that secure at the back.

If I was a City player, I’d be sitting there saying ‘I can’t wait to get this weekend over with – let’s get to Stoke and get the game won’, and then started looking forward to playing Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, because the club and the fans have been waiting a long time for occasions like this.

Chelsea are also in for a tough time at home to Juventus because the Italian side can certainly cause an upset – they’re very tough and uncompromising.

I don’t think their goalscoring threat is that great – they have created very little this season from what I’ve seen of them.

However they’re very good defensively – they play three at the back and two very aggressive wing-backs, and play Andrea Pirlo just in front of them.

But if Chelsea play Eden Hazard and Juan Mata in that role dropping off the forward, I think they can get at Pirlo. Defensively he’s lacking at his age – people will run away from him.

Arsenal have it slightly easier. Away from home in Europe is never simple but Montpellier haven’t started the season very well.

They’ve struggled – everyone was surprised they won the league last season and no-one is surprised they’ve started as poorly as they have because they lost their top goalscorer in Olivier Giroud to Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger can be confident of getting a result as can Manchester United at home to Galatasaray. I think both of them can get qualification wrapped up early.

They can be sitting on 12 points after four games, which gives them the luxury of resting one or two that maybe don’t need to play the final two games.

Get it done and dusted as soon as possible would be my advice to Arsenal and United – starting this week.

 
Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store; http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/share-the-match/id450784289?mt=8

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