By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Super Eagles left-backs Nduka Ugbade and Taye Taiwo believe Kelechi Iheanacho’s Manchester City and Atletico Madrid have the edge over their UEFA Champions League opponents in Wednesday night’s first legs of their Round of 16 ties.
City are in Kiev, Ukraine, to face Dynamo Kiev with Iheanacho expected to feature after being included in the English club’s Champions League squad for the knockout rounds.
Atletico Madrid will be guests of Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven.
Completesportsnigeria.com spoke to the former Nigerian internationals as all four teams build up to the Wednesday night matches.
“Technically Manchester City are far superior to Dynamo Kiev,” Ugbade said. “I expect City to win that game but the problem they will face is the very cold weather conditions in Kiev.
“The decision of Manuel Pellegrini to rest a lot of his first team players for this game was a wise one if you ask me.
“A lot of people have commented negatively on that but Chelsea who they played against in the FA Cup on Sunday are a very defensive and physical side, so it would not be smart to expose the players to injuries.
“As for the PSV-Atletico game, we know that Atletico have become a strong force in Spanish and European football although PSV will not be an easy game for them because Dutch football is equally technical.
“Atletico however are a more compact team, their possession football and distribution will be key. I expect a victory for the Spanish side or at least a draw.”
HJK Helsinki defender Taye Taiwo told Completesportsnigeria.com he expects Iheanacho, who has been in very good scoring form, to shine in the City game against the team he (Taiwo) once played for on loan.
“Manchester City will be too much for Dynamo Kiev,” Taiwo said. “I played for Kiev and they are a team that thrive on team play but we are talking about a City team with world class players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure and so on. And of course Iheanacho.
“I am particularly happy that we have a Nigerian in such a quality side. I want to see Iheanacho play well for his club.”
Taiwo then bared his mind on the PSV-Atletico Madrid game:
“It is a match Atletico will possibly win based on the strength of both teams but you never know, in football anything can happen,” the former Gabros, Lobi Stars, QPR and Olympique Marseille star added.
The games will kick off 8.45pm Nigerian time.