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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

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Shearer Says: “I don’t believe City will go all the way in the Champions League…”

Man City’s defence has been their achilles heel all season

I am really looking forward to the quarter-final stages of the Champions League this week. Atletico Madrid will take confidence from what they saw at the weekend when Real Madrid beat Barcelona in the El Clasico and they will go into the match thinking they have a chance. However, over the two legs, you have got to go for Barcelona. 

Bayern Munich got a fantastic draw, with no disrespect to Benfica, so this tie will be pretty straightforward. It’s a similar story for Real Madrid who have drawn against Wolfsburg. It’s unlikely that Madrid will win La Liga so this is the competition they will be really trying to win and after the weekend’s result, they will be bursting with confidence.

Man City can cause PSG problems, especially with such a strong forward line in Silva, Aguero, and De Bruyne. The return of De Bruyne in particular is massive and it’s not a coincidence that City have struggled without him. His return this weekend was instantly felt and even though they only beat Bournemouth, they beat them brilliantly.

I can see City scoring goals here, but my main concern is their defence; it’s been their achilles heel all season. They are missing Hart and Kompany so their back four will struggle to cope with the likes of Ibrahimovic and Cavani. 

Netherlands Soccer Champions League

PSG already proved against Chelsea what a tough nut they are to crack, so it will be a big ask for City to win over the two legs. Realistically, I don’t believe City will go all the way in this competition though all the big hitters should get through at this stage of the competition without too many problems. 

It wouldn’t surprise me if Arsenal go on a run and win all their remaining games

As for the title race, it is too late for City, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Arsenal go on a run and win all of their remaining games. However, we’ve waited for Leicester to slip up all season, but they haven’t yet, and with a seven point lead ahead of Spurs, I fully expect them to go on and win the title now.

They have mastered the old 1-0 trick which is just unbelievable. If or when they win the title, it will be the biggest and best thing ever in football. Another reason why I want them to win so much is that my Match Of The Day colleague Gary Lineker will have to present the show in his underpants for the first show next season. He has been hitting the gym three times a week and working on his tan as we speak, so I can’t wait to see him embarrassed on air!

It’s looking very bleak now for North East football

As for the bottom end of the table, it’s going to be really difficult for Newcastle to get out of the situation they’ve found themselves in. They scored two goals to get themselves back into the game against Norwich at the weekend but similar to the Sunderland game, they didn’t turn up for the first 45 minutes and should’ve been two or three goals down at that stage.

Norwich City v Newcastle United - Barclays Premier League - Carrow Road

Norwich deserved to win and it was clear that they wanted it more than Newcastle. It would be an absolute disaster if both Newcastle and Sunderland were to go down. It’s looking very bleak now.

A top four finish is not beyond Man United, and this weekend’s match against Spurs is a big opportunity for them to increase their chances, as their record against the bigger teams recently has been impressive. They still have a fighting chance and going into the last few weeks of the season, the race for that fourth spot will be exciting, whether it’s Man United, Man City, or West Ham. 

A yellow card would’ve been sufficient for Kouyate, the ref got it wrong

Bilic was right to feel aggrieved by Kouyate’s sending off at the weekend against Palace. It was not a sending off, even though Ian Wright disagreed with me on Saturday night.

A yellow would’ve been sufficient, the referee got that wrong. It was a massive two points dropped for the Hammers. They have been hugely impressive this season, and that free kick from Payet on Saturday needs a mention, it was absolutely sensational. The dip, the swerve, the pace, and accuracy, it was pure brilliance. 

Rooney has to prove his form and fitness before he gets back into the squad

Everyone is questioning Wayne Rooney’s place, both for his club and country at the moment. United have won their last two home games without him, England have also been performing well, so you have to ask those questions. 

Liverpool v Manchester United - Barclays Premier League - Anfield

He now has to prove his fitness and his form. I said last week that I don’t think we should take any players who aren’t fit to the Euros. We should learn from our mistakes in the past and he has to prove his form and fitness before he gets back into the squad and that also applies to the Man United set-up. That said, if he is fit then without a doubt he should start for both United and England.

I’d love to play at Augusta, it’s on my bucket list

I am just at the airport now heading to The Masters and if Carlsberg did golf trips, this would be it. It was always something I wanted to do, and this is my fifth one in a row, along with Graham Wylie, Chubby Chandler, and the guys.

It really is the best sporting event there is. It is amazing; I can’t describe it in any other words. Golf has always been a big passion of mine, I played it while I was playing football and I just love everything about the sport. I’d love to play at Augusta, it’s definitely on the bucket list!

I keep giving Lee Westwood a little nudge to see if he can sort it out on the Sunday or Monday beforehand but I’m still waiting for him to give the green light. He even suggested that I would be caddying for him in the Par 3 on Wednesday! We’ll see!

As for where I’m putting my money, I’ve had a little outside bet on Patrick Reed, but you can’t look past the big four; McIlroy, Day, Spieth, and Bubba. 

Augusta_Kate

Of course, it was the Masters where Augusta Kate was brought to life too so by the time we come back on Monday, we might have bought another horse. She is actually running at Aintree on Thursday afternoon and the latest from Willie Mullins is that he’s really happy the way she came out of the race at Cheltenham, she is in really good form, so our fingers will be crossed.

We can’t take any phones into The Masters, so we will have to make a decision whether to watch Aintree or go to the golf. A big decision to make indeed!

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