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Image for Interview: BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand

Interview: BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand

A huge fortnight of unmissable Champions League games coming up

BT Sport pundit, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, looks ahead to the unmissable Round of 16, 2nd leg ties coming up in the UEFA Champions League

Q: Which of the Premier League teams do you think will still be in the competition come the quarter-finals?
Rio Ferdinand: I think City, Liverpool and Spurs will go through.

Q: Do you think an English team could win the title?
RF: The experience that Liverpool gained last year, getting through to the Final, puts them in good stead. It's still a tricky second leg, away to Bayern Munich, but they've got a good chance. Meanwhile, City's managing and handling of knockout football in Europe reared it's head again in that last game against Schalke when they conceded two early,sloppy goals. Knockout football hasn't really suited them yet in Europe so they need to start managing that a bit better to have a real go at it. But there's no doubt that they've got the squad to do it. 

Q: Could the quadruple be on for City?
RF: It's a difficult thing to do but if any team was going to get the quadruple it would be them as they have a very deep squad. Although I'd like to know how long Fernandinho is going to be out injured for as he's integral to them. He's been a standout player. If I was them I certainly wouldn't be talking about the quadruple as it's such a long way out. It's a big ask.

Q: On which front do you think they're most likely to fall short?
RF: I fancy them to win the League – I said that at the beginning of the season – so the Champions League is the most likely place for them to fall short. It's the top competition with the most quality players and the most ruthless competition in terms of mistakes being punished.

Q: Are you expecting any surprises in these Round of 16, 2nd leg ties, for example, a big turnaround from Juventus against Atletico Madrid?
RF: No, I think Juventus are out as I don't see Atletico conceding two goals let along three and Spurs have to be through. So, I don't see any surprise turnarounds at all.

Q: Do you ever get a chance to watch a game in a bar?
RF: Yes, I recently watched some games in bars in Nigeria and Kenya. It was crazy – people chatting and shouting. There's nothing better than having a few beers with your mates and watching the game. If you can't be at the stadium or in the studio where we're fortunate enough to sit, then the bar is next best thing.

Q: If you had a chance to watch a game that you played in, in the pub, which one would it be?
RF: Definitely the 2008 Champions League Final against Chelsea in Moscow. It had everything – goals, drama, a penalty shoot-out at the end and then me lifting the trophy – I wouldn't mind watching that in the bar!

UEFA Champions League Fixtures - Round of 16, 2nd Leg

Tuesday, March 5, 8pm
BT Sport 2/BT Sport 4K UKD
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur

Tuesday, March 5, 8pm
BT Sport 3
Real Madrid v Ajax

Wednesday, March 6, 8pm
BT Sport 2/BT Sport 4K UKD
PSG v Man Utd

Wednesday, March 6, 8pm
BT Sport 3
FC Porto v Roma

Tuesday, March 12, 8pm
BT Sport 3
Juventus v Atletico Madrid

Tuesday, March 12, 8pm
BT Sport 2/BT Sport 4K UKD
Manchester City v Schalke 04

Wednesday, March 13, 8pm
BT Sport 3
Barcelona v Lyon

Wednesday, March 13, 8pm
BT Sport 2/BT Sport 4K UKD
Bayern Munich v Liverpool


BT Sport brings you the moments that matter this season, with exclusively live coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Watch live on TV and via the award winning BT Sport App. For more info visit bt.com/sport

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