'New stadium gives Spurs added motivation vs Man City' – Jose Mourinho on UCL quarterfinals
Jose Mourinho says Manchester City are candidates to win the UEFA Champions League but will face a tough test in their quarterfinal first leg against a Tottenham team playing for the first time in Europe at their new stadium.
Speaking to RT in his role as a pundit, Mourinho gave his thoughts on Tuesday night's European action, which sees Spurs take on Manchester City and Liverpool face Porto.
The biggest focus will arguably fall on the blockbuster all-English affair in London between Spurs and City.
Pep Guardiola's City are pushing for an incredible quadruple of titles, having already won the League Cup, reaching the FA Cup final with victory at Wembley at the weekend, and lying second in the Premier League, two points behind Liverpool but with a game in hand.
But while they have looked increasingly imperious on the domestic front, they have in past seasons largely failed to transfer that to the European stage.
On Tuesday they will meet a Spurs side that has dropped off alarmingly in the league in recent weeks, but will be playing just their second game at their incredible new 62,000-seater Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were impressive in brushing aside German giants Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on aggregate in the last 16, and Mourinho said he believes the new stadium in particular may well be factor on Tuesday night.
“Of course City is a candidate to win the competition, but the first Champions League big night at the new stadium I believe will be extra motivation for the whole Spurs family,” former Manchester United boss Mourinho said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Spurs give City a hard night.”
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Premier League title-chasing Liverpool host Porto at Anfield.
The pair met at the last 16 stage last season, when Jurgen Klopp’s men obliterated the Portuguese side with five unanswered goals away from home in the first leg to effectively end the tie at the half-way stage.
Porto restored a modicum of respectability with a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the second leg, but they will be baying for revenge when they meet the Premier League leaders on Tuesday.
Mourinho, who led Porto to a famous Champions League title in 2004, believes Liverpool will be similarly attack-minded this time around, but that a repeat of the five-goal rout would be difficult for the Reds, even at Anfield.
“Liverpool will go for a victory,” Mourinho said.
“They know last season 5-0 against Porto is out of context and almost impossible to repeat, but they will go for a victory and Porto of course wants a result to leave it open for the second leg like they did against Roma [in the last 16].”
The Portuguese managerial great will be on hand to offer his insights into that game, as well as all the other Champions League quarterfinal action, when the latest episode of ‘On the Touchline with Jose Mourinho’ airs on RT on Thursday.
Be sure to tune in for all the reaction.