Real Madrid are the team to beat in the last-16 of the Champions League after they drew Paris Saint-Germain, says Guillem Balague.
The current title holders take on the side who scored the most goals in the group stages – netting 25 times – although they will not meet until 2018.
Balague believes that Real Madrid will be the favourites in the match, and also towards Sevilla, who were roundly beaten by Zinedine Zidane’s side at the weekend and drew Manchester United for their last 16 tie.
“I see Real Madrid going through. It’s difficult to talk about when they play in February but if they had to meet right now, that’s the fun bit of discussing it of course, and I don’t think PSG are the final product,” he told the La Liga Weekly podcast.
“You still have a team who are very good, they are the best goalscorers in the Champions League etc, but Real Madrid in February, they may not even be playing for the league and will be the team to beat.
“Sevilla are a team who are worse than last season. I think there were seven or eight new players in the game against Real Madrid where they were destroyed after 45 minutes.
“They could have lost 5-0 last year but it would have gone through the whole game and in a more competitive way. You might have said that it exaggerated the result, but in this case, it reflected exactly what happened. They did not compete well.”
There were also positive words for the Premier League clubs still in the competition – a full complement of five sides – and Balague named his winners for the Champions League.
“I see the five English sides going through, again we are speculating that they are meeting next week or the week after, but the five of them can go through,” he added.
“Then in the semi-finals, they could meet the usual guys, Bayern will be there, Real Madrid will be there, maybe Juventus or Barcelona will be there.
“It is getting to that exciting time of the year, but I do see a change of trend where the Premier League teams have the advantage of knowing how to play in big competitions and they have enough talent to go far.
“I think Man City will win the Champions League this year. For the first time in many years, there is an English side that is better than Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“It would be stupid for anybody to say it is the best team in the history of the Premier League or the top tier of English football, but I don’t remember any team in the 30 years or so that I’ve been following the Premier League that has played better football.
“They went to Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford and dominated in a way that the results do not really reflect.”