Michael Owen tips Real Madrid to beat Atletico and win Champions League

EXCLUSIVE

Michael Owen thinks that his former club Real Madrid are favourites for yet more Champions League glory as they face their local rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-final on Tuesday.

Real Madrid knocked Bayern Munich out in the quarter finals in a 6-3 aggregate win and are in the last four with their neighbours, as well as Juventus and Monaco.

Atletico Madrid have lost two finals in three years against their city rivals and Owen, who is now a football expert for BT Sport, thinks that Real Madrid's toughness in big games is what them ahead of all clubs in Europe - even likes of even Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

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"Real Madrid are favourites but it is no forgone conclusion, I’d wouldn’t say they were strong favourites," Owen told Goal. "You have got to fancy Real Madrid for the competition now, some of the big boys are out.

"Barcelona, Bayern Munich in particular. Real Madrid are a real mixture between the two teams. Barcelona have some of the most individual talented players in the world and Bayern have got the greatest depth in their squad in the world.

Michael Owen - Real Madrid

"I just think that Madrid have got more resilient than Barcelona. Maybe less flair but more resilience in the big games. I think they can dig it out when they need to. They dig results out. They are a mixture between the two teams.

"I think they will go on and win it again. The semi-finals will be interesting. Monaco are a really free-flowing team. Juventus are strong and experienced. Atletico Madrid have been in two of the last three finals. They are reliable and it is a fascinating competition."

Atletico may face losing their star forward in the summer, Antoine Griezmann, who has been linked with a controversial move across to Real as well as to Premier League clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea.

Owen did the unthinkable during his career and played for both Liverpool and Manchester United but he doesn't think that it would be an easy deal to do for Zinedine Zidane's side.

"I am sure Atletico fans wouldn’t be happy at all," He added. "He is their idol and he would be moving to the enemy but it is interesting one to see how it pans out. Benzema is doing a decent job at Madrid and Griezmann is sought after but I am not sure that big teams will do these deals in the transfer market now.

Simeone Griezmann Atletico Madrid

"I think academies are going to be a little bit like it used to be. I think teams are going to start relying more on their academies because every team is rich now, not everyone needs the money to sell. If you want to be the best then you don’t sell.

"You have seen that in the Premier League in the past - Man United have been able to secure Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick - the list goes on. The big teams would just come into Spurs and pinch them but now everyone has got a lot of money and you can’t pinch their players.

"It doesn’t matter how big you are, there are a lot of wealthy teams nowadays, I am not sure whether teams like Atletico are going to entertain selling their best players. Real Madrid may want to sign someone like him or Eden Hazard but it is not easy now."

BT Sport is your home of unmissable live football. Watch Champions League football live from Tuesday evening in the United Kingdom.

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