Football

Leicester won't be champions

Shakespeare says Foxes could be 'surprise' team in the latter stages but pundits disagree

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare hopes to carry on surprising in the Champions League after achieving "the impossible" again.

Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton were on target as the Foxes overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit to advance to the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate at the expense of Sevilla yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are already in the last eight, while Manchester City could join the Foxes with victory at Monaco this morning.

Shakespeare said: "We might just be the surprise team."

Captain Morgan said on BT Sport 2: "We've pulled off the impossible again.

"We did it and we proved a lot of people wrong."

It was Shakespeare's first game as a full-time boss after his appointment until the end of the season was confirmed last Sunday.

And he became the third English manager to make the last eight after Harry Redknapp and Sir Bobby Robson.

Can the Foxes repeat last season's EPL title miracle under Claudio Ranieri and go on to win the Champions League this term?

Football pundits do not think they can beat the big guns all the way to be crowned kings of Europe.

"No, they can't win it. They are an improving team that's getting their mojo back but, in terms of that top table of European football, I don't think they are good enough," said former Liverpool and Tottenham striker Paul Walsh.

"However, they have played ever so well and it's been a great return to form in the last couple of games.

"In the Champions League you need a few things to go your way and they've had a couple of things go their way against Sevilla."

Former Southampton striker and Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie said that Leicester "had already won it by getting to the last 16".

When asked if they could go on and win the Champions League, the 52-year-old said: "The answer to the question is no. I hate to say that because it would be incredible, but they can't."

Ex-Fulham and West Ham forward Tony Gale feels that the Foxes will be found out if they get one of Europe's big boys in the last eight.

He said: "I don't think they can win it.

"Everything went their way last season in terms of other teams being involved in European competitions and injuries and suspensions to other teams.

"It's all going their way again this season in this competition.

"They got a great draw and then caught a Sevilla side that had had a few poor results recently.

"But, if they get one of the big boys, and there are no little boys left, it could be difficult for Leicester."

Former Leicester striker Tony Cottee is willing his former club on, but European glory seems a far-fetched dream.

He said: "With an awful lot of luck they could. I don't think they will, I really don't.

"I'm just so pleased because it's a special club and I'm really pleased for the fans that the journey they started last season has continued.

"I don't think they will win it, but can they win it?

"Anyone can win the Champions League, we've seen that in seasons gone by."

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, however, has singled out Leicester as the team to avoid in the quarter-finals.

Serie A champions Juventus sealed their place in the last eight with a 3-0 aggregate victory over Porto yesterday morning and Buffon is fearing the Foxes more than anyone in the next round.

"Who do I prefer not to play? Leicester, because they are a dangerous and passionate team who can cause trouble for opponents who take the initiative," Buffon told Sky Sports.

"Against them, we would have everything to lose." - WIRE SERVICES

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