2018-19 UEFA Champions League Group Stage: Matchday Five – Wednesday

With both Manchester clubs through to the knockouts, Liverpool can seal qualification with a win in Group C whilst Tottenham must beat Inter Milan to take Group B final qualification spot to the final matchday. 

As knockout places begin to fill up, tonight could see majority of spots settled from Groups A-D so expect plenty of drama and goals. 

 

Group A 

Atletico Madrid vs AS Monaco (5:55pm)

Borussia Dortmund vs Club Brugge (8:00pm)

This group is pretty much sorted and given Borussia Dortmund’s form, its hard to see them not winning at home to Club Brugge

The Belgians however have proven tough to beat on their travels so wouldn’t be surprised if get bit of a thriller here, given that Brugge could catch Atletico Madrid if the Spanish side lose the early match to Monaco. 

With Monaco unable to qualify, an Atletico defeat looks possible because Les Monegasques can afford to go out and play their style without any pressure. 

Ultimately, I can see Atletico prevailing but this group tonight will definitely have plenty of goals.

Predictions: 

Atletico Madrid 2-1 AS Monaco

Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Club Brugge

 

Group B (8:00pm)

PSV vs Barcelona

Tottenham Hotspur vs Inter Milan

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For Tottenham, this is simply a must win as a draw will leave them with everything to do at Barcelona whilst hoping PSV beat Napoli in a fortnight’s time.

For me, Spurs simply have to try and be first out of the blocks like they were against Chelsea on Saturday. If they do that and maintain that level of pressure and clinical finishing throughout first half, I can see them getting the three points here. 

There is also a positive omen in that the Londoners have won two previous home meetings with Inter, scoring three in both clashes. 

Should Inter make better start however, then I can see a tough battle but the home crowd will ensure a repeat of Spurs’ last home win against PSV when they came from behind.

Over in Netherlands, I can only see a Barca win coming here given their quality and importance of topping the group. 

Predictions:

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Inter Milan

PSV 0-3 Barcelona

 

Group C (8:00pm)

Napoli vs Red Star Belgrade

PSG vs Liverpool

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Victory for Liverpool and Napoli will settle Group C tonight but all four teams can give as good as they can get, making this a tough group to call as only two points separate table topping Napoli to bottom side – Red Star Belgrade. 

Starting at Stadio San Paolo, Gli Azzurri haven’t been the best goal scoring side at home with only two home goals from two very tight games. Those games however were against Liverpool and PSG so we should see a more attack minded performance here than so far this campaign against a Belgrade side who have struggled away from home.

I therefore feel that we should see a couple of goals here and both will come from Napoli.

PSG vs Liverpool meanwhile is a mega six pointer as at least one of these teams is facing an early exit, possibly out of Europe altogether if finish last in this group.   

Whilst PSG have been dominant at home this season in all competitions, Liverpool have lost their two away games in this group. Luckily there is a phrase called ‘third time lucky’ and boy will the Reds need that phrase to come true here if are to even get a point here. 

PSG meanwhile haven’t lost at home in this competition since December 2004 meaning that something will have to give here. 

As unsurprising as a draw would be, I am backing Liverpool to correct their away wrongs with a much needed win and book their passage into last 16. 

Predictions: 

Napoli 2-0 Red Star Belgrade

PSG 1-2 Liverpool

 

Group D 

Lokomotiv Moscow vs Galatasaray (5:55pm)

Porto vs Schalke (8:00pm)

These Group D matches are definite six pointers at both ends of table as everything could be settled here. 

A point in Moscow for Galatasaray will settle top three spots but if Schalke then beats Porto, the whole group would be sorted, bar top spot. 

I however can see Galatasaray winning their game given Lokomotiv’s dreadful form in this group. Over in Porto, both teams know a draw will see them both through although Porto can top the group with a win here.

I therefore wouldn’t be surprised if both teams have one eye on events in the early kick off in Moscow, as that result could well influence how they approach this match. I am ultimately going to go for a score draw here like in the first leg. 

Predictions:

Lokomotiv Moscow 0-3 Galatasaray 

Porto 1-1 Schalke

 

 

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