It’s matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League Group Phase. Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG are already through to the knockout round, and the next two rounds will determine who joins them. Galatasaray, Genk and Lille cannot finish top 2 in their respective groups but can target the consolation of Europa League football.
It all makes for a potential scintillating two days of European football: On Tuesday, we will see Jose Mourinho return to the Champions League as the new manager of Tottenham. The shock appointment of the Portuguese manager will add intrigue to the tournament as Spurs aim to seal qualification to the next round at the expense of visiting Olympiakos.
I’ve got my eyes on the Group A top-of-table clash between a resurgent Real Madrid and Paris St. Germain. In the first Group Stage encounter, PSG dealt Los Blancos an embarassing 3-0 defeat. I’m expecting Zinedine Zidane’s men to seek revenge here, but they will need to get past ex-goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Juventus and Atletico will renew their old rivalry in Group D — a matchup that always promises abundant quality, grit and determination. Liverpool with host Napoli in a tie that has been unpredictable yet rich in action in the last couple seasons.
Group F looks ripe for drama with everything to play for still. Barcelona host Borussia Dortmund and face a strange situation whereby a win could mean qualification but a loss could result in elimination. In the group’s other tie, Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan face a daunting trip to an energetic and fearless Slavia Prague.
And what of the deadlock in Group H? Valencia, Chelsea and Ajax find themselves on 7 points each, but only two can survive. Anything can happen in this evenly matched group.
I just have the feeling this will be a magnificent round of UCL Football.
Tuesday 26th November
- Galatasaray vs Club Brugge
- Lokomotiv Moscow vs Bayer Leverkusen
- Real Madrid vs PSG
- Tottenham vs Olympiakos
- Crvena Zvezda vs Bayern Munich
- Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk
- Atalanta vs Dinamo Zagreb
- Juventus vs Atletico Madrid
Wednesday 27th November
- Zenit vs Lyon
- Valencia vs Chelsea
- Liverpool vs Napoli
- Genk vs Salzburg
- RB Leipzig vs Benfica
- Barcelona vs Borussia Dortmund
- Slavia Prague vs Inter Milan
- Lille vs Ajax
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