After a bit of a hiatus for domestic compeitions and international breaks, the UEFA Champions League finally returns this weekend with some massive games. Futures in the compeition will be on the line on Day 5 of the group stage, and we take a look at some of the key matchups of the week and give our betting tips below.
Lyon come into this home fixture against Manchester City having won the only other time they’ve played them, which was an upset in the reverse fixture earlier this year. They’ve also been in some pretty good form in all other competitions, where they’ve only lost once in their last 14 games, although that loss was a 5-0 drubbing by Ligue 1 leaders PSG. They will be hoping they can continue their undefeated record in the Champions League and progress through to the knockouts. Currently, Lyon are in second position on six points with a 1-3-0 record.
As mentioned above, Manchester City fell to Lyon in their home leg against them just a few weeks ago. They came into that game as really heavy favourites, which will be the same case this time around when they travel to France. Manchester City are in absolute blistering form in their domestic league, as they’re undefeated after 13 games and sit atop of the ladder. They’re also on top of their Champions League group despite the loss to Lyon and can wrap up a knockout round spot with a win here.
We feel that Manchester City will come into this one with a point to prove as they look to cement their spot in the knockout round. Their squad is far more talented than their opponents here and we fully expect them to level the series at 1-1 with a comfortable win.
PSG come into their home match-up with Liverpool in terrific form in Ligue 1. They’re 14 wins from 14 matches in the league and are on top by 14 points already. Their Champions League form hasn’t quite been as good though, as they’re currently in third position in Group C, which is arguably the strongest of all groups this season. They’re 1-2-1 after four games and find themselves in a must-win position against Liverpool on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, Liverpool come into this in some great domestic form themselves, as they too are still undefeated after 13 games. However, like PSG, their Champions League form has been a bit shaky, highlighted by their shock loss to Crvena Zvezda in their last outing. That loss has put a lot of pressure on the Reds, who looked to be in a great position after three match days. They now have to travel to France to take on one of the biggest powerhouses in modern day football in what seems like a must-win for them.
The first group stage meeting between these two was an absolute belter with the Reds coming out with a 3-2 win thanks to a 91st minute winner to Bobby Firmino. Despite the loss, PSG will be extremely confident they will get their revenge with a win on their home deck, which very few travelling teams get a result at.
Spanish giants Real Madrid are coming off one of the most disappointing losses in their recent La Liga history on the weekend. They travelled to newly promoted Eibar for their Week 13 matchup and were comfortably beaten by three goals, sending them to sixth on the La Liga table with just six wins from their opening 11 games. Luckily, they only need to draw one of their two remaining Champions League group stage games to advance to the knockout stage.
Roma have had a similar season in their respective domestic league so far. Through 13 games in the Italian Serie A, they sit seventh on the table with a 5-4-4 record and are also coming off an extremely disappointing 1-0 loss to 16th place Udinese on the weekend. It's a tough start to the season for Roma, who finished 3rd in the Serie A last season and made a surprise run to the semi final of the Champions League, however, they too only need one draw from their remaining two games to advance.
Roma have lost each of their last three meetings with Real Madrid, failing to score in each match. Real have also won four of the last five times they have travelled to Italy to take on Roma, while the Italian side has been able to keep just one clean sheet in their last 11 games agains the Spanish juggernauts. All signs point to Real Madrid for this one but we just aren't confident on either team given their current form. Both teams only need a draw to advance to the knockout stage and I think they will be happy with that result.
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