Champions League Week 5: Top Four Matches Preview
It‘s been a while since the last time when the best European teams met in Champions League – so it‘s bound to be interesting. As there is an abundance of must-watch games planned during the two days of football, we’ve picked two from each day and took a look at what could potentially happen. Buckle up, because it’s going to be one heck of a ride!
Barcelona vs AS Roma
Barcelona is on fire right now after managing a 4:0 victory in the latest El Clasico game. It’s no wonder the TonyBet bookies gave them 27/100 odds for another win against Roma’s 19/2! They’re on the top of their group, too, and with a mighty point difference – so does Roma stand any chance at all against Barça?
It’s not an easy thing – especially since Lionel Messi already came back from his injury. Roma really needs a win, as it could ensure them going through to the knockout stage, meanwhile Barcelona only needs a point to go through. Their last game together ended in a draw – which would be enough for the Catalonian team, but not for the Italian.
While Barcelona has a relatively healthy squad at the moment, they do have two players out with injuries (Rafinha and Douglas Santos) and Javier Mascherano is a bit unclear after the knock that he took in El Clasico. Dani Alves, while perfectly fit, only needs a single booking to be suspended.
The Italian team, on the other hand, is missing Mohamed Salah, Gervinho, and Francesco Totti, while Daniele De Rossi could prove to be well enough to run out into the pitch. All in all, Roma doesn’t seem to have too good a chance to win – although they seem to know the key to not getting beaten by Barça too, so they may just surprise everyone.
Bayern Munich vs Olympiakos
The reigning kings of Bundesliga Bayern Munich is going to be facing Olympiakos on Wednesday. While on Week 3 Arsenal has shown everyone that the German team is, in fact, perfectly beatable, they’ve also shown that you should know better than angering the beast, or you may get beaten 5:1 the next time.
When it comes to advancing to the knockout stage, neither of the teams need three points to go through, which means that this is not a must-win situation. However, it is a matter of the first place in their group – currently, the German team is leading with a massive goal difference that is the best in the entire League.
According to the TonyBet bookies, Olympiakos are coming into this game with very slight chances to triumph: their odds at a victory are only 17/1 as opposed to Bayern’s 13/100. The Greek team has won three out of their four Champions League games – the single defeat came in a 0:3 match against, of course, Bayern.
Olympiakos are the top team in Superleague Greece, but that may prove to not be enough to beat Bayern. The German team is healthy and they want to win: so as much as Olympiacos may try, Bayern may just prove to be too tough an opponent for them – which, to be honest, they are for many brilliant teams.
Man City vs Juventus
Juventus are going into this game with a pretty decent odds‘ advantage – their victory is valued at 23/20 against Man City‘s 49/20 by the TonyBet bookies. To be quite fair, after the English team‘s miserable loss to Liverpool – who‘s missing 10 players to injuries – in PL on Saturday, these odds start to seem rather generous.
It‘s worth noting though that Man City have lost key players, too: David Silva and Vincent Kompany both missed the losing match, and they will be out for the Juventus game, too. Sergio Aguera did manage to come back in time, and it is possible to expect a better performance from him as it‘s going to be a second game after his return hence his form could be better.
Now the Italian side just won against the rival Milan in La Liga, which must have boosted the teams’ confidence and was dearly needed after a bit of a shaky start of the season. However, shaky they were not when they won against Man City on September in Champions League, and seeing how badly the English club fared during their latest game, they may very well repeat the feat.
While Man City are undeniably strong, it seems like they’ve lost their touch a bit. They are currently #1 in their group in the Champions League, but they’ve dropped two places down from their leading position in the Premier League, and as it is, the upcoming game against Juventus may very well help the latter club get ahead.
Man United vs PSV Eindhoven
Man United are currently top of their group in the Champions League, leading by one point while PSV Eindhoven are the second. In their upcoming game, the TonyBet bookies have the English team as a strong favourite with the odds of 1/2 against Eindhoven’s 11/2. However, the last time they met in the CL, the Dutch team won 2:1.
It’s going to be a home game for Man United, but that may prove to not be as big of an advantage as you’d think, considering they’ve got ten players out of the rotation. Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, and Juan Mata could prove to be fit enough to come back for the match – although it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
PSV is not completely healthy, either, missing Jetro Willems, Maxime Lestienne, and Menno Koch. That seems to have taken a toll on them, considering they just drew a game against Willem II, who is currently 16th in the Dutch Eredivisie, where Eindhoven is 3rd. Still, a victory in the upcoming match is crucial for both sides, so they’re bound to try and shape up.
Considering both of the teams will have to do without key players, this is a game that could really go either way. All in all, their group is pretty cutthroat, with Man United leading by only three points, so this is exactly the setting to make the pressure to win skyrocket. Yes, the English team is the favourite – but Eindhoven is not to be underestimated.