Champions League Day 6: The English against the World
The final test before going into the Round of 16 of the Champions League is here: the Match Day 6! While some of the teams have already qualified, for the others winning is crucial in order to continue battling in the international waters. Let’s take a look at a few must-watch upcoming games.
Wolfsburg vs Man United: Will the Wolves Feast on the Red Devils?
Wolfsburg is currently leading group B, while Man United is the second with just a single point difference. Both can potentially still qualify with the first place, or the second, – but there’s also a possibility to not continue in the League, so the stakes are as high as ever.
According to the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet, Wolfsburg has better chances at a victory with the odds of 27/20 vs Man United’s 12/5. To be quite fair, neither the German nor the English team has been looking too menacing lately.
Wolfsburg won two out of the five last games – granted, including a 6:0 against Werder – drew one, and lost two. Meanwhile Man United also sports two victories, followed by three-in-a-row draws against Eindhoven, Leicester City, and West Ham.
However, the German team knows how to score which was somewhat of a trouble for Man United lately. On top of that, the English team could very well go into the game without eight players – including Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, and, likely, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney, and Morgan Schneiderlin.
What with an injury crisis going on over at Man United, and the struggling to score, currently it seems like Wolfsburg is more likely to triumph. In any case, it’s going to be an interesting game, because it’s way too important for the English to give up easily, but they will have to seriously shape up in order to beat their German opponents.
Olympiakos vs Arsenal: Will Injuries Have the Gunners Shooting Blanks?
Now in Group F, Bayern Munich has already qualified, leaving Olympiakos and Arsenal fighting for the single ticket to the Round of 16. However, the Greek team is at a better position than the English one – it would take the Gunners winning by a two goal margin, or scoring at least three goals to go through if the difference is that of a single goal.
However, the TonyBet bookies are confident that Arsenal is up to the task: the odds for their victory are at 21/20 when Olympiakos got a much more modest 51/20. The Greeks have recently played a few high-scoring games, while the Gunners had a few somewhat shaky PL performances.
Out of the last five games, Arsenal only won two, drew two and lost a match to a bottom-league team West Brom. Even though they did manage a 3:0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb and a 3:1 win against Sunderland, their performance doesn‘t really look steady, and it‘s no wonder considering how many injuries they are dealing with.
The English team still has to play without Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coqueling, Alex Ovlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, and Jack Wilshere – and that‘s not even the full list of their players currently warming the bench.
Meanwhile Olympiakos won four out of the last five matches (in fact, they have actually won 11 out of 12 since September 26th), only giving in 0:4 to Bayern Munich. They’ve already met Arsenal in Champions League, too, and triumphed in a tight 3:2 game.
In all honesty, the Gunners’ chances seem questionable, and although they can definitely hold their own, it may ultimately come down to the squad just being too weakened. Just like Man United, they need a strong strategy going into the game, because they are at a serious risk of being relegated to Europa League.
Chelsea vs Porto: Will National Misery Spell out International Success?
If there was one team that kept surprising everyone this season so far, it was Chelsea – and not in a good way, too. As miserable as they look playing in England, they’ve had a pretty decent run at the Champions League and there’s the advantage of just three teams fighting for two tickets to the Round of 16.
Both Porto and Chelsea can go through as the first or the second of the group. However, the TonyBet bookies predict a victorious match for the English club, giving them the odds of 1/1 against the 3/1 that the Portuguese team got.
Porto is the second in their national Primeira Liga, and they’ve been playing fairly well recently. Out of the last five meets, Porto sports four victories, granted, the only Champions League game is a 0:2 loss to Dynamo Kyiv.
Meanwhile Chelsea has been lacklustre to say the least. The last five matches ended in two victories, one draw against Tottenham and two losses – one to Stoke City, and one to Bournemouth in the latest Premier League match. Their performance really isn’t one you would expect from the defending champions – but they’ve been doing better internationally.
These two teams have already met once in the Champions League, when Porto won 2:1. Given how badly Chelsea has been playing lately, it’s tough to say whether they will be able to brave the upcoming opponent, who would be an easy one under normal circumstances, because there is no good reason to them losing the games that they are. Only time will tell in this case!