With just two games in the Group stages of the UEFA Champions League to play, this midweek sees a number of crunch ties across the continent, many involving Premier League teams.
Headlined by Manchester City’s clash versus Paris Saint-Germain in Group A, top spot remains up for grabs with just a point separating the two sides after PSG’s 2-0 win back in September. A win here for Pep Guardiola’s men though, will guarantee their qualification as top seeds, whilst a draw will leave City needing to beat Leipzig in Germany in a fortnight to secure top berth. As strong favourites to book their place in the last 16, the Cityzens are 7/11 with SBK, whilst PSG are widely 9/2.
In west London meanwhile, Chelsea welcome Group H leaders Juventus to Stamford Bridge in another of MD5’s marquee meetings. The Blues are three points behind their Turin opponents and need to force a win to go level with Juve on points, then likely needing to score more against Zenit than the Old Lady do at home to strugglers Malmo in two weeks’ time. With the Italians arriving in the capital needing only a draw, UniBet’s 13/4 could well be a punt to pursue.
Over in Spain, Manchester United begin life with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer away to Villarreal, with all four teams in Group F still with the chance to progress. With in-form Atalanta travelling to Bern to face Young Boys, La Dea will be waiting for a slip up from either side to leapfrog them in the standings, making the three points crucial at El Madrigal.
Goals look almost a certainty here, and with Cristiano Ronaldo having netted in every CL game this term, the Portuguese has also been the last goalscorer during the last three outings in Europe. A similar scenario could be on the cards as the Red Devils chase a vital win, and for Ronaldo to bag the decisive goal, Betway’s offering of 9/2 looks enticing.
The other Premier League involvement comes from Liverpool, as the Reds face Porto at Anfield. Fresh from a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal at the weekend, Jurgen Klopp’s men are four from four in Europe this term, but with top spot already booked for February, could the hosts take their foot off the gas here? Porto will be looking to take anything they can back to Portugal with Atletico Madrid and Milan facing off in Spain and a draw may well be worth a ponder at 3/1 with Bet365, VBet and Betfair.
Of MD5’s other big games, Sheriff Tiraspol look to do the double over Real Madrid after their sensational win over Los Blancos earlier this season. Having sat top of Group D after two games, back-to-back 3-1 defeats to Inter have seen the Moldovans slide down into third spot, with their second meeting with Real looking make-or-break for the Champions League debutantes. Though the two sides have seen their fortunes drastically change in recent weeks, Sheriff are still rather baffling a heavyweight 13/1 with SBK for the win here – longer odds than they were in Spain. Whilst that might look a stretch, home goals are possible and for Sheriff to bag over 1.5 goals, SpreadEx’s 4/1 looks very favourable.
Finally in Group G, Lille and RB Salzburg clash in northern France, with just four points between all four teams in the standings, as Wolfsburg and Sevilla also lurk. After being hauled back to a 2-2 draw by Monaco in Ligue 1 on Friday night, LOSC continued to endure problems in defence, which will not be aided with the visit of the dangerous Austrians. In attack however, Canadian striker Jonathan David is in red-hot form for Lille having netted double figures since September. Scoring away to Sevilla last time out and grabbing a brace this past weekend, David looks good to fire again here and is 11/5 to bag anytime, or to grab a brace is a tasty-looking 12s, both with PaddyPower and Betfair.