UEFA Champions League Round 5 : Preview and Talking Points

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We have reached the penultimate round of the group stage of 2016-17 UEFA Champions League. Some of the teams already booked their places in the knockout stage. Some of them are yet to reach there. We will go through the groups and assess the situation.

Group A

Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are already qualified for the next round. But both are on 10 points. So, this match is hugely important for taking the first place. Arsenal will host the French side. Both teams are in real good form in terms of results. So, it will be a cracker and a likely draw. There will be another important match between Ludogorets (1 point) and Basel (1 point). Mainly, the winner of this match will qualify for the Europa League and the loser will be out of Europe. The Bulgarian side is in red hot home form. They have a slight advantage.

Group B

It is very difficult to tell which teams will progress from this group. Napoli (7 points) will play Dynamo Kiev (1 point) and Besiktas (6 points) will play Benfica (6 points). But last round of this group is important for all teams.

Group C

Pep Guardiola’s current team Manchester City and his former team Barcelona are almost through to the next round. They just need to beat their respective opponents, Monchengladbach and Celtic. There should not be much problem for both the teams.

Group D

Atletico Madrid (12 points) and Bayern Munich (9 points) are already qualified from Group D. Atletico will play PSV (1 point) and Bayern will go to Russia to play Rostov (1 point). Despite their heartbreaking defeat to their respective rival in the league at the weekend, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich are clear favourites of these two matches.

Group E

Monaco will play Tottenham to battle for the top spot of Group E. Based on their current form; they should win this match and qualify but Tottenham will have to win to keep in touch. The result may go either side. Leverkusen had a tough trip against CSKA Moscow. That result can go anyway, also.

Group F

Fresh of the derby wins, Real Madrid (8 points) and Dortmund (10 points) will play Sporting CP (3 points) and Legia Warshaw (1 point). Dortmund are qualified and a win for them may secure their place in the top. Real Madrid need just a point against Sporting to qualify, but the Portuguese side will battle hard to keep the battle ongoing. But, still it is clear advantage of Dortmund and Real Madrid.

Group G

Leicester City is in pole position to qualify for the knockout stage despite their poor form domestically. They are one of the two sides not to concede a goal in this year’s competition. They need just a win against pointless Club Brugge at home to qualify. Copenhagen will host Porto to battle for the second place. Porto had a slight edge on their Danish counterpart.

Group H

Sevilla (10 points) and Juventus (8 points) will battle hard in Spain. The winner of this match will qualify for the next round. Sevilla can qualify with a draw also. They are two evenly matched teams and it may end in a stalemate. Lyon (4 points) will want to take advantage of any slip-ups of top two by beating Dinamo Zagreb (0 point).

Photo by prakash_ut

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