Champions League Preview: Group Stage Round 65 min read
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow
A point will guarantee top spot in the group for United and CSKA’s clean sheet in Benfica last time was their first shut out in 32 games. That suggests the Russians will have to score at least twice at Old Trafford and that is likely to be beyond them despite the fact that they have won two away games in the competition already this season.
This is a big week for United with City to come in the Premier League on Sunday and I can’t see them making any mistakes midweek.
Tip: United halftime/fulltime at
Celtic v RSC Anderlecht
Both sides have conceded 17 goals in their five group games to date but Celtic were comfortable winners of the reverse fixture and can do the double over the Belgians who must win by at least a three-goal margin to have any hope of making it through to the Europa League.
Anderlecht cannot sit back and defend and it is about time that Celtic – without a win in their last six Champions League games at Celtic Park – gave their home fans something to cheer about in European competition.
Tip: Celtic to win at
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid
Twice beaten finalists in recent years Atletico must beat Chelsea at the Bridge to stand any chance of progressing to the knock out stages. Chelsea have scored in their last 25 home games in the competition whilst the Spanish side have yet to score in their two away games so far in the competition – despite having 32 attempts at goal in those games.
A home win would guarantee top spot for the Blues and a home tie in the second leg of the last 16. It promises to be a cracking, passionate game between two of Europa’s top clubs.
Michael’s recommendation: Both Teams To Score at
Liverpool v Spartak Moscow
Liverpool will be guaranteed top spot in the group with a win at Anfield and only PSG have scored more goals in the group stages than the Reds. Spartak have lost 22 of their last 28 Champions League games on the road and it is hard to see them causing a shock against a Liverpool side who are in such good form of late.
Liverpool haven’t reached the knock out stages of the competition since the 2008/9 season and it would be wonderful to have all five Premier League sides in the last 16 of the world’s premier club competition.
Tip: Liverpool -2 on the handicap at
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City
A draw would guarantee Shakhtar a place in the last 16 whilst City are already assured of finishing top and have the small matter of the Manchester Derby at the weekend. City would like to have a 100