Champions League Matchday Four: City Should Be First To Qualify4 min read
It is Matchday Four in the Champions League midweek and all four Premier League sides won the reverse fixtures a fortnight ago.
Liverpool v KRC Genk
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 23 home European games (W17 D6) and it would be a major surprise if Genk – struggling midtable in the Belgian First Division – were able to stop the Reds from going into Sunday’s vital league game with Manchester City on the back of another comfortable home win.
Jurgen Klopp’s side won the reverse fixture 4-1 in Belgian on Matchday 3, but I can’t see the visitors finding the back of the net at Anfield.
Tip: Liverpool to win to nil
Chelsea v Ajax
Chelsea inflicted Ajax’s only defeat of the season so far (W15 D4) when they won the reverse fixture 1-0 in Amsterdam – their first loss since their famous defeat to Spurs in the semi-final second leg back in the spring.
Frank Lampard’s side have bounced back tremendously well in the Champions League when you consider they lost their opening game at home to Valencia and I think the Blues will edge what promises to be another terrific game between two inform, free-scoring sides.
Tip: Chelsea to win and both teams to score
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham
Spurs won the reverse fixture 5-0 but the Serbian champions are a different proposition in Belgrade where they have lost just two of their last 21 in European competition and did beat subsequent winners Liverpool 2-0 last season.
The hosts have scored 31 times in their last 10 games in all competitions and a point wouldn’t be a bad result for Mauricio Pochettino’s side who remain out of sorts of late despite getting a valuable point at Goodison on Sunday.
Tip: Game to finish in a scoring draw
Atalanta v Manchester City
City will qualify for the knock out stages with a win in Italy and I would be surprised if Pep Guardiola’s side did not follow up their 5-1 win in the reverse fixture at the Etihad with another three points.
The hosts have conceded 11 goals in their three group games to date although, before their defeat to Shakhtar on Matchday 2, they were unbeaten in 12 European home matches. Note the game is being played at the San Siro in Milan rather than in Bergamo given Atalanta’s stadium – which is currently being rebuilt – does not yet meet the UEFA criteria.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score