Despite the many troubles that have affected Barcelona this season, from the summer farewell of Messi to the exchange on the bench between Ronald Koeman and Xavi, the Blaugrana are today in second place in Group E of the Champions League and with a victory at the Camp Nou against Benfica on the fifth day they would guarantee the qualification for the round of 16.
Fundamental was the two consecutive 1-0 obtained up against Dynamo Kiev in the last few days. Fresh from another 1-0, the one in the derby against Espanyol, Barcelona will have to deal with a very long list of unavailable due to injuries such as Sergio Aguero, Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembélé, Pedri, Ansu Fati and Sergino Dest, and for reasons of UEFA lists will not be able to field the latest arrival Dani Alves.
Benfica instead have the chance to reopen the games by winning in Catalonia after having collected two knockouts and nine goals in total against Bayern Munich.
Barcelona will want to start over where they left off last time, with their 10th win in La Liga against Espanyol.
In that match, Barcelona scored 16 goals with 65% possession, 6 of which were on target. The only player on the Barcelona scoresheet was Memphis Depay (48′). Espanyol made 12 shots and put 2 into the goal.
Benfica will go into this match after a 6-1 Primeira Liga win over Braga in their last fixture.
In this match, Benfica had 59% of possession and 11 attempts to score, nine of which were on target. For Benfica, goals were scored by Álex Grimaldo (2′), Darwin Núñez (38′), Rafa Silva (42′, 45′) and Everton (52′, 59′). As for the opponent, SC Braga made 8 shots on goal, including 4 on target. Ricardo Horta (12′) is the scorer for Braga.
Proving their ability to appear in the most important matches, goals have been scored 22 times in the last six matches that Benfica have played in, averaging 3.67 goals per game. The opposing teams reached 12 of that total.
Head to head
Although with difficulty, Barcelona has won the last two Champions League matches, remaining alive in the race to qualify. Knowing that the last match will be against the fearsome Bayern, the Catalans will have to try to win at home with Benfica to close the qualifying adventure. That’s why we chose the 1.
Whoever wins the challenge at the Estadio de la Ceramica has a good chance of qualifying for the round of 16 of the Champions League. With the mathematical certainty of Manchester United having already won the first leg, they would have the certainty of going forward thanks to the rule that says that in the event of a tie, direct clashes count.
Today, the two teams lead Group F with 180 minutes to go, two points ahead of Atalanta, and anything can happen in the next two games. Unai Emery’s Villarreal won the last two games, both against Young Boys, while at the resumption of the La Liga they drew 1-1 on the field of Celta Vigo, continuing the series of positive results across all three competitions (2 wins and 1 draw).
Manchester United, who had lost the derby before the break, at the resumption of the Premier League, were overwhelmed in London by Claudio Ranieri’s Watford, 4-1. The knockout cost Norwegian coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dearly, as he was sacked and replaced by Michael Carrick. Definitely better in the Champions League, where they are coming off 2 victories in a row and a draw.
Villarreal will be without Gerard Moreno and Serge Aurier, while United will be withoutPaul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw and Mason Greenwood.
Villarreal are preparing for this match after a draw in La Liga against Celta Vigo. In this match, Villarreal had 43% of possession and 18 shots on target, including 6 on target. The only player to score for Villarreal was Alberto Moreno (27′). Celta de Vigo scored 12 shots on goal, including 3 shots on target. Brais Méndez (72′) scores for Celta Vigo.
In the last 6 matches, Unai Emery’s Villarreal scored a total of 8 times, averaging 1.33 goals per game.
Manchester United WLWDLL
After being beaten in their last game by Watford in the Premier League, Manchester United are hoping to make the difference here.
In this match, Manchester United controlled the ball 61% of the time and had 9 attempts on goal, including 3 on target. The scorer for Manchester United was Donny van de Beek (50′). In the remaining match, Watford had 20 shots, including 7 on target. Watford: Joshua King (28′), Ismaïla Sarr (44′), João Pedro (92′) and Emmanuel Dennis (96′).
Illustrating their propensity for productive encounters, goals have been scored 24 times in the last six Manchester United appearances, averaging four goals per game. Their opponents hit 15 out of that total. Let’s see if this trend can be sustained in the next game.
Head to head
Both teams went through a dark period of the season, with great difficulty securing victory, even in their championships. But in the Champions League, the teams are playing better. With 7 points each, the Spaniards and the British are in the top two. We expect an intense match throughout the whole game and predict a draw in the first half.
Although not yet mathematically qualified for the second phase of the Champions League, Chelsea will play at Stamford Bridge against Juventus for first place in Group H. Max Allegri’s Bianconeri are already certain of the passage of the round thanks to 4 wins in 4 games, while the Blues just need one point to be sure of the continuation of the tournament. A minor thing, if we consider that Thomas Tuchel’s team has a 6-point advantage over Zenit, means that if Chelsea were to win this match, not only would they hook Juve at the top but they would contend with them for first place in the group.
The odds favor Chelsea, who, among other things, have not lost in nine official league and cup matches and who, in the last round of the Premier League, defeated Leicester City 0-3 with goals from Antonio Rudiger, Ngolo Kanté, and Christian Pulisic. Juventus also won the last match played, that of Serie A on the Lazio field, 2-0. Once again, with a few too many problems in attack, two penalties were kicked by Leonardo Bonucci to solve the Olimpico challenge. It was the third win in a row for the Old Lady between the championship and the Champions League.
At Juve, Chiellini, De Sciglio, and Bernardeschi will not play, while the conditions of Dybala, whose calf problem had caused him to miss the trip to Rome, and Danilo, injured just last Saturday at Lazio’s home, will be evaluated. At Chelsea, the conditions of Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic must be checked, while Marcos Alonso and Timo Werner have recovered, who already went on the bench in the last round of the championship but did not find space during the match.
Chelsea are hoping to win again after their last result, a Premier League 0-3 win over Leicester City.
In that match, Chelsea had 62% of possession and 16 shots at goal, of which 7 were on target. On the Chelsea side, goals were scored by Antonio Rüdiger (14′), N’Golo Kanté (28′) and Christian Pulisic (71′). Against their opponents, Leicester City made 4 shots on goal, of which 3 were on target.
Chelsea have no trouble scoring, finding the back of the net in five of their last six matches. They scored a total of 16 and conceded a total of 2. It will be interesting to see if this trend can continue in the next game.
Juventus will enter this match fresh off a 0-2 Serie A win over Lazio in their previous match.
In this match, Juventus controlled the ball 42% of the time and attempted 11 times, of which 5 were on target. The scorer for Juventus was Leonardo Bonucci (23′, 83′). In the opposite direction, Lazio made 8 shots on goal, including 1 on target.
In their most recent half-dozen clashes, Juventus have scored a total of 10 goals. Juventus have also managed to score on each of these occasions. During this time, their defenders have conceded 7 goals.
Head to head
It will be difficult for Juventus to win at Stamfrod Bridge, and the Bianconeri would be content with a draw, as this was the last result in 2012.In line with the 1-0 of the first leg and with the many Under 2.5s when Chelsea plays in the Champions League, we are still betting on a match with fewer than 3 goals overall.
Realizing that Milan’s chances of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League are almost reduced to a flicker, the challenge against Wanda Metropolitano is even more difficult considering the loss 2-1 in the first leg on September 28.
Stefano Pioli’s Rossoneri, among others, did not have a positive weekend, being beaten 4-3 by Fiorentina in Franchi. It was the third game in a row the Rossoneri had not won in all competitions, as well as the fourth match in which they conceded a goal.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico are currently 3rd in the standings with 3 points ahead of Milan and quite a distance from Porto, and in their last match they almost overcame Osasuna at home. With Felipe and Griezmann suspended and Trippier and Joao Felix injured, Milan will have to take advantage. The Rossoneri are without Maignan, Plizzari, Calabre, Rebic, and Tomori.
Atlético Madrid DDWLDW
Atlético Madrid is looking to win again after defeating Osasuna in La Liga.
In this match, Atlético Madrid controlled the ball 61% of the time and scored 16 attempts, including 2 on target. The only player to score for Atlético Madrid was Felipe (87′). Osasuna attempted 9 shots on goal, including 3 shots on target.
Matches with Atlético Madrid have often been entertaining encounters, with plenty of goal action as a common feature. In the last six clashes, a total of 20 goals were scored for both teams (average of 3.33 goals per game), with 11 going to Atlético Madrid.
AC Milan WWWDDL
After tasting their last defeat to Fiorentina in Serie A, AC Milan and their supporters are hoping for a better result here.
In the last match, AC Milan had 55% of possession and 17 shots on goal, of which 7 were on target. The only goalscorer for AC Milan was Zlatan Ibrahimović (62′, 67′). La Fiorentina made 9 shots on goal, of which 5 were on target. Alfred Duncan (15′), Riccardo Saponara (45′), Dušan Vlahović (60′, 85′) and Lorenzo Venuti (90′ Own goal) scored for Fiorentina.
Demonstrating their predisposition for fruitful encounters, the back of the net has been hit 21 times in the prior six games in which AC Milan have taken to the field, averaging 3.5 goals per game. The opposing teams scored 9 out of this total. We’ll just have to see if that trend can be sustained in this game.
Head to head
Milan are going through a difficult period and while Atletico are not playing much better, it is easier to see that all is in favor of the Spaniards. Milan have a poor away streak in the Champions League and the pressure to win this match is even greater on them. They come from a three-match winless streak and prior to this match they conceded four against Fiorentina.
Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool are, together with Ajax, among the teams certain that they have finished the Champions’ League group in first place. With the result of this prestige already in their pockets, the Reds will face Porto at Anfield Road on the fifth day of Group B.
The only reason Liverpool could give 100% is to try to close the group with full points, even if Klopp could decide to adopt a large turnover also constrained by the injuries that make Firmino, Gomez, Jones, Keita, Milner and Elliott unavailable, while Williams, Diogo Jota, Robertson and Origi are all in doubt.
Liverpool travel to Porto after a convincing 4-0 win at home against Arsenal. Porto did not have much difficulty in defeating Feirense 5-1 in the Portuguese Cup over the weekend.
Liverpool, following on from their previous results, hope for more after their 4-0 Premier League win over Arsenal.
In this match, Liverpool controlled the ball 63% and had 19 shots at goal, of which 9 were on target. For Liverpool, the scorers were Sadio Mané (39′), Diogo Jota (52′), Mohamed Salah (73′) and Takumi Minamino (77′). On the other hand, Arsenal made 5 shots on goal, including 3 on target.
Recent Liverpool-related matches have often been intriguing encounters with plenty of expected scoring action. In their last six clashes alone, a total of 22 goals have been scored for both teams (an average of 3.67 goals per game), with 17 of those goals scored for Liverpool. Even so, for now, we have to wait and see if this trend continues in this upcoming game.
Porto come into this match after a 0-3 win in the Primeira Liga, beating Santa Clara in their final game.
In this match, Porto controlled the ball 70% of the time and had 23 shots on goal, 10 of which were on target. For Porto, the scorers were Sérgio Oliveira (42′) and Luis Díaz (46′, 77′). On the other hand, Santa Clara took 3 shots on goal, including 1 on target.
In the previous half-dozen encounters, Porto had scored 14 goals. Porto also couldn’t help but score on these occasions. During this time, they have had four goals against them.
Head to head
Despite the fact that Liverpool is already mathematically first, Porto will be motivated because qualification for the second round is at stake.
The Etihad Stadium will be the scene of the Champions League super-match between Manchester City and Paris-Saint-German, who will compete for first place in Group A.
The Citizens aim to maintain the first position and, without a doubt, would be happy with a point in this challenge in view of the next race with Leipzig. Pep Guardiola cannot count on Kevin de Bruyne because the Belgian ace tested positive at COVID-19, while Ferran Torres remains out due to injury, as does Liam Delap. Probably not fit for even Grealish and Mendy. Gabriel Jesus could also start from the beginning after scoring two goals in the 3-0 championship win over Everton.
On the other hand, coach Mauro Pochettino can rely on the fantastic trio of Mbappe, Messi, and Neymar, and, taking everything into account, both teams have a chance to win this match. Goalkeeper Donnarumma tested positive for COVID-19, while Rafinha, Ramos, and Draxler are all injured in the ranks of PSG.
Manchester City WDLWWW
Manchester City are hoping to win again after their last result, a 3-0 Premier League success against Everton.
In this match, Manchester City had 77% of possession and 17 attempts to score, including 7 on target. For Manchester City, goals were scored by Raheem Sterling (44′), Rodri (55′) and Bernardo Silva (86′). As for their opponent, Everton made 4 shots on goal, including 2 shots on target.
Paris Saint-Germain WDWDWW
PSG visit City after their 3-1 Ligue 1 win over Nantes in their last match.
In this match, Paris Saint-Germain controlled 66% of the ball and had 14 shots on goal, including 7 on target. For Paris Saint-Germain, the scorers were Kylian Mbappé (2′) and Lionel Messi (87′). FC Nantes scored 12 shots on goal, of which 6 were on target. Randal Kolo Muani (76′) and Dennis Appiah (81′ own goal) scored for Nantes.
Proof of their productive encounters is the 21 goals in Paris Saint-Germain’s last six games, averaging 3.5 goals per game. The opposing teams scored 8 out of that total. However, now we have to wait and see if that trend can happen again in the next game.
Head to head
Everyone is intrigued by the Gol-Gol option, which did not appear in the first leg, which Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0.
It is true that some valuable elements will be lacking on both sides, but the tools to shake the ground of Etihad and swell its nets are all there.