The Catalan outfit are third in Group C, three points behind second-placed Inter Milan, who would qualify by beating Viktoria Plzen earlier in the evening, while Bayern top the section with 12 points, having won all four of their matches in the section to progress to the round of 16 with two games to spare. It has been a disappointing Champions League group-stage campaign for the Catalan outfit, who have only picked up four points from four matches to sit third, three points behind second-placed Inter ahead of Wednesday’s two Group C fixtures.
The La Liga giants need a favour from Plzen and then to beat Bayern, but they have picked up just one point from their last three games in the competition. Barcelona can take heart from their last two home matches, beating Villarreal 3-0 and Athletic Bilbao 4-0.
However, Bayern’s spot at the top of the section is not a surprise considering their quality, and it has been an impressive group-stage performance thus far from the Bundesliga champions, recording four wins from four matches, scoring 13 times in the process and conceding just twice.
We have a feeling that this will be an entertaining contest and will end with the points being shared.
Ajax, Liverpool need positive result to boost qualification chances
A point would be good enough to see the Reds progress to the knockout stages with one match to spare, although Jurgen Klopp‘s side may require a victory if they are to stand a chance of overthrowing Napoli at the top of Group A.
However, three successive defeats have left Ajax six points adrift of their forthcoming opponents, Liverpool, with two matches remaining, meaning that they must win and hope that Napoli do the same on the final matchday if they are to progress to the next round.
Liverpool looked to have turned a corner having beaten Manchester City and West Ham both 1-0 in the past week, but they succumbed by the reverse scoreline at the expense of a rejuvenated Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.
We expect a fiercely competitive game on Wednesday, with both teams needing a positive result to boost their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.
Tottenham aim to secure qualification against Sporting Lisbon
Antonio Conte‘s side sit at the top of the section and will advance to the knockout rounds with a win here, while Sporting sit in third, just one point worse off than their confidence-sapped hosts.
Conte has already poured cold water on any hopes his side had of challenging for the Premier League title, but only 90 minutes separates Tottenham from a place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign.
Sitting at the top of the group with seven points to their name, Tottenham will ensure that they cannot be usurped by their Portuguese opponents or Eintracht Frankfurt with a win here, but they could also end the matchday in third if results do not go their way.
Tottenham would do well to take advantage of Sporting’s significantly reduced defence this week, especially given their penchant for goals at home, but it is difficult to back Conte’s side with any real confidence while Kulusevski is not there to pick the lock.
Sporting’s own attacking prowess will be taken down a notch without top goalscorer and top assister Goncalves, but barring any more moments of madness from Amorim’s side, we can envisage a low-scoring stalemate as Tottenham share the points in Europe’s premier competition for the first time in over a decade.
With just one victory apiece from their opening four Group B games, Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen go head-to-head in an all-important clash in the Champions League. While the hosts recorded an impressive victory in LaLiga at Real Betis last time out, the German visitors continued their disappointing start to the season, with a 1-1 draw to Wolfsburg.
With this season’s surprise package, Club Brugge, already out of sight at the top of Group B, it is down to Porto, Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen to fight it out for the second qualifying spot for the Champions League knockout stages.
Atletico Madrid’s weekend win against a Real Betis side who boasted a 100% record in front of their own fans at the Benito Villamarin should fill them with confidence ahead of their European showdown.
. Bayer Leverkusen, on the other hand, just cannot seem to build any sort of consistency at the moment, having lost 10 of their 18 games in all competitions so far this season.
The visitors will be dangerous with the likes of Moussa Diaby on the break, but we think the quality of Simeone’s side should be enough to seal a crucial win.