Salzburg host Chelsea in cliff-hanger Group E tie
Graham Potter‘s men sit at the top of the section on seven points, while their Austrian hosts sit one place and one point worse off in this top-of-the-table showdown.
Salzburg’s fate remains in their own hands ahead of the penultimate round of matches, and victory would be enough to guarantee them a place in the last 16 if AC Milan and Dinamo Zagreb’s encounter ends all square, but they could also drop out of the top two if results do not go their way.
Salzburg have not lost at home since December in Europe’s premier tournament – with Milan, Sevilla, Bayern Munich and Lille among the clubs to have failed to win at the Red Bull Arena since – and Chelsea also know a thing or two about stalemates.
In spite of their lengthy injury list, Salzburg are rarely kept at bay in the Champions League, and the rejuvenated Kepa Arrizabalaga will need to be on top form to keep out Salzburg’s menacing attacking starlets.
Juve travel to Lisbon teetering on the brink of elimination after being humbled by Maccabi Haifa last time out; leaving them five points adrift of the top two in Group H. Meanwhile, their hosts will assure progress if they beat the Serie A side for the second time in a matter of weeks.
Successive 1-1 draws with co-leaders Paris Saint-Germain have not only put Benfica on the verge of making it through to the Champions League knockout stages again, but also established them as a potential team to be wary of in the last 16.
Benfica will book their place if they win, or even if they draw and Haifa cannot topple PSG. They are therefore set to reach the knockout phase in consecutive seasons for only the second time.
Nonetheless, an experienced Juve side can muster all their guile to grind out a draw – though that will not be enough for them to stay in the mix for a top-two finish.
Haaland back to former stomping grounds to haunt Dortmund
The hosts, meanwhile, need two more points to be certain of progressing to the knockout stages, although a draw against the English champions would be enough to do so should Sevilla beat Copenhagen in the other match in the group.
Dortmund should head into their meeting against Pep Guardiola‘s side filled full of confidence having thrashed Stuttgart 5-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
another defeat to the Citizens could potentially make their trip to Copenhagen next week a nervy one depending on how their two rivals in the group fare against each other this week, meaning Dortmund will be doing everything in their power to wrap things up with one game to spare.
Man City know that they will top their Champions League group by avoiding defeat in Dortmund.
Haaland will be determined to impress at his former stomping ground, and it would take a very brave man to bet against him scoring against them once again, especially with so much still to play for.
Haaland is likely to be a man possessed in front of his former fans, and that could make all the difference as Man City look to secure top spot in Group G.
RB Leipzig lock horns with Carlo Ancelotti‘s Real Madrid side at the Red Bull Arena Leipzig. RB Leipzig are currently in eighth place in the Bundesliga standings and have struggled to impose themselves this season.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are at the top of the La Liga table at the moment and have been in exceptional form so far this season. Los Blancos eased past Sevilla by a 3-1 margin in their previous game and will look to achieve a similar result.
Real Madrid have thrived under Carlo Ancelotti’s tutelage and are arguably one of Europe’s best teams at the moment. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior have stepped up to the plate this season and will want to make a difference.
Real Madrid are the better team on paper and hold the upper hand going into this game. Credit: portskeeda.com