PREVIEW: UEFA Champions League (Tuesday Edition)

The business end of the Champions League’s first phase has arrived and there is still plenty business to take care of this week. Hearts and minds start to simultaneously feel the aggressive tug of qualification pressure which ultimately only adds to the thrills and frills associated with this competition of kings.


5/10 Lazio | Draw 33/10 | Celtic 46/10 (19:45)


It’s a must-win game for Lazio here. They have the chance to earn their spot in the next round of this competition and so you can expect those Italians to be absolutely bouncing.

Celtic have become the whipping boys of Europe – and I say that respectfully. I know Rome hasn’t seen brilliant European displays for a while, but I can’t see past the home win here.


1/1 Shakhtar Donetsk | Draw 51/20 | Antwerp 5/2 (19:45)


The Belgian visitors have been horrible in Europe, I can’t see how they have any hope of stopping the hosts from claiming all three points here and solidifying their qualification.

Antwerp have lost all four games, conceded 14 goals and face a side who will be out for blood. Back the home win.


1/1 Milan | Draw 5/2 | Dortmund 5/2 (22:00)


If ever there was a group which sought out to be seen as the group of death (and live up to it) it’s this one. The group remains wide open, and anyone is still able to qualify from it.

This is a tough game to call though, or at least insofar as a result is concerned. I think our best bet is both teams scoring though. Both sides will have no choice but to attack the game and keep their fate in their own hands.


31/20 Feyenoord | Draw 5/2 | Atletico Madrid 31/20 (22:00)


I think this game could be an absolute stinger of an event if the reverse fixture is anything to go by at least. Atleti lead the group by two points but face a Dutch side likely to be buoyed by their home support and eager to compete for top honours.

I think Atleti know how to manage these sorts of games though and frustrate their opponents into submission. I’m going to back a draw.


6/10 PSG | Draw 31/10 | Newcastle 39/10 (22:00)


PSG will be out for revenge here, especially after their defeat at St. James’ Park! I wonder whether that will play into Newcastle’s hands though. There is no doubt that Eddie Howe’s side come into the fixture in a really good bout of confidence – and I’m not sure it will be as straightforward as many are suggesting.

Luis Enrique’s side are exceptional at home though, unbeaten in six. I’m going to suggest we back over 2.5 goals here.


5/10 Barcelona | Draw 34/10 | Porto 48/10 (22:00)


Is Barcelona possibly somewhat vulnerable here? They top their group only with a mere three points and it has to be said, they do not look dominant in the Champions League this year.

Porto will play with no fear, knowing they can give themselves a chance at qualification as a seeded team and I suspect they will play with absolute freedom. For me, it’s the fact that both teams have shown an inability to keep a clean sheet.

Back both teams scoring here.


1/1 Young Boys | Draw 26/10 | Crvena zvezda 9/4 (22:00)


It should be noted that in terms of this group, Leipzig and City look as though they have the top two spots all wrapped up. However, these two are in a scrap for third place and qualification to the Europa League would be welcomed by either.

At the risk of sounding a bit like a stuck record, the goal related statistics around these two sides cannot be ignored. The hosts are without a clean sheet in 1440 minutes of Champions League football. The visitors have seen both teams score land in every game in the competition so far…back both teams scoring here and be done with it.


1/3 Manchester City | Draw 44/10 | RB Leipzig 13/2 (22:00)


I know that Leipzig will seemingly see this game as a shootout for a chance at winning the group, but for me it’s a bit of dead rubber. City will likely rotate players – considering the fact that they have qualified and with an eye on Sunday. However, given their squad depth that really doesn’t mean too much does it?

Leipzig have only beaten City once in five attempts and I don’t see that changing here.

The only avenue I suggest for consideration is backing City and both teams scoring – considering the questionable defensive record City have produced.

Written by Ryan Liberty