UEFA Champions League 19/20: Preview of Gameweek 5
The group stage of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League is approaching its home stretch. After 4 weeks of intense football, passion, VAR-fuelled drama and goals, the identities of the qualifiers for the round of 16 are becoming clearer.
Only PSG & Bayern Munich (100% wins) are mathematically guaranteed on their places in the knockout stage following the events of November 5-6 (Gameweek 4).
Other big teams like 13-time winners, Real Madrid, defending champions, Liverpool amongst others will be eager to confirm qualification for the next round in this game week.
Review of Gameweek 4
Gameweek 4 saw action earlier in November with two matchdays filled with mouth-watering action.
It saw the second leg of matches from Gameweek 3, serving up spectacular action for all watchers.
Group A action saw Real Madrid rip Galatasaray apart 6-0 with Rodrygo Goes becoming one of the youngest players to ever score a UCL hattrick. PSG just about got the job done with a 1-0 win over Club Brugges.
In Group B, Bayern Munich continued their impressive run under caretaker manager; Hansi Flick with a comfortable 2-0 win over Olympiakos as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Crvena Zvezda 4-0.
Manchester City lost both goalkeepers (Ederson to injury and replacement, Claudio Bravo to a red card) and had to put Kyle Walker in goal in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta in Group C. It was a feast of goals in Zagreb as Dinamo Zagreb & Shakhtar Donetsk played out a 3-3 draw.
Group D action saw Juventus needing a last-minute Douglas Costa golazo to down Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in Russia. Bayer Leverkusen woke up from slumber to grab a precious 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.
It wasn’t plain sailing for the big guns in Group E. Liverpool were made to work for a 2-1 win over KRC Genk while Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw by free-scoring RB Salzburg.
Boos accompanied Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde’s exit as his side were held to a 0-0 draw by Slavia Prague at the Camp Nou in Group F. The game of the round (possibly of the entire group stage) went down at the Signal-Iduna Park as Borussia Dortmund came from 2 goals down to beat Internazionale 3-2 courtesy of an Achraf Hakimi brace.
RB Leipzig secured a fine 2-0 win over Zenit St-Petersburg in Russia to top Group G. Olympique Lyonnais continued its good recent run with a 3-1 win over SL Benfica.
It was a feast of goals in Group H. Ajax were hard done by refereeing decisions as it lost two players and a 3-goal lead to draw 4-4 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Valencia CF brought the fire with a 4-1 win over Lille OSC in the group’s other game.
Preview of Gameweek 5
Everything starts on Tuesday, 26th November with games from Groups A – D.
Revenge will be uppermost in the minds of Real Madrid players as they take on PSG at the Santiago Bernabeu in Group A. The first leg in Paris had ended in a 3-0 thrashing for Los Merengues. Galatasaray will host Club Brugges in the group’s other game. The first leg ended 0-0.
Tottenham Hotspur under new manager, Jose Mourinho would be eager to close out qualification with a win over Olympiacos. The first leg had ended in a 2-2 draw. The other game in Group B sees Crvena Zvezda looking to do better than the 3-0 thrashing it received in its first encounter against Bayern Munich.
Manchester City would want another win over Shakhtar Donetsk to seal their win of Group C after the first leg had produced a resounding 3-0 win. Atalanta will want to get one over Dinamo Zagreb after the first leg had ended in a 4-0 hammering for the Italians.
Another thriller is expected at the Allianz Stadium as Juventus and Atletico Madrid clash in Group D. A dramatic first leg had seen the Spaniards come back from a 2-goal deficit to draw 2-2. Lokomotiv Moscow will be gunning for a repeat 2-1 win as they host Bayer Leverkusen.
Liverpool should get qualification and win Group E with victory over Napoli. The first leg saw the Neapolitans score 2 late goals to carry the tie 2-0. RB Salzburg will be eager to score another hatful of goals as they travel to Belgium to face KRC Genk. The earlier tie produced a phenomenal 6-2 scoreline with Erik Haaland getting 4 of them.
All 4 teams are desperate for the points in Group F. A shaky FC Barcelona welcome a disjointed Dortmund side to Spain after the first tie had seen a 0-0 draw. Inter Milan know they need to do better than they did in the 1-1 draw in Gameweek One if they are to beat Slavia Prague.
Olympique Lyon and Zenit St-Petersburg will be in a winner-takes-all clash in Group G after playing a 1-1 draw in Lyon. RB Leipzig should confirm its place in the round of 16 with a win over SL Benfica after the first leg had seen Die Roten Bullen get a 2-1 win in Portugal.
A three-way tie for the second round of the UCL is in play currently in Group H. Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia are all on 7 points with the latter two meeting in Valencia. The first leg at Stamford Bridge had seen the Spaniards get a smash-and-grab 1-0 win over the Blues. Ajax would put themselves in a good position if they get a win away at Lille. The first leg had ended in a 4-0 win for the Dutch giants.
Predictions for Gameweek 5
Real Madrid VS PSG (Over 2.5 Goals)
Galatasaray VS Club Brugge (Half-time Draw)
Tottenham Hotspur VS Olympiacos (1)
Crvena Zvezda VS Bayern Munich (Over 1.5 Goals)
Manchester City VS Shakhtar Donetsk (G/G)
Atalanta VS Dinamo Zagreb (G/G)
Juventus VS Atletico Madrid (Over 1.5 Goals)
Lokomotiv Moscow VS Bayer Leverkusen (G/G)
Liverpool VS Napoli (G/G)
KRC Genk VS RB Salzburg (Over 2.5 Goals)
Barcelona VS Borussia Dortmund (G/G)
Slavia Prague VS Inter Milan (X2)
RB Leipzig VS SL Benfica (1)
Zenit St-Petersburg VS Olympique Lyon (Over 1.5 Goals)
Valencia VS Chelsea (Over 2.5 Goals)
Lille OSC VS Ajax (G/G)
Published 25 Nov 2019, 03:36 IST