UCL MATCHDAY 6: Judgment Day for Manchester United, Others

UCL MATCHDAY 6: Judgment Day for Manchester United, Others

It is make-or-mar for Manchester United and some other European clubs this mid-week as the last group stage matches of the UEFA Champions League hold across Europe.

In Group A, Manchester-United will welcome Bayern Munich to Old Trafford in a match the Red Devils must win and hope the other game in this group between Copenhagen and Galatasaray ends in a draw if they are to find their way into the round of 16.

United are not consistent. After winning Chelsea last mid-week they lost scandalously at home 3-0 to a less fancied Bournemouth side. Their opponents, Bayern Munich also lost 5-1 to Frankfurt.  However, Bayern are unbeaten in a competition record 39 Champions League group stage matches, since a 3-0 defeat against PSG in September 2017. If United reach the next round it will amount to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

 

In Denmark, Copenhagen have taken four points from their last two games after following up their victory over Manchester United with a draw at Bayern, meaning they will be guaranteed a place in the last 16 should they beat Galatasaray.

Wobbling Manchester United must defeat Bayern Munich to remain in Europe.

 

Victories for Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven on match day 5 gave both sides the round of 16 tickets for Group B. Therefore, the battle between Lens and Sevilla is only for a place in the UEFA Europa League. Sevilla will have to win if they are to deny the French side that berth.

 

While the match between Eindhoven and Arsenal will have no consequence as the Gunners have already won the group. .

 

In Group C, Real Madrid are assured of top spot after their 4-2 success against Napoli on matchday five. Their game against Union Berlin is all about the German-side trying to reach the Europa League in their maiden Champions League campaign.

 

In the group’s other match, Napoli will reach the last 16 if they can secure a draw against Braga, who will need an outright win to qualify.

In group D, Inter Milan will welcome Real Sociedad to the San Siro as both sides who have already qualified for the round of 16, battle for who tops the group as each of them have 11 points.
Salzburg and Benfica are therefore, left to battle for the third spot in order to join the Europa League. Benfica have never won a match in their last seven UEFA Champions League matches. Can they break the jinx against Salzburg? Time shall tell.

On Wednesday, Atlético de Madrid will host Lazio in one of group E matches. What will be at stake?  First place is on the line in the Spanish capital, with Lazio needing a victory to deny Diego Simeone’s men that honour. Atlético have not finished top of their group in their past six attempts, failing to qualify on two occasions – a fact that is not lost on the Argentinian coach.

 

In the group’s other match, Feyenoord are certain to finish third, meaning Celtic’s goal from this meeting will be to at least end the group stage with a victory to their name. Celtic are without a win in their last 15 Champions League group stage matches, since a 3-0 victory away at Anderlecht in September 2017.

 

PSG will storm the Signal Iduna Park to take on Borussia Dortmund, in a match the French giants must win to top group F. The hosts are not under pressure as their 3-1 success at Milan on matchday 5, rubber-stamped their place in the round of 16.  Expect goals in this encounter as PSG have scored in each of their last 49 Champions League group stage matches, since a 1-0 defeat away to Real Madrid in November 2015.

 

Newcastle-united and AC Milan will battle for three points knowing that if PSG falters the winner of their encounter will reach the round of 16. Even if PSG should win there is a Europa ticket to fight for.

Newcastle United must overcome their latest poor form to fight to remain in Europe.

In group G, Leipzig will host Young Boys in a match that has little or no consequence. Leipzig confirmed their place as the group’s runners-up on matchday 5 when they lost 3-2 to Manchester City. Young Boys, on their part have qualified for the Europa League when they beat Red Star 2 0 on Matchday 5. It was the first time Young Boys kept a clean sheet in a Champions League group stage match.

Defending champions, Manchester City have already won top spot and their opponents are already eliminated. It could be a match Pep Guardiola will decide to rest his key players for Saturday’s league match against Crystal Palace.

In group H, Porto need only a draw to reach the last 16 while their opponents,  Shakhtar Donetsk need to win to qualify.

Similarly, Barceloma, who storm Belgium to take on Royal Antwerp need a point to be absolutely sure of first place, while the home side require one to avoid ending the group stage with six defeats. Royal Antwerp are the only team in this season’s group stage yet to pick up a point.