Next Tuesday sees the start of Matchday 5 in the Champions League and it is a set of games that could well decide the fate of many teams in the competition. That could mean a guaranteed place in the next round of the competition in the New Year, or confirmed elimination, or even a place in the Europa League as a consolation.
We already know that Liverpool will be in the knockout phase and will top their group. They will be joined by Juventus, Bayern Munich and Ajax, with all four of those teams having maximum points after four games.
However, this week a number of other teams could well join them in that knockout phase and in this article, we are going to take a look at the state of play in each of the eight groups, as well as a look at the games coming up across Tuesday and Wednesday evening next week.
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Let’s now check out how things stand in each of the eight groups and what the games on Tuesday night could decide.
Champions Leagues Groups & Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Manchester City – 9 (+8)
- Paris St Germain – 8 (+3)
- Club Brugge – 4 (-6)
- Red Bull Leipzig – 1 (-5)
Group A Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Club Brugge v Red Bull Leipzig
- Manchester City v Paris St Germain
If Club Brugge lose their game with Red Bull Leipzig, then both Man City and PSG will qualify for the knockout phase of the tournament. Both will likely do so anyway and if either team wins the game between them on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium, then they will qualify and a Mancheester City win would confirm them as group winners.
If PSG do lose and Club Brugge win or draw, then that could set up an interesting clash on the last matchday between the two teams in Paris, with a place in the Knockout Phase on the line.
Tips – Back Man City to win (4/6) and Brugge and Leipzig to draw (5/2)
- Liverpool – 12 (+8)
- FC Porto – 5 (-3)
- Atletico Madrid – 4 (-2)
- AC Milan – 1 (-3)
Group B Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Atletico Madrid v AC Milan
- Liverpool v FC Porto
Jurgen Klopp will likely rest some key players for the game with FC Porto with the Reds already assured of top spot in the group. That could play in Porto’s favour with them lying second in the group and knowing that any of the two teams below them could still catch them.
Atletico Madrid will be keen to earn a win that could take them second, if Porto lose or draw at Anfield and that would set up an intriguing final game between the two on Matchday 6. However, if Milan can take the win here, then a win for Porto would confirm them as qualifying in second, whereas a draw would leave the door open for any of the three teams below Liverpool to qualify in second spot.
Tips – Liverpool to win (5/6) and Atletico Madrid to win (8/11)
- Ajax Amsterdam – 12 (+12)
- Sporting Lisbon – 6 (+2)
- Borussia Dortmund – 6 (-4)
- Besiktas – 0 (-10)
Group C Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Besiktas v Ajax (5.45pm)
- Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund
With Ajax already qualified and likely finishing in top spot, the race in Group C is for second spot and this week’s game between Lisbon and Dortmund on Wednesday night will play a key role in deciding who that is.
While nothing can be confirmed on the evening, other than Ajax confirming top spot with a point or better against Besiktas, a win for Dortmund or Lisbon would ensure that they go into the final set of games in the strongest position. A win is perhaps more important for Lisbon given that they face Ajax in their final game.
Tips – Ajax to win (8/15) and Sporting and Dortmund to draw (5/2)
- Real Madrid – 9 (+6)
- Inter Milan – 7 (+3)
- Sheriff Tiraspol – 6 (-1)
- Shakhtar Donetsk – 1 (-8)
Group D Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk (5.45pm)
- Sheriff Tiraspol v Real Madrid
Inter Milan’s two back-to-back wins over Sheriff Tiraspol have changed the outlook of this group and with Real earning wins over Donetsk, the two giants have now taken control of the group in the top two spaces.
A win for Real Madrid combined with a draw or defeat for Inter would see Real confirmed as the group winners, Inter need to match or better Real’s result this week to ensure the battle for top spot goes to the final week.
However, if Sheriff can repeat their victory over Real then we would have a situation where the final places in the group can only be decided on the final matchday.
Tips – Inter Milan to win (4/11) and Real Madrid to win (1/4)
- Bayern Munich – 12 (+15)
- Barcelona – 6 (-4)
- Benfica – 4 (-4)
- Dynamo Kyiv – 1 (-7)
Group E Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Dynamo Kyiv v Bayern Munich (5.45pm)
- Barcelona v Benfica
The key game in this group is the Benfica v Barcelona clash, which Benfica need to get something from to ensure that they have a chance of progressing into the Knockout Round at Barcelona’s expense, but if Barcelona can win this game, they will qualify for the knockout phase.
Bayern are already through and a point or better away to Kyiv will see them claim top spot in the group. That does look like a formality with two games to go, but all eyes will be on the Benfica v Barcelona game as this is the one with big implications for this group.
Tips – Bayern Munich to win (1/5) and Barcelona to win (4/7)
- Villarreal – 7 (+4)
- Manchester United – 7 (+1)
- Atalanta – 5 (0)
- Young Boys – 3 (-5)
Group F Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Villarreal v Manchester United (5.45pm)
- Young Boys v Atalanta
The winner of the Villarreal v Man Utd game will take their place in the next round of the competition, leaving the loser battling to stay in the tournament on the final matchday. Atalanta know that if they can beat Young Boys, they will go into the final set of games with a chance to at least qualify from the group and they could even win it.
There’s still an awful lot of football left to be played in this group and my gut feeling is that we will head into the final set of fixtures with the top three teams in with a chance of qualifying.
Tips – Villarreal v Man Utd Draw (13/5) and Atalanta to win (Evens)
- Red Bull Salzburg – 7 (+2)
- Lille – 5 (0)
- Wolfsburg – 5 (-1)
- Sevilla – 3 (-1)
Group G Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Lille v Red Bull Salzburg
- Sevilla v Wolfsburg
A win for Red Bull Salzburg would see them through but other than that, everything is still pretty much up for grabs in this group and likely to be settled on the final matchday.
It will be very interesting if Sevilla can beat Wolfsburg and if Lille and Red Bull Salzburg draw as that would mean every team in the group could finish in any of the four positions after Matchday 6 results have come in and there is a good chance that this may well happen.
Tips – Sevilla to. beat Wolfsburg (3/4) and Lille and Salzburg to draw (5/2)
- Juventus – 12 (+7)
- Chelsea – 9 (+5)
- Zenit St Peterburg – 3 (0)
- Malmo FF – 0 (-12)
Group H Matchday 5 Fixtures
- Chelsea v Juventus
- Malmo FF v Zenit St Petersburg
Everything in this group really hinges on the Chelsea v Juventus game. If Juventus win, then they win the group and offer Zenit St Petersburg hope of pipping Chelsea to second spot in the group with a win in their final game against the Londoners.
However a draw or win for Chelsea means that they qualify regardless of their final game result and a win would give them a good chance of finishing top of the group. Zenit must win in Malmo otherwise Chelsea join Juventus in the next phase regardless of their result on Tuesday.
Tips – Chelsea to win (3/4) and Zenit to win (21/20)
*All odds shown are courtesy of bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing.