It always feels like we wait for an absolute eternity for the group stages of the Champions League to begin, then before we know it they are almost over! It hardly seems possible, but we have had 4 of the 6 game weeks in this season’s group stages, and already teams such as Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Juventus have confirmed their places in the knockout stages. At the same time, we can already say that Malmo, Besiktas and RB Leipzig won’t be progressing beyond these final 2 games, as they have not picked up enough points so far.
We are currently at the beginning of a two week international break, so the next set of fixtures in the competition aren’t due to start until the 23rd of November. It is frustrating to have to wait so long, especially for those of you out there who would already be eagerly searching for the best promos such as the fanduel sportsbook bonus when looking for odds on the latest Champions League fixtures.
Therefore, the next best thing is for us to preview all the best of action coming up in game week 5, so the bettors amongst you can be well informed and know what to expect.
Huge clash in Group H
The biggest game of the week could possibly be at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea play host to the Italian giants Juventus. Despite some very indifferent form in Serie A, where they are currently in 8th place and already 14 points behind the league leaders, Juventus have looked very strong in the Champions League, winning all 4 of their games. This included the fixture against Chelsea in game week 2, which they won 1-0 courtesy of a Federico Chiesa goal.
Chelsea will be incredibly determined to make amends for their loss in Turin by winning this game here. They know that if they do so, they will draw level on points with Juventus, and would get in a great position to win the group. As a reminder, the winner of each group will play the runners up of another, which should theoretically mean an easier draw (though it doesn’t always work out like that). Therefore, and given how strong they’ve looked in the Premier League this season, we expect Chelsea to win this game.
Who will come out on top in Group A?
Another huge clash in game week 5 is between two of the wealthiest teams on the planet, Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain. Currently, City are 1 point ahead of PSG, and will be hoping to at least maintain, if not increase this advantage in this fixture.
This one is very tough to call, as on paper they are very evenly matched. Both sides are doing well in their domestic leagues, with PSG 10 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, while City are only 3 points off the top in the Premier League. In the reverse fixture at the Parc des Princes, PSG won 2-0, thanks to goals from Idriss Gueye and Lionel Messi, his first since joining the club. However, since this fixture, PSG have won once and drawn once in Group A, whilst City have won both of their fixtures. On current form, and because they’re playing at home, we have City as the favourites for both this game, and to top the group.
Who else will qualify from the group of death?
Each year, one of the Champions League groups is considered the ‘group of death’ as it contains at least 3, if not 4 very strong sides. This year it was Group B, which had Liverpool, AC Milan, Porto and Atletico Madrid. Liverpool have made light work of it however, winning all 4 games so far, meaning they have already guaranteed their place at the top of the group.
That leaves an interesting race to finish 2nd, and to qualify for the knockout stages. Currently, Porto are in pole position with 5 points, while Atletico have 4, and Milan just 1. It seems unlikely the Italian side will do it, but if they win both of their games (against Atletico and Liverpool) it remains possible. Of the 3, Atletico have the easiest set of fixtures (having already played Liverpool twice) so we think they will be the other team to make it out of Group B.
Other intriguing matches to watch out for
In Group E, the game between Barcelona and Benfica should decide who qualifies alongside Bayern Munich. Barca started the campaign very badly, but have won their last 2 fixtures, and have their old midfielder Xavi returning to take up the manager’s job.
In Group F, all 4 teams could still qualify at this stage. Manchester United travel to Villarreal, whilst Young Boys host Atalanta. Whilst neither are exactly box-office games, it should be a group to look out for in the upcoming Champions League game week.