All you need to know about Monday’s UCL round of 16 draw

When is the draw for the first Champions League knockout stage? Who is involved? How does it work?

When is it?

The draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday 16 December. The live stream on Dstv Now will begin at 12:00 pm GMT +1.

Who is involved?

The draw features the eight group winners (seeded) and eight runners-up (unseeded):

Seeded

Barcelona (ESP: Group F)

Bayern München (GER: Group B)

Juventus (ITA: Group D)

Leipzig (GER: Group G)

Liverpool (ENG, holders: Group E)

Manchester City (ENG: Group C)

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA: Group A)

Valencia (ESP: Group H)

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Premier League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege in midweek to qualify for the knockout round of the Champions League. Freddie Ljungberg has only won one of his first four matches in charge.

Manchester City bounced back from their derby defeat to Manchester United with a 4-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the midweek Champions League action. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 10 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal have failed to score in their last three home matches with City but Guardiola’s side are currently very vulnerable at the back and that should at least give the Gunners some optimism this weekend.

Team News

Arsenal-Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are both sidelined for Arsenal, with the latter out for three months.

Granit Xhaka will return next week due to the concussion protocol. Matteo Guendouzi should start as a result. Start forecasting your Weekend Games Now on NaijaBet.com

Freddie Ljungberg will hope to have Nicolas Pepe available after the winger took some heavy hits on Monday.

Alexandre Lacazette may have to settle for another place on the bench, with Gabriel Martinelli set to start again.

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Real Madrid and Barcelona shift attention to Clasico

Barcelona and Real Madrid could be playing to be first in La Liga over the Christmas break on Wednesday but both are at risk of pre-Clasico defeats if their focus wavers this weekend.

There are few tougher fixtures in the league than Barca’s away at free-flowing fourth-placed Real Sociedad on Saturday or Madrid’s trip on Sunday to a revived Valencia, who have won three games on the bounce and beat Ajax in Amsterdam to win their group in the Champions League.

Already qualified in Europe, Barcelona and Real Madrid had the luxury of rotating key players in midweek but as the emphasis shifts towards their crunch meeting at Camp Nou, the danger is that they underestimate the tasks in front of them.

Both have hit their stride in recent weeks, pulling away from the chasing pack while leaving behind early-season bumps that had placed the futures of their coaches in doubt.

Barcelona have won 13 of their last 15 games and seven out of their last seven, a run that has coincided with the return to form and fitness of Lionel Messi, who has 14 goals and two hat-tricks in his last 11 matches. Various betting options are on NaijaBet.com for weekend games

Madrid, meanwhile, have won nine out of their last 12. If their own surge has been slightly less consistent than Barca’s in terms of results, their performances have been more convincing. In their last 10 games, they have scored 28 goals and conceded only five.

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Bayern Coman’s knee injury not as bad as feared

Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman tore the joint capsule in his left knee in the Champions League win over Tottenham, but the injury is not as bad as feared, his club confirmed on Thursday.

Coman scored the opening goal in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Spurs at the Allianz Arena but had to be helped off midway through the first half after badly twisting his knee.

It was feared he had torn the cruciate ligament, but tests showed the injury is not as serious, although Bayern have given no indication how long he will be sidelined for.

“The knee will be immobilised for a while by a splint,” said a statement on the club’s website.

The 23-year-old France international has had a miserable run of injuries. He tore ankle ligaments two separate times last year which forced him to miss the 2018 World Cup finals.

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WILL LIVERPOOL REMAIN UNBEATEN THIS SEASON?

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Liverpool are well placed to win their first Premier League title and complete a full season unbeaten after enjoying record-breaking start to the 2019-20 campaign, building on a Champions League triumph back in June by storming clear of their rivals in England.

The Red has won fifteen of their last sixteen matches in the Premier League this season, with deadly attacking trident Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane firing on all cylinders once again.

The so-called “Heavy Metal football” he inspired at Borussia Dortmund — intense, exciting, ‘in your face’ football — has been replicated at Anfield, but the joy and passion that the German manager exerts from the touchline helps explain why Liverpool play at such a high tempo. Bet Now

The Champions League winners are showing the kind of form that suggests they could go through the season unbeaten and emulate Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal Invincible of 2003-04, but can Liverpool maintain it forthe whole campaign?

NaijaBet is offering a mouthwatering Odd of 18.00 for Liverpool to end the Premier League season as Invincible.

Click HERE to get that eye-catching offer.The Reds are top of the Premier League by eight points ahead of Leicester City after 16 fixtures, and already fourteen ahead of reigning champions Manchester City.

Pretty bonkers, when you digest all that.

Champions League Match Preview: Bayern Munich vs Tottenham

There is nothing to play for in this Group B clash. Bayern are already guaranteed to finish first, while Tottenham can only finish second after their 4-2 win over Olympiacos.

Tottenham, though, will be out to avenge the 7-2 home loss at the hands of Bayern they suffered earlier in the year as Jose Mourinho gears up for his first away Champions League match following his appointment.

Bayern should bounce back from successive league defeats against an under strength Spurs side here.

Team News

Bayern Munich– remain without Lucas Hernandez, Jann-Fiete Arp and, crucially, Niklas Sule.

Youngster Michael Cuisance is also expected to miss out after suffering an injury in training.

However, Jerome Boateng and Corentin Tolisso, who were both forced off in the 2-1 loss at Gladbach, have been declared fit for the welcome of Tottenham. Bet Now on NaijaBet

That said, both may not be risked in this dead rubber fixture, while Sven Ulreich may feature between the sticks.

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The Red are preparing for Salzburg like it’s a final – Klopp

Holders Liverpool are approaching their last Champions League group game at Salzburg as if they are playing a final as they bid to reach the last 16, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Monday.

Group E leaders Liverpool are a point ahead of Napoli and three in front of Salzburg, with all three teams still in the running to claim the top two spots and qualify.

Liverpool drew 1-1 with Napoli at Anfield in the last round of group matches, while Salzburg won 4-1 away to Genk.

“We drew the last game and after that game Napoli were for sure in a better mood than we were and Salzburg were in the best mood for sure, they won their away game and knew they could go to the next round by their own doing,” Klopp told the Liverpool website.

“We knew immediately after the Napoli game we have a final, and we have to make sure we are prepared for a final. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

“We always had to do it the hard way, I can’t remember one time when it was, ‘Oh fine, done’ a week before. We’re at least used to that.”

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Champions League Match Preview: Inter Milan vs Barcelona

Inter will go through if they beat Barcelona or as long as they match Dortmund’s result due to their superior head-to-head goal difference.

Barcelona have already secured top spot and that is a boost for Inter, with wholesale changes expected from the away side.

Team News

Inter Milan-Antonio Candreva, Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez are all one booking away from a one-match ban in the Champions League, though the former pair are expected to miss out here through injury. Inter are expected to be without five players in total.

Danilo D’Ambrosio is the favourite to start at right wing-back with Candreva struggling with injury, while Borja Valero and Matias Vecino should both start in the absence of Stefano Sensi and Barella.

Kwadwo Asamoah returned from injury at the weekend after more than a month out injured but Cristiano Biraghi is expected to get the nod on the left here. Various Odds are available on site for Champions League Games

Barcelona– have already secured top spot in Group F and it remains to be seen what sort of team Ernesto Valverde will pick with their rescheduled match against Real Madrid on the horizon. It has already been confirmed Lionel Messi will not travel.

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United can fight to finish in top four – Maguire

Harry Maguire has the top four in his crosshairs after Manchester United’s thrilling derby triumph at Manchester City lifted them to fifth in the Premier League table.

A week that started with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under pressure after a below-par performance in a home draw against promoted Aston Villa ended with a second memorable victory in a matter of days.

Fresh from deservedly seeing off Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday, United won by the same scoreline at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday thanks to a breathtaking start and impressive gameplan.

Solskjaer’s side could have added to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in a fine first half that laid the foundation for the 2-1 victory, which moved them to within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

“I think you need to look after your own results, don’t look elsewhere, keep winning games,” said Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender. Champions League games, Bet Now on Naija and Bet

“We’ve won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We’ve got another big game next week now (at home to Everton).

“The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving.”

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Guardiola believe Man City are not on par with European elite

Manchester City must accept that they may not be able to compete with the top teams in Europe at the moment, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

City’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday was their fourth of the campaign and left the defending champions third – 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola’s side were ripped apart by United on the counter-attack and they looked a shadow of the side that won the domestic treble last season.

“That is the level we face, against Liverpool, United, Barcelona, Madrid, Juventus – they are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them,” Guardiola said.

“We have to improve and accept it and move forward. Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve.” Start forecasting your Champions League games Now

City’s backline has been ravaged by injury, with Guardiola fielding defensive midfielder Fernando in central defence in recent games.

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Premier League Match Preview: Manchester City vs Manchester United

#ManchesterDerby

Manchester City responded to last weekend’s disappointing 2-2 draw with Newcastle with an emphatic 4-1 win away to Burnley on Tuesday. They start the weekend in third place.

Manchester United turned in their best performance of the season in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham, as Jose Mourinho endured a return to Old Trafford to forget.

This week could have proved Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last one in charge of United had the Red Devils lost to Tottenham and City but they have got off to a good start.

United are unbeaten against top-six opposition this season (W4, D2) but are not expected to get the better of Pep Guardiola’s side in Saturday’s derby.

Team News

Manchester City-Raheem Sterling avoided a yellow card against Burnley on Tuesday night that would have ruled him out of this weekend’s Manchester derby. Pep Guardiola can also welcome back Ilkay Gundogan from a ban on Saturday. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Look for John Stones and Benjamin Mendy to return to City’s back four but Kyle Walker could keep his place at right-back ahead of Joao Cancelo.

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PSG searching for best form with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe back together

With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe finally both fit and playing in the same team, the pressure is on Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel to get his all-star attack firing on all cylinders going into the second half of the season.

Injuries and off-field issues had prevented the two most expensive players on the planet from starting a game together this season until PSG’s 2-0 midweek win over Nantes which kept the reigning champions five points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

Both players duly scored, with Mbappe’s back-heel opener being followed by a Neymar penalty, but PSG were sluggish, and not for the first time in recent weeks.

In fact, the capital side – who go to Montpellier on Saturday – have not impressed since beating Marseille 4-0 at the end of October.

“Maybe it’s just in our heads – because we are afraid of losing the ball, we end up losing the ball,” admitted Tuchel. Various betting options are available on site for this weekend games on NaijaBet.com

“We need to think about winning, about building attacks, creating chances. It is clear that we need to improve, get our intensity back.”

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Lazio threaten Juventus unbeaten record this weekend

Maurizio Sarri is still unbeaten after 19 matches in his new role as coach of Juventus but that proud record faces a severe test when the Serie A champions visit free-scoring Lazio on Saturday.

Sarri’s numbers have been impressive with 15 wins and four draws, yet the chain-smoking coach does not seem to have quite imposed his distinctive footballing philosophy on his team.

A 2-2 draw at home to Sassuolo on Sunday meant they lost top spot and left them one point behind Inter Milan, who host AS Roma on Friday.

Led by Ciro Immobile, Serie A’s topscorer with 17 goals, Lazio have climbed to third after a run of six successive league wins and have already blasted 33 goals in 14 games.

Juventus, who are chasing their ninth successive title, had hoped that Sarri’s arrival would change the rather dour image the side had acquired under his predecessor Massimiliano Allegri. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet.com

Yet, despite several players saying that they are having more fun under Sarri, Juventus have continued their habit of sneaking narrow wins.

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The team attitude is to blame for Man United defeat, says Alli

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli says it may have been a combination of “arrogance and over-confidence” that caused his side’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Spurs came into the game on a three-match winning streak under new manager Jose Mourinho but failed to build on that momentum at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford put United ahead but a piece of technical brilliance from Alli brought Spurs level, only for a 49th-minute Rashford penalty to secure the three points for the hosts. Place bet on Virtual games 24/7 on NaijaBet

“We had to match their energy. We lost the game not by them outplaying us – just attitude,” Alli told reporters. “We weren’t hungry enough and we were slow to every second ball, losing 50-50s.

“Maybe it was a little bit of arrogance and over-confidence. We’ve been playing well.

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Premier League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Tottenham

Manchester United struggled to a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Sunday and now face Tottenham and Manchester City in the space of three days. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be in deep trouble come the end of the weekend.

Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford to face his former employers for the first time since being sacked as Manchester United manager nearly 12 months ago. He has won his first three matches in charge of Tottenham but the north London outfit have conceded exactly two goals in each match.

Tottenham certainly have the momentum heading into Wednesday’s match and Mourinho will be desperate to get a victory against his old club, which would surely push Solskjaer closer to the sack.

Team News

Manchester United- manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Paul Pogba will miss out in midweek but Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic are ‘touch and go’.

Anthony Martial has reportedly been ruled out of Wednesday’s match due to a muscle injury and supporters will hope to see teen sensation Mason Greenwood deputise. Bet on tonight Premier League Games

Jesse Lingard could take Andreas Pereira’s place in the team against Tottenham, while Luke Shaw may replace Brandon Williams at left-back.

Tottenham- will be without four players for Wednesday’s trip to Old Trafford.

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Hammers turn to Martin to continue as keeper until Fabianski return

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini says third-choice goalkeeper David Martin will retain his spot in the starting line-up against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday after his impressive Premier League debut against Chelsea.

Martin kept a clean sheet in West Ham’s 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which marked the club’s first league win since September, after Pellegrini dropped Spanish keeper Roberto Jimenez.

“Of course, it was a difficult decision because the goalkeeper is a special position,” Pellegrini said.

“I think, in some moments, the team needs a reaction and, unfortunately for Roberto, he was not doing well. Martin did well but I think the performance was not down just to one player.” Bet Now

West Ham have struggled in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who has been sidelined since September with a hip injury.

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Ljungberg turn to Wenger for advice on Arsenal revival

Freddie Ljungberg intends to tap into the knowledge of Arsene Wenger and Sven-Goran Eriksson as he prepares for his second game in charge of Arsenal.

The 42-year-old interim manager took over from Unai Emery at the Emirates last week after the Spaniard was sacked, with Arsenal languishing in mid-table in the Premier League.

Ljungberg said Wenger, who brought the Swede to Arsenal as a player back in 1998, and Eriksson could offer valuable experience as he looks to build his own career.

Asked if he had spoken to former Arsenal boss Wenger, he replied: “No (not yet).

“I would really like to speak to him. I’m in contact with him but I haven’t spoke to him because it’s been a bit hectic, but it’s on my list to do so. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet.com for today Premier League and Ligue1 games

“He was here for 22 years as the coach so he has a lot of experience. And he probably has some things that he thinks are important that he can share with me and make me a better coach. That’s what I wanted to ask.”

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Premier League Match Preview: Burnley vs Manchester City

Burnley’s winning streak lasted two matches after losing 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Clarets have lost four of their last six games.

Manchester City are 11 points off top after only managing a 2-2 draw away to Newcastle on Saturday. City have only won two of their last four matches at Turf Moor.

Team News

Burnley– Danny Drinkwater was an unused substitute for Burnley at the weekend and will hope to make his debut for the Clarets over the festive period.

Ashley Westwood returns from suspension, however, and is expected back in midfield.

Erik Pieters will hope to regain his starting spot at left-back given the quick turnaround between matches. Bet Now

Manchester City– Aaron Lennon and Jay Rodriguez could also benefit from any rotation applied by Sean Dyche.

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Ballon d’Or showing can motivate Liverpool to more success

Virgil van Dijk said that seeing four Liverpool players finish in the top 10 in the ranking for this year’s Ballon d’Or can be an extra source of motivation for the Anfield club in their quest for more on-field success this season.

“Obviously the season we had was outstanding. We had even more players than that on the total shortlist so everyone can be proud of the achievement,” said Van Dijk after coming second behind Lionel Messi at the awards ceremony in Paris on Monday.

Sadio Mane finished fourth, Mohamed Salah was fifth, and goalkeeper Alisson Becker came seventh in the voting by journalists from around the world for the prize organised by France Football magazine.

Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijanldum had also been nominated after starring as Jurgen Klopp’s side won the Champions League last season.

In addition, Alisson won the new Yashin Trophy awarded to the best goalkeeper of the year. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I think we could have even have had a couple more players in it, but we had a fantastic season last year and it should help motivate us to keep doing what we are doing, working even harder and try to achieve even more than we did last year,” added Van Dijk.

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Man United’s league position is not a Problem-Solskjaer

Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Sunday left them ninth in the Premier League, and a massive 22 points behind leaders Liverpool, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is not overly concerned about their current position.

United recovered from Jack Grealish’s 11th-minute opener to move in front courtesy an own goal by Tom Heaton and a header from Victor Lindelof, only to be pegged back by a Tyrone Mings volley.

A win would have lifted United to fifth, though Solskjaer said his team did not show enough quality to get the three points. Bet Now on today’s games on NaijaBet

“I wouldn’t have sat here and talked about us being fifth if we had got that one goal extra, so the league table at this point is not the biggest concern because it is so tight,” Solskjaer said.

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Iheanacho shines as Leicester chase on Liverpool

Kelechi Iheanacho struck deep into stoppage time as Leicester beat Everton 2-1 to close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League to eight points.

Richarlison had given the visitors a shock lead at the King Power as Everton produced a performance that may do enough to save manager Marco Silva’s job ahead of the Merseyside derby on Wednesday.

But the introduction of Iheanacho just after the hour mark changed the game as the Nigerian set up Jamie Vardy to equalise and then dramatically scored the winner, which was initially ruled out for offside before a VAR review overturned the decision.

A sixth straight Premier League win sends Brendan Rodgers’s men three points clear of defending champions Manchester City in second.

Silva was reportedly on the verge of losing his job earlier in the week after a run of just two wins in 10 league games that has left the Toffees hovering just above the relegation zone. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on Naijabet

The Portuguese responded with a change of formation and his switch to a 3-5-2 worked to perfection for the opening goal.

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Champions League Match Preview: Barcelona vs Borussia Dortmund

Barcelona will qualify for the knockout stage with a win on Wednesday. They will top the group if they beat Borussia Dortmund and Inter drop points to Slavia Prague for a second time. Borussia Dortmund will only qualify if they better Inter’s result.

Barcelona will be pleased this game is at Camp Nou, as they have not been impressive on the road of late. At home, the Spanish giants are unbeaten this season and have only failed to win one game.

Borussia Dortmund will be pleased with the way they came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Paderborn at the weekend but it’s concerning they were in that position in the first place, especially after losing 4-0 to Bayern Munich in the match before.

Dortmund have only won one of their last six away matches and have failed to score in the last three. Even though Barcelona are missing key defenders, Dortmund arrive into this match at a bad moment.

Team News

Barcelona – With Luis Suarez back from injury, Antoine Griezmann is again forced to play out wide and out of position. Bet Now

Unless Barcelona stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation used at the weekend, former Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele looks set for a place on the bench here.

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Hazard might miss El Clasico due to ankle injury

Zinedine Zidane confirmed Eden Hazard twisted his ankle during Real Madrid’s draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, with the Clasico against Barcelona only three weeks away.

Hazard limped off in the second half of Madrid’s 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, where PSG scored twice in two minutes late on to secure first place in Group A. Place bet on Virtual and Live Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

But an impressive performance overall from Madrid, and Hazard, was tarnished by the Belgian’s injury, which threatens to prevent him from playing in his first Clasico at the Camp Nou on December 18.

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Troubled Napoli visit Liverpool as Ancelotti’s future in spotlight.

Napoli head for Liverpool on Wednesday for a Champions League which could prove crucial to coach Carlo Ancelotti’s future at the troubled Italian club.

The three-time Champions League winning coach’s second season at the Stadio San Paolo has proved to be a complicated one, after leading them to second in Serie A in his first year.

His team’s fortunes have waned after the high of opening their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over reigning European champions Liverpool, with dressing room unrest amid friction between the players and club management.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis ordered the team to be confined to a week-long training camp earlier this month after a 2-1 league defeat to rivals Roma saw them slip to seventh in Serie A.

But as Ancelotti voiced his disagreement with the lockdown, the players all returned home after a 1-1 draw against Salzburg three days later, which stalled their bid to reach the Champions League last 16. For high odds, Bet now on NaijaBet

“The relationship between the president and I is excellent and nothing changes,” Ancelotti had insisted after saying he disagreed with the ‘ritiro’ or training camp.

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Champions League Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain

In order to stay in the hunt for top spot in Group A, Real Madrid have to beat leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. Zinedine Zidane’s side trail PSG by five points heading into the last two matches.

PSG will secure top spot in the group by avoiding defeat in midweek. Thomas Tuchel’s side beat Madrid 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in September and that remains their standout performance of 2019/20.

Madrid are unbeaten at home in all competitions this season (W6, D3), while PSG have won seven of their last eight away from home.

This is a difficult match to call, as both teams have been difficult to read throughout the campaign. Home soil and history would favour Madrid but PSG defeated Madrid in emphatic fashion earlier this season.

Team News

Real Madrid-Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid to victory over Real Sociedad from the bench on Saturday but his arrival to the pitch was met by boos and whistles. Bet Now

The Wales international will hope to start such an important game like this one but it remains to be seen whether that will be the case.

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