Liverpool have it all to do in the second leg at Anfield, but with the fans in full voice, they’ll be confident of making things difficult for Barcelona. If they can nick an early goal, they’ll have the wind in their sails as they look to pull off a huge result to secure a Champions League final spot.
However, opponents Barcelona have already wrapped up the title and it saw Ernesto Valverde rest a number of first team regulars for the weekend loss at Celta Vigo. Prior to that loss, the Blaugrana were unbeaten in 11 away from home as they gun for European glory.
There promises to be an electric atmosphere at Anfield on Tuesday night, but if Lionel Messi shines once again, then it’s Barcelona who should secure their place in the Champions League final, particularly with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino ruled out.
Liverpool- Naby Keita is out for the remainder of the season with a groin injury sustained in the first leg, which should lead to a midfield three of Georgino Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson. Various betting options are available on site, Bet Now on NaijaBet
Mohamed Salah was forced off in the second half of Liverpool’s 3-2 win at Newcastle after a nasty collision with Martin Dubravka, but watched the remainder of the game in the dressing room and showed no ill-effects. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Barcelona”
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 22 matches in all competitions and won La Liga at the weekend.
Liverpool have won 10 matches in a row in all competitions but have conceded in every Champions League away match this season.
Barcelona have only lost one game at home all season and that was back in November. Their aim will be to make it as difficult as possible for Liverpool in the return leg.
Lionel Messi has failed to score or assist in two previous encounters with Liverpool but the Argentine has 44 goals and 16 assists across league and European competition this season. Place bet on Live Match 24/7
Barcelona- Ernesto Valverde has to pick between Arturo Vidal and Arthur in midfield and Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele in attack. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Barcelona vs Liverpool”
Tottenham lost their first ever game at their new stadium in a 1-0 loss to West Ham on Saturday and they’ll be looking to bounce back against a buoyant Ajax side. Spurs haven’t been wholly convincing of late having lost three of their last four competitive matches, with their sole success in that run coming against Brighton.
Ajax come into this tie on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run, with the only blip on the record in that time coming in a 1-1 draw with Juventus. The Dutch powerhouse have lost only one of their last 15 matches and come into this clash in London on a four-match away winning run.
Given Spurs’ midfield issues, and the absence of key forwards Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, Ajax could secure a first leg advantage with a narrow win in England.
Tottenham- Son Heung-Min is suspended for Tottenham after his yellow card in the second leg 4-3 loss at Manchester City ruled him out of this match. Place bet on NaijaBet 24/7 on NaijaBet
With Harry Kane out, Lucas Moura is set to start alongside Christian Eriksen behind Fernando Llorente in attack. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Tottenham vs Ajax”
Manchester City have a one-goal deficit to make up having lost the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 1-0. City smashed Spurs 4-1 in their last welcome of the north London to the Etihad Stadium and supporters would welcome a repeat of that result and having won their last 12 home matches, they’ll be confident of securing the necessary result here.
Conversely, Tottenham have lost six of their last seven away matches, with their only win in that run coming at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Spurs, to their credit, have won five of their last six Champions League matches, but have their work cut out if they are to secure a semi-final spot.
Indeed, Spurs will make things difficult for City, but the home side have what it takes to secure the win required to earn their spot in the next round of the competition.
Manchester City- Pep Guardiola is without only Claudio Bravo for Wednesday’s welcome of Tottenham, with the Chilean goalkeeper still struggling for match fitness, though he wasn’t expected to start anyway, while Fernandinho will be assessed.
The Manchester City boss is expected to make a couple of changes from the first leg loss in north London for this must-win match. Live Bet on NaijaBet
Oleksandr Zinchenko is available following injury and could come in for Fabian Delph at left-back, while Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus are expected to start.
Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Manchester City vs Tottenham (Agg 0-1)”
Porto are 2-0 down from the first leg and have a mountain to climb in order to stay in the competition. They have kept clean sheets in five of their last seven home games.
Liverpool will be high on confidence after returning to the Premier League’s summit at the weekend. They have won seven matches in a row.
FC Porto- Pepe and Hector Herrera return from suspension for Porto and are expected to slot straight back into the starting XI.
Porto will consider starting Yacine Brahimi in the second leg as they will need to go for it at some stage on Wednesday. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Liverpool- Andrew Robertson returns from suspension to start at left-back on Wednesday. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: FC Porto vs Liverpool (Agg 0-2)”
Barcelona hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg and are heavy favourites to make the last four of the Champions League. They haven’t conceded in their last three matches and are unbeaten at home since November.
Manchester United have gone completely off the boil in recent weeks and were fortunate to beat West Ham on Saturday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have lost their last three away matches in all competitions.
You cannot completely write off United here after they overturned a bigger first leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round but it would be absolutely remarkable if they managed to knock Barcelona out on Tuesday.
Barcelona- Ousmane Dembele made his first appearance in a month at the weekend and will compete with Philippe Coutinho for a spot in Barcelona’s front three. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Barcelona’s midfield had problems at Old Trafford and Ernesto Valverde may draft in Sergi Roberto or Arturo Vidal here. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Barcelona vs Manchester United (Agg1-0)”
Juventus are the favorites after drawing 1-1 away to Ajax in the first leg. The Old Lady have only lost one home game in all competitions this season and that was back in November.
Ajax may rue missed chances from the first leg but have nothing to fear after winning away to Real Madrid in the last round.
Juventus are not at their best at the moment but it is hard to see past Cristiano Ronaldo inspiring Ajax through to the semi-finals.
Juventus- Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the starting XI after being given the weekend off but Juventus will not have Mario Mandzukic to call on here.
Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa or Moise Kean are the options to replace Mandzukic. Place bet on today’s Champions League games
Giorgio Chiellini has not recovered from injury in time to make the squad but Emre Can has been included by Max Allegri. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Juventus vs Ajax (Agg 1-1)”
Manchester United host Barcelona for the first time since 2008 when a Paul Scholes screamer was enough to win 1-0. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would bite your hand off for that result.
Barcelona are unbeaten in their 16 matches in all competitions and are heavy favourites heading into this tie. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should have a field day against United’s defence.
United have gone off the boil at the worst possible moment, losing three of their last four matches.
Manchester United- Manchester United can welcome back Paul Pogba from suspension in the Champions League and their injury woes have eased since they played Paris Saint-Germain last time in the competition.
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Phil Jones all missed out against PSG but are all back now. Alexis Sanchez, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are all expected to miss out for the home side.
Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera both missed training on the eve of Wednesday’s game and are now considered huge doubts. Missing their experience and pedigree would be a huge blow for United.
Marcus Rashford missed United’s last match with an ankle injury but has reported for training and is expected to be fit enough to start against Barcelona. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Barcelona”
Ajax eliminated defending champions Real Madrid in the last round of the Champions League and will have nothing to fear when they take on Juventus in the quarter-finals.
Ajax have won nine of their last 10 matches in all competitions and average 3.5 goals per game in that time.
A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick eliminated Atletico Madrid in the last round and Juventus are favourites heading into their quarter-final tie with Ajax.
Juventus have actually lost their last two Champions League away matches but will back themselves at home to overturn any deficit.
Ajax- Noussair Mazraoui is for Ajax due to an accumulation of bookings in the competition. 21-year-old Rasmus Kristensen will likely get the nod at right-back. Bet Now on NaijaBet
No other changes are expected from Ajax’s usual starting XI. Hakim Ziyech, Daley Blind, Matthijs de Ligt and Nicolas Tagliafico will miss the return leg if they are booked here. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Ajax vs Juventus”
Tottenham ended their lengthy winless league run with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in their first official match at their new stadium last week and the north London side will hope to build on that success when they welcome Manchester City to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday night.
In the Champions League, they are unbeaten in six, winning four of their last five, which included a hugely impressive 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.
Manchester City will be boosted after they secured their FA Cup final spot as they chase the quadruple. Victory over Brighton extended their winning run to 14 matches and they have a fine recent record against Tottenham, winning their last four meetings with the north London outfit, while their only slip up in their last seven Champions League matches came in a 2-2 draw at Lyon back in November.
There will be a raucous atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in midweek, but City have the means to secure a first leg advantage in this one.
Tottenham- Mauricio Pochettino is sweating on the fitness of Fernando Llorente ahead of the welcome of Manchester City, but Eric Dier, Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela are ruled out. Bet Now
Tottenham haven’t been in action since last week, where they faced Crystal Palace, so the north London side should be well rested for this one.
Pochettino has a selection conundrum on his hands in attack, with Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura both pushing for starts in attack. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Tottenham vs Manchester City”
Liverpool are the favourites heading into this Champions League quarter-final tie and will have their 5-0 victory over Porto from last season fresh in the memory.
Porto will be out for revenge after failing to score a goal over two legs against Liverpool. The Portuguese side are unbeaten in six matches heading into Tuesday’s game at Anfield.
Liverpool have only lost one match at home in all competitions this season and Porto’s aim will to still be in the tie when they head home. An away goal is therefore essiential for the visitors.
Liverpool- Jordan Henderson and James Milner will almost certainly return to the starting XI after both made important impacts from the bench in Friday’s 3-1 win over Southampton.
Henderson will replace either Fabinho or Naby Keita in midfield, while James Milner may have to adapt to left-back to cover for the absence of Andrew Robertson. Various betting options are available on site
Joel Matip has not looked overly convincing in recent matches and Jurgen Klopp may ponder handing Dejan Lovren his first start since the beginning of January.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Joe Gomez are both closing in on first-team returns following long-term injuries but may miss out on the matchday squad here. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Liverpool vs FC Porto”
Bayern will have been the happier of the two sides with the stalemate at Anfield last month but approach the second leg in worse shape than their visitors as far as injuries and suspensions are concerned.
The Bundesliga champions did record a thumping 6-0 win at the weekend and will be in confident mood, though Liverpool looked back on form in the attacking third themselves with a win over Burnley, so this promises to be an intriguing battle.
As a result this is an incredibly tough match to call, with the Reds knowing that away goals could be enough to see them through.
Bayern Munich- Joshua Kimmich received a third yellow card of the tournament in the first leg and joins Thomas Muller on the sidelines through suspension.
Rafinha will come in at right-back, while Serge Gnabry may switch flanks to that side to enable Franck Ribery to replace Muller from the 6-0 win over Wolfsbrug, with the Frenchman registering three assists from the bench at the weekend. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Arjen Robben could come back into contention following injury, though given Kimmich’s ban the more pressing need is to have David Alaba back available at left-back, with Rafinha having acted as cover in that position of late.
Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Bayern Munich vs Liverpool (Agg 0-0)”
Barcelona will be hoping their profligacy from the first leg doesn’t come back to haunt them when they welcome Lyon to Camp Nou on Wednesday night. The hosts mustered 25 shots in the 0-0 draw, but have scored in every home game this season.
Lyon will be buoyed by the first leg result, but away from home, they have failed to win in three. That being said, a score draw would see the French side progress to the next round, so if they can nick an early goal, then they’ll be confident of securing a quarter-final spot.
However, Barcelona should secure the result needed to progress.
Barcelona- Rafinha is out for the season for the home side, while Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Vermaelen will be assessed ahead of Barcelona’s welcome of Lyon.
Should Dembele fail to prove his fitness, Coutinho could be handed another chance to impress on the left. Bet Now
Arturo Vidal and Arthur are competing for a starting spot alongside Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in midfield. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Barcelona vs Lyon (Agg 0-0)”
Juventus have a mountain to climb after a 2-0 defeat in the first leg but have dropped points in just three matches at home in all competitions this season and will be confident of turning the tables.
Atletico have not been strong on the road all season, winning just seven matches in all competitions, but their defensive record will mean that this is an incredibly tough task for the hosts.
The hosts really need to score in the first half to unnerve their visitors but Simeone’s side have enough know-how about them to see them through.
Juventus- Alex Sandro is suspended having picked up a third yellow card of the tournament in Madrid, while Blaise Matuidi is one caution away from missing any potential quarter-final first leg.
Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala were among those rested from kick-off at the weekend, while the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio, Matuidi, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo played no part whatsoever against Udinese. Various Betting Options are available on NaijaBet
Joao Cancelo and Miralem Pjanic will also be well rested having been suspended at the weekend, while Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Douglas Costa are all sidelined. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Juventus vs Atletico Madrid”
Zinedine Zidane said he never had any doubts about returning to Real Madrid after he replaced the sacked Santiago Solari as coach on Monday.
“When the president called me the first thing I thought was: go,” Zidane said at a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu. “I could not say no, I never had any doubts about going back.”
Zidane has been given a contract until June 2022, just nine months after he resigned at the end of last season, having led Madrid to an historic third consecutive Champions League triumph.
Solari’s dismissal was expected after three consecutive home defeats – to Barcelona, twice, and Ajax – deemed Madrid’s season all-but over before the middle of March.
But Zidane coming back, with only 11 games left in La Liga and almost nothing to play for, is a surprise, particularly after he left on the incredible high of yet another European triumph.
“I left because a change was needed at the end of last season, for the good of everyone, after winning so much,” Zidane said.
“I returned because the president called me. I love him and I love this club, so here I am.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Zidane inherits a squad that has evolved even in the short time he has been away, with Cristiano Ronaldo gone and the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior and Sergio Reguilon all enjoying greater prominence this season. Continue reading “I never had any doubts about going back to Real Madrid – Zidane”
Manchester City secured a late 3-2 win at Schalke in the first leg to put themselves in the driver’s seat to secure their spot in the next round of the Champions League. Having won their last nine, Pep Guardiola will demand his side maintain their focus to not lead their lead slip here.
Conversely, Schalke are struggling having failed to win their last six, losing five. On the road, they have won only one of their last nine matches, so it will take a monumental effort to secure their place in the next round of the Champions League.
Indeed, City should make light work of Schalke here.
Manchester City- Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho are both suspended for the home side and with John Stones a doubt, Vincent Kompany should deputise for the former alongside Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the defence.
Claudio Bravo is back in training, but isn’t expected to feature here, while Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will be assessed, while the latter is one booking away from a ban. Bet Now
Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane weren’t part of the starting XI against Watford, but should feature from the off at the expense of Aguero and Riyad Mahrez. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Manchester City vs Schalke 04”
Paris Saint-Germain holds all the cards ahead of Wednesday after winning the first leg 2-0 at Manchester United.
Manchester United will be missing 10 first-team players in Paris and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to play his worst midfield three combinations.
United were played off the park when Solskjaer had his best midfield to call on in the first leg so it could get ugly for the away side here.
Paris Saint-Germain- Edinson Cavani and Neymar continue to miss out for Paris Saint-Germain.
Thomas Tuchel may go with the same starting XI as the first leg, though Christopher Nkunku could replace Dani Alves on the right flank. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, Marco Verratti and Juan Bernet are one booking away from missing their next Champions League game. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United (Agg 2-0)”
Both teams warmed up for Wednesday’s meeting with defeat at the weekend.
Roma lost 3-0 away to Lazio, while Porto were beaten 2-1 at home to Benfica.
Defeat at home to Benfica was Porto’s first since August, ending an 18-game unbeaten streak. They have scored in every home game this season.
Roma are 2-1 up from the first leg but have a poor record on the road this season. The Italian’s have only won four of their last 13 away matches.
FC Porto- Jesus Manuel Corona is available for Porto after missing the first-leg through suspension. Eder Militao, Pepe, Hector Herrera and Otavio are all one booking away from suspension. Various Champions League betting options are available on NaijaBet
Porto have also recovered striker Moussa Marega from injury since losing the first leg 2-1. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: FC Porto vs Roma (Agg 1-2)”
Both of these sides are in poor patches of form, though Tottenham hold a huge advantage from the first leg.
Borussia Dortmund are rapidly relinquishing their lead in the Bundesliga and may actually benefit from having one less distraction in their bid to regain the title.
Tottenham should sit relatively deep and attempt to hit their hosts on the counter, so Son Heung-Min could have an important role to play once more and you’d back the visitors to get the away goal that should kill off this tie.
Borussia Dortmund- Dortmund welcomed Marco Reus back into the first team following injury but his return didn’t have the desired effect as Lucien Favre’s side suffered a shock defeat to Augsburg.
Lukasz Piszczek is the only likely absentee for the home side, who know that they must go for broke to overcome a 3-goal deficit from the first leg.
Paco Alcacer scored from the bench at the weekend and could return to the side, with Jacob Bruun Larsen likely to drop out. Live Bet on NaijaBet
Favre could recall Raphael Guerreiro at left-back as a more attacking option than Abdou Diallo, who may instead replace Dan-Axel Zagadou in the middle. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham”
Santiago Solari is clearly focused on promoting the youth players at Real Madrid so we could see some big decisions made, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos both coming in for criticism of late.
Ajax will take heart from their performance in the first leg and won’t be scared to impose themselves on the reigning champions given that they must score at least twice at the Bernabeu.
Expect the Dutch giants to cause real problems but the hosts to do enough in order to progress.
Real Madrid- Real Madrid will have to make do without Sergio Ramos, who was retrospectively handed an extra game to his suspension for picking up a yellow card in the reverse fixture.
Nacho will replace his compatriot at the back having missed out on the clasico at the weekend due to a ban of his own, while Marcos Llorente remains a doubt. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
Toni Kroos was substituted early in the second half against Barcelona, while Gareth Bale was also hooked soon after and both could see their places come under threat. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Ajax”
Atletico Madrid bounced back from successive defeats with a narrow 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend. They have kept clean sheets in their last three Champions League matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo has fond memories of knocking out Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Juventus signed the 34-year-old for these occasions and there will be pressure on him to guide the Old Lady through to the next round.
Atletico Madrid- Diego Costa returned from injury at the weekend after two months out but Diego Simeone has suggested he is not fit enough to start.
Simeone has confirmed Koke is back from injury but faces competition from Thomas Lemar for a place in the starting XI.
Having confirmed one of Koke or Thomas Lemar will start, that suggests one of Thomas Partey, Saul Niguez or Rodrigo will have to settle for a place on the bench. Place bet on Live Event 24/7 on NaijaBet
Jose Gimenez and Stevan Savic compete for a spot at centre-back, while Alvaro Morata should start against former club Juventus.
Filipe Luis, Partey, Costa and Gimenez are one booking away from missing the return leg. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Juventus”
Schalke have only won four of their last 13 matches in all competitions and face a tough task against Manchester City over two legs.
City have won their last four matches and 12 of their last 13. Pep Guardiola is unbeaten in six matches against Schalke as a manager.
Schalke 04- Schalke signed 18-year-old Rabbi Matondo from Manchester City in January and he will have something to prove if he gets the chance over two legs.
Former City defender Matija Nastasic will line up against his former club on Wednesday, while Sebastian Rudy, who was linked with a move to City in January, will also start.
Amine Harit and Weston McKennie are in competition for a starting berth behind the lone striker. Various betting options are available on site for today’s Champions League games
Suat Serdar was sent off at the weekend but he is available if required on Wednesday. Omar Mascarell is suspended for the home side, however. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Schalke 04 vs Manchester City”
Liverpool have had over a week to prepare for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich. The Reds have only lost once at home all season in all competitions and that was back in September.
Bayern Munich struggled to overcome Augsburg on Friday night, twice coming from behind, but Niko Kovac admitted his side made the mistake of looking ahead to their match with Liverpool instead of focusing on Augsburg.
Jurgen Klopp has lost more matches against Bayern (16) than any other team in his managerial career but is arguably getting them at their most vulnerable now. Bayern have conceded eight goals in four away matches in 2019.
Liverpool- Virgil van Dijk is suspended for the first leg of Liverpool’s last-16 tie with Bayern Munich and that is a huge blow for Liverpool. Fabinho will partner Joel Matip at the back if Dejan Lovren fails to recover from injury in time.
Liverpool have had over a week to prepare for this match, which would have benefitted Trent Alexander-Arnold on his comeback trail. Bet Now
James Milner will start at right-back if Alexander-Arnold is not deemed fit enough for the home side. Otherwise the veteran will compete with Naby Keita for a place in midfield. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Bayern Munich”
Lyon have only lost one of their last nine matches. They are underdogs in this tie but should not be overlooked. They have already beaten Paris Saint-Germain this year and were unbeaten against Manchester City in the group stages of the Champions League.
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last six but have drawn three of their last four in all competitions. They have struggled to score goals in recent matches, failing to net more than once in each of their last three outings. That will be a concern for Ernesto Valverde.
Lyon have struggled to keep clean sheets at home, which bodes well for the visitors. Everything points towards an entertaining match, though the absence of Nabil Fekir is a blow for the home side.
Lyon- Lyon star Nabil Fekir is suspended for the first leg and that is a huge blow for the French side.
Jason Denayer and Tanguy NDombele, who both would normally start for Lyon, could also be missing for the home team. Various betting options are available on site for today games
Maxwel Cornet and Bertrand Traore are in competition for a starting spot on the right wing against Barcelona.
Martin Terrier also impressed against Guingamp on Friday night and will push Memphis Depay for a spot in attack. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Lyon vs Barcelona”
This is Malmoe’s first competitive match since winning 1-0 away to Besiktas midway through December. They haven’t lost a competitive match since September.
Chelsea are in freefall at the moment after their 6-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. Maurizio Sarri is already under huge pressure to save his job.
Chelsea are favourites despite their poor form. The Blues have lost their last four away matches and haven’t scored in any of those games.
Chelsea last scored away from home on December 30 but it would be a huge shock if they didn’t at least win here. It may not be pretty.
Malmoe FF– Fouad Bachirou, Søren Rieks, Andreas Vindheim and Rasmus Bengtsson will miss the return leg if they are booked on Thursday. Bet Now on NaijaBet
January signings Adi Nalic, Anel Ahmedhodzic and Dusan Melicharek have been added to Malmoe’s squad for the knockout phase. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: Malmoe FF vs Chelsea”