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”
Tottenham progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League by the skin of their teeth to set up a meeting with Borussia Dortmund. They beat Dortmund both home and away in the group stages of the Champions League last season, but the Bundesliga side are a more difficult proposition this time around.
Dortmund were pegged back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Hoffenheim at the weekend and have now failed to win in three in all competitions. The German giants won two of their three away group stage matches, with their sole defeat coming in their toughest test at Atletico Madrid.
This promises to be an entertaining meeting between two attacking sides and we could see a draw as a result.
Tottenham- Harry Kane and Dele Alli are both back in training, but aren’t expected to feature here, while Ben Davies remains sidelined for the home side. Naija and Bet
Eric Dier and Erik Lamela will be assessed after the pair missed the 3-1 win over Leicester. Danny Rose missed training on Tuesday, so is a doubt. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Tottenham vs Borussia Dortmund”
Ajax have lost form at the worst time. The Dutch side have lost three matches all season and two of them have come in their last three outings.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, appears to be edging closer to their best form after a rough season. The defending champions are unbeaten in their last seven and have won six of those.
Madrid have drawn away to Barcelona and triumphed on the road to Atletico Madrid in the last week. What looked a tricky draw at the time now appears more straightforward for the defending champions.
Ajax- Nicolas Tagliafico and Daley Blind are both one booking away from missing the return leg.
Noussair Mazraoui recovered from injury to feature from the bench in Ajax’s 1-0 defeat to Heracles on Saturday. Various Betting Options are available on Site
Frenkie de Jong is reportedly a doubt and Ajax will be desperate to have him available here. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Ajax vs Real Madrid”
Paris Saint-Germain were expected to thrash Manchester United when the draw was made in December but so much has changed since then that United have a real chance of progressing.
United have won 10 of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first 11 matches in charge and come up against a PSG side that will be without star forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
The Red Devils are by no means guarenteed to win on Tuesday night but they will be disappointed if they don’t take an advantage into the second leg.
PSG only win in the Champions League away to English opposition was against Chelsea in 2016, otherwise their record is D4, L5. An away goal would leave them in a good position for the second leg.
Manchester United– Anthony Martial has cemented a starting spot after his performance against Fulham on Saturday. Bet Now
Marcus Rashford, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard will also return to the starting XI after being rested at the weekend.
Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Manchester United vs Paris Saint-Germain”
Roma have only lost one of their last eight matches, though that defeat was a 7-1 loss to Fiorentina. The Serie A outfit have not been overly convincing in recent months.
Porto are unbeaten in all competitions since October, though they did lose on penalties to Sporting in the cup last month.
Porto have won their last five Champions League matches. An average of 3.8 goals per game were scored during that time, so expect another entertaining game here.
Roma- Roma will be without first-choice goalkeeper Robin Olsen for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie. Antonio Mirante is ready to deputise. Start forecasting your Champions League Games Now
Cengiz Under has missed Roma’s last four matches with a hamstring injury and is also expected to miss out on Tuesday. With Patrik Schick sidelined, Justin Kluivert has a good chance of starting on the wing. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Roma vs FC Porto”
Manchester United scored a dramatic late winner against Young Boys last time out in the Champions League to secure a top-two finish. Jose Mourinho’s side can still finish top but that would require Young Boys beating Juventus to have any chance of leapfrogging the Old Lady.
Valencia cannot improve on a third-place finish and are also four point clear of bottom side Young Boys. They held United to a draw at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture and will hope to do at least the same here against an experimental United XI.
Valencia have only lost twice at home all season, though there have been five 1-1 draws in 11 games.
Valencia- Jose Gaya is suspended for Valencia, while Daniel Parejo, Carlos Soler and Geoffrey Kondogbia are one booking away from a one-match ban in the Champions League.
Gabriel Paulista was forced off with an injury in Valencia’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla at the weekend and is unlikely to feature against Manchester United on Wednesday. Live Bet are available on NaijaBet 24/7
Mouctar Diakhaby came off the bench to replace Gabriel and scored a stoppage-time equaliser for Los Che. He should start in Gabriel’s place in midweek. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Valencia vs Manchester United”
Young Boys cannot improve on a fourth-place finish in Group H no matter what happens on Wednesday. Juventus, meanwhile, only need to match Manchester United’s result against Valencia to secure top spot.
Juventus have won five games in a row without conceding since losing to United over a month ago.
Juventus have a 100 per cent record away from home in all competitions and have kept six clean sheets in their last seven matches on the road.
BSC Young Boys- Sekou Sanogo is suspended for Young Boys, while Loris Benito and Kevin Mbabu are one booking away from a one-match ban. Steve Von Bergen, Gregory Wüthrich and Jordan Lotomba are doubts for the home side. Bet Now
Juventus– Alex Sandro has resumed training with a view to making Wednesday’s match against Young Boys. However, he is one booking away from a one-match ban in the Champions League and may not be risked unless required. Blaise Matuidi is in the same boat. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: BSC Young Boys vs Juventus”
Liverpool sit three points behind Napoli in group C and need to win here to harbour any hopes of progression to the next round of the Champions League. Two points behind second-placed PSG, anything less than three points will see them settle for a Europa League spot.
Napoli needs only to avoid defeat to secure their place in the next round of the Champions League and come into this clash in the midst of a 12-match unbeaten run. They’ve won three of their last four away matches and won the reverse fixture courtesy of a late Lorenzo Insigne strike.
This promises to be a hugely entertaining encounter at Anfield, but it may be a bridge too far for Liverpool, with the absence of Joe Gomez a huge blow for the home side.
Liverpool- Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Joe Gomez are Jurgen Klopp’s only injury concerns ahead of the welcome of Napoli.
Joel Matip could again start alongside Virgil van Dijk here, though Dejan Lovren is an option to deputise for the injured Gomez. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Klopp has a selection headache in midfield, with Fabinho and Naby Keita pushing for starts, though the Reds boss could continue with James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georgino Wijnaldum. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Liverpool vs Napoli”
Having already wrapped up top spot, Barcelona having nothing riding on this match and can instead turn one eye to the weekend welcome of Levante. They dismantled Tottenham with ease at Wembley, though with Lionel Messi potentially rested, a repeat is unlikely.
Tottenham bounced back impressively from a 4-2 loss to Arsenal last weekend with back-to-back wins over Southampton and Leicester. Victories over PSV and Inter at Wembley kept their hopes of progression alive, but they face an uphill task to secure their spot in the next round of the Champions League.
Indeed, while Barcelona may not be at full strength here, they should still have enough to beat Tottenham in what promises to be an entertaining encounter at Camp Nou.
Barcelona- Ernesto Valverde is without injured quartet Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Malcom and Samuel Umtiti for the welcome of Tottenham.
With top spot already wrapped up, the Barcelona boss may take this chance to rest some key players here and has confirmed that Luis Suarez will play no part. Various betting options are available on site
Indeed, Jasper Cillessen and Thomas Vermaelen could start, while Lionel Messi may feature from the bench having played the full 90 minutes at Espanyol on Saturday. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Barcelona vs Tottenham”
Liverpool will advance to the next round of the competition if they beat Paris Saint-Germain and Crvena Zvezda do not beat Napoli. PSG are eliminated if they lose and Napoli win.
Liverpool are the only team to beat PSG in any competition this season, winning the reverse fixture 3-2. PSG have only won one Champions League group match this season (W1, D2, L1).
It would be unfair to say PSG cannot beat Liverpool if neither Neymar nor Kylian Mbappe fail to recover in time but it would be a hammer blow for the French side not to have their two best players available.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to predict the outcome of Wednesday’s mouthwatering encounter. PSG need to win these games to prove they are elite in Europe and they would certainly fancy their chances more if Neymar and Mbappe play.
Paris Saint-Germain- Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are huge doubts for Wednesday’s must-win fixture against Liverpool, though PSG Thomas Tuchel has confirmed both will start. Latest Odds
Tuchel will reportedly do away with PSG’s back three against Liverpool and push Marquinhos into central midfield. Surprisingly, Thomas Meunier will be dropped for Thilo Kehrer at right-back. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs Liverpool”
Tottenham will hope to use the momentum gained from the 3-1 win over Chelsea to secure a much-needed win over Inter to improve their chances of progression to the next round of the Champions League. Victory will move them level with the Italian side on points in group B.
Inter have lost two of their last three away matches in all competitions, but bounced back from the disappointing 4-1 loss to Atalanta prior to the international break with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Frosinone at the weekend.
They secured a late 2-1 win over Tottenham in the reverse fixture and know that, if they can avoid defeat, they’ll secure their place in the next round of the competition due to their superior head-to-head record against the Premier League side.
However, Spurs have won their last five and have the means to secure victory at Wembley.
Tottenham- Captain Hugo Lloris returns from suspension for Tottenham and should come in for Paulo Gazzaniga between the sticks. Bet Now
Kieran Trippier won’t recover in time for the welcome of Inter, which means Serge Aurier is expected to continue at right-back, while Davinson Sanchez, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele are out. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Tottenham vs Inter Milan”
Barcelona will secure top spot in Group B with a win. They could even finish first by drawing on Wednesday, as long as Tottenham beat Inter in the group’s other match.
PSV cannot finish in the top-two but can finish third, although that would require bettering Tottenham’s result.
PSV are yet to win a group game this season but Barcelona are winless in three matches heading into Wednesday’s clash.
The only team Barcelona have kept a clean sheet against in their last six matches is Segunda B side Leonesa.
PSV Eindhoven- Ryan Thomas is PSV’s only injury concern ahead of the Wednesday’s welcome of Barcelona. Various betting options are available for today’s games on site
No shocks are expected when Mark van Bommel’s names his starting XI in midweek. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: PSV Eindhoven vs Barcelona”