Match day six has finally arrived in the Champions League and only one English club has guaranteed qualification from their group. Manchester City are through, but Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea still need results to go their way in order to qualify after struggling in the competition so far.
Manchester City confirmed their progression to the knockout round of the competition after only four games with two wins against Sevilla and a win away to Borussia Monchengladbach. However, two losses to last season’s Champions League runners-up, Juventus, has left City in second place.
City are without influential duo, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero, as they host Monchengladbach in a must-win match if they are to salvage a chance of topping Group D. After a disappointing defeat to Stoke on the weekend, Pellegrini’s men will hope to bounce back with a European win which could see them qualify as group winners.
In order to finish top, City will need all three points on Tuesday, but they will also need Sevilla to beat Juventus. On paper, this seems highly unlikely as Sevilla’s only Group D win came in the first fixture at home to Monchengladbach. However, Juventus are missing valuable members of their squad, including Hernanes, Khedira and Mandzukic, so City should not write off their chances just yet.
Manchester City vs Borussia Monchengladbach odds – 08/12/15 – 7:45pm
Louis van Gaal’s side may have been a dull side to watch so far this season, but they sit three points off the top of the Premier League table. In the Champions League, Manchester United are second in an extremely tight group that could result in any two of the top three clubs qualifying on Tuesday evening.
Manchester United travel to Germany to face group leaders, Wolfsburg, in a fixture that they need to win. United fans will be hoping that PSV fail to beat Group B’s bottom club, CSKA Moscow, despite playing at home. A PSV loss would result in automatic qualification for the Red Devils.
However, if PSV draw and Manchester United lose, United will be knocked out into the Europa League as PSV will finish second due to their superior head-to-head record against United. If Manchester United win, then they are through to the knockout stage, but a win away in Germany will be difficult.
The only natural striking option in LvG’s travelling squad is Martial, as Rooney misses out. However, Memphis and Fellaini are both including in the squad to offer more opportunities up front if they need to be called upon.
Wolfsburg vs Manchester United odds – 08/12/15 – 7:45pm
The Gunners travel to Athens to face Olympiakos in a bid to destroy the Greek side’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout round. Arsenal had a disappointing start to the group, with losses to both Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos. Despite this, they managed to claw their way back into the mix for qualification with home wins against leaders, Bayern Munich, and Dinamo Zagreb.
Bayern have safely qualified as leaders of Group F, but second place is up for grabs, with Olympiakos vs Arsenal being the decider. Arsenal need to win by two goals or better the result of 3-2, in order to have a better head-to-head record against the Greek side.
If Arsenal fail to win by two goals or better Olympiakos’ away result at the Emirates, they will end up in the Europa League. However, a confident performance in their last Champions League outing against Dinamo Zagreb showed that their first two group games were a blip.
Arsene Wenger will be missing several first team players with long-term injuries to midfield duo, Cazorla and Coquelin. Alexis Sanchez is still unavailable with the hamstring injury he picked up against Norwich, but Koscielny returned for the win against Sunderland on Saturday and he will be a huge boost for the Arsenal defence.
Olympiakos vs Arsenal odds – 09/12/15 – 7:45pm
Last season’s Premier League winners have had a terrible term so far in the league. They have only collected 15 points from 15 games, with a mere four wins. However, with three wins and a draw from five games, Chelsea have looked more confident in Europe. They host Jose Mourinho’s old side, Porto, in the deciding match to confirm their qualification to the knockout stages.
Chelsea only need a draw against Porto on Wednesday which would result in qualification from Group G. If Dynamo Kiev win against bottom side Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Chelsea will need to avoid defeat against Porto to get through to the next round of the competition. A win at Stamford Bridge will see them qualify as group winners, enhancing their chances for an easier draw in the first knockout round.
Mourinho will be happy with the Champions League return of first choice keeper, Thibaut Courtois to his side and will hope to see an improvement in the creativity and attack to what he witnessed in Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth. Chelsea’s attacking stars will need to prove a point on Wednesday, as they need to win a point to qualify.
Chelsea vs Porto odds – 09/12/15 – 7:45pm