Our football writer previews Tuesday's set of fixtures for gameweek six of the UEFA Champions League.
As the UEFA Champions League group stages conclude, four spots remain open in the Round of 16, with 12 teams already through to the next phase of the competition. Spanish giants, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, both qualify from their group as winners, while English champions Leicester City and French heavyweights, Monaco, also prevail as leaders.
Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are the other teams that are through to the business end of the tournament. That said, the likes of Celtic, Club Brugge, Dinamo Zagreb and Dynamo Kyiv don’t even have a chance of UEFA Europa League action for the remainder of the season. The final group matches are upon us with the big games being the tie between Bayern Munich and Atletico, while Real Madrid battle it out with Dortmund for top spot in Group F.
Tuesday 6 December
Paris Saint-Germain 1/8 | Draw 13/2 | Ludogorets 18/1
Paris Saint-Germain come into this fixture with 11 points, knowing that a win would seal top spot. They lead Arsenal on a head-to-head advantage with away goals, so Unai Emery will need his charges not to make any slip-up in their final game of the group stage.
Ludogorets have the head-to-head advantage over Basel on away goals so they will seal third spot with a victory. As unlikely as that sounds, the Bulgarian side showed that they are capable of springing an upset, going two goals ahead in their second match against Arsenal. The game ended as a 3-2 loss for Ludogorets, but performance-wise, Georgi Dermendzhiev’s men were difficult to beat. I’m going for a very bold Both Teams to Score tip here at a valuable 14/10.
FC Basel 39/20 | Draw 24/10 | Arsenal 13/10
Things are not looking so good for Basel in the Champions League, with their third-spot rivals, Ludogorets, bettering them in the head-to-head department. As mentioned earlier, Basel need to outmatch Ludogorets’ result against PSG to ensure qualification to the UEFA Europa League.
For Arsenal, though, they’ll be gunning for top spot and will also need to better PSG’s result. Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny partnered each other in the middle of the park last weekend and are both likely to be given the chance once more against their former club. I’m expecting a low-scoring affair here, with Under 2.5 Goals tipped at 19/20.
Benfica 29/20 | Draw 9/4 | Napoli 18/10
Group B leaders, Napoli and Benfica, battle it out for top spot. Napoli beat Benfica on Matchday 2 so they will qualify with a draw. The winner of this game will go through in first place, and both will advance to the next round if Besiktas lose their match against Dynamo Kyiv.
The Naples managed a 4-2 win over the Eagles in their previous encounter, but could find it difficult to replicate that without Arkadiusz Milik, who is still out with an injury. This should be one of the more entertaining fixtures of the round, with Over 2.5 Goals tipped at 9/10.
Dynamo Kyiv 2/1 | Draw 22/10 | Besiktas 27/20
Dynamo Kyiv’s European tournament hopes were crushed last time out as they drew 0-0 with Napoli on Matchday 5. Now on just two points, Kyiv have no chance of getting out their group and will finish rock-bottom, regardless if they win.
Besiktas are still undefeated in the group, and came back from three goals down against Benfica to end the game at 3-3. Besiktas are not only undefeated in the Champions League, but in their domestic league as well. At 27/20, they’re full value to get the win and keep up their impressive record.
Manchester City 7/20 | Draw 17/4 | Celtic 13/2
Manchester City snatched a point in Germany against Monchengladbach to ensure qualification in Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge. They finish second behind Barcelona, though, being four points behind with just a single game left to play.
Celtic on the other hand, don’t even stand a chance of Europa League football after their 2-0 home loss to Barca. City are likely to rest players for their final game, with players like Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva all destined to be given a break. I’m going with Celtic on the First Half Double Chance at 39/20.
Barcelona 7/20 | Draw 4/1 | Monchengladbach 6/1
As I mentioned before, Group C is already settled. Barcelona claim top spot, while their opponents, Monchengladbach, will advance through to the Europa League. Barca are likely to rest a number of key players with Luis Enrique’s men playing in the El Clasico against Real Madrid just three days before this.
Monchengladbach will look to end their Champions League campaign off in style as they prepare to move over to Thursday night football. They took the lead against Barca in the first encounter these two played out and I’m expecting yet another goal feast. Both Teams to Score is tipped at 7/10.
Bayern Munich 6/10 | Draw 28/10 | Atletico Madrid 9/2
Bayern Munich host Atletico Madrid knowing that top spot is out of reach for Carlo Ancelotti and his side. Bayern suffered their second loss of the campaign against FC Rostov, losing 3-2, while Atleti kept up their 100% record with a fifth successive victory, beating PSV by a 2-0 scoreline.
Bayern haven’t been at their very best this season and will need to pick things up in the knockout phase. That said, Atletico can put out any team and are still difficult to beat. If you’re looking for goals, I suggest you look elsewhere. My money is on Under 2.5 Goals here at 17/20.
PSV Eindhoven 13/20 | Draw 28/10 | FC Rostov 39/10
The race for first and second in Group D is over, but PSV and FC Rostov will be battling it out to see who finishes off in third spot. It’s a must-win game for Phillip Cocu’s men, who are in fourth position – three points behind their counterparts.
Rostov claimed one of the shocks of the season with their 3-2 win over Bayern Munich. A fluke like that can only happen once every blue moon. Away from home, Rostov should go down. Back PSV at 13/20; this is one of my more confident tips.
Tuesday QUAD @ 12/1
Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid Under 2.5 Goals 17/20
Besiktas Win 27/20
Benfica v Napoli Over 2.5 Goals 9/10
PSV Win 13/20
Written by Jesse Nagel for @Hollywoodbets