BARCELONA – The Champions League enters a decisive stage on its penultimate round, which will define the path of various teams towards the Round of 16. Next, the panorama of the different sectors and the possibilities of the clubs towards the classification to the elimination phase in search of ‘La Orejona’.
Manchester City (already classified) and PSG play in England the first position. A victory would confirm the citizens and would lead the French, if Bruges defeats the already eliminated Leipzig, to gamble against the Belgians in the Parc des Princes on the last date. Those of Pochettino, pending the recovery of Sergio Ramos, would qualify for the second round directly winning, although it would not be until the last day when the order of the two classifieds would be known.
And those of Guardiola, with the sensitive loss of Belgian Kevin de Bruyne who a few days ago tested positive for coronavirus.
In six meetings since 2008 City have won three to just one against PSG (the last in Paris). His three visits to the Etihad resulted in two losses and a draw. Brugge and RB Leipzig only met once, in the first round of this group stage, with a surprising 2-1 Belgian victory in September.
Liverpool, already classified and as first for the round of 16, receives a Porto for which scoring would be transcendental, looking sideways at the authentic final to be played in the Metropolitano between Atlético, one point behind the Portuguese, and Milan, who maintains a minimal chance of qualifying. The logic points to a final day in which Porto and Atlético will play second place in Do Dragao, but much will depend on this Wednesday.
In nine games played since 2001, Porto was only able to add three draws, for six victories for the Reds, the last 1-5 in Portugal in September. Of their four visits to Anfield, the dragoes only drew a draw (0-0) in March 2018 … No history because it was the second round of the round of 16 after an unappealable 0-5 in Portugal. The duels between Milan and Atlético are of clear mattress color in the tournament: three games and three victories for Simeone’s team.
Sporting and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head in Lisbon, tied as they are by six points and need to win the Lions, who lost 1-0 in Germany. Ajax, consummated its surprising pass as the absolute dominator of the group, travels on tourism to Istanbul, where it will visit a Besiktas who counts his games by defeats.
Historically for Sporting it is a litmus test, since their three previous games against the Germans ended in defeat. It is the same situation as between Besiktas and Ajax: three victories in three games for the Dutch, who on their only visit to Istanbul in 1966, they won 1-2.
After the initial euphoria and surprise of the Sheriff, capable of winning at the Bernabéu and adding six points in the first two days, on Wednesday normality points to a victory for Real Madrid in Moldova that would ensure his expected classification for the round of 16 . His companion should be Inter, who will receive Shakhtar, bottom, in Milan to, on the last date, decide in Madrid who passes as first and who as second, with an advantage, for now, of two points for the meringues.
It will be Real’s first visit to Moldova and the seventh meeting between Inter and Shakhtar, with two victories for the Italians and four draws since 2005. The two visits to San Siro ended in draws: 1-1 in 2005 and 0-0 in 2020.
A similar situation is not remembered in Barcelona. Little less than a heads or tails, Barça is playing the pass to a round of 16 that they have always played since 2005 and that they would ensure by winning on Tuesday against Benfica at the Camp Nou … But that would leave a lot in the air in case of not to do so since he should go to play the pass on the last day to Munich. For Benfica not losing would be a success, understanding that it will close the group stage at home against the evicted Dinamo Kiev who this Tuesday will host the imperial Bayern, intractable from day one.
Three victories for Barça, three draws and two victories for Benfica illuminate their confrontations. The last Portuguese, the win (3-0) of the first round of this group stage and the previous one, in the first time they played and which was in the unforgettable final of 1961, sentenced 3-2 for the Portuguese, which in their three visits to the Camp Nou they started a single draw and lost on the other two occasions. For Bayern, six wins and two losses in nine games against Dynamo, they only won in one of their four visits to Kiev (1-4 in 1994).
It is impossible to bet without risk of error, nobody in the group is eliminated, although for the Swiss Young Boys, last, the vision of the eighth is almost miraculous. To dream of it, he would have to beat Atalanta and strike at Old Trafford on the last day, which is no small thing … Manchester United will have a new coach on his visit to Villarreal, with whom he shares the lead, with a two-point advantage over Atalanta, in a duel that would catapult the winner to the last 16 and leave the loser on the brink of collapse. A tie would lead the group to an explosive close.
It will be Atalanta’s first visit to Bern, after the 1-0 win in Bergamo, while for ManUnited it will be their third visit to Villarreal, with whom they drew (0-0) in 2005 and 2008. The Red Devils, from In fact, they have won one of six matches against the Yellow Submarine … ending the other five with a draw, although the penultimate (1-1) was in the final of the last Europa League that Villarreal conquered in an epic penalty shoot-out for 11- 10.
The other group with higher expectations for any participant, from the leader Salzburg (7 points) to the bottom Sevilla (3 points). The Austrian team, the most surprising leader of all, can close his pass in France, where Lille awaits him with two points less, which after hitting the Sánchez Pizjuán also sighs for the pass … Like the German Wolfsburg, matched on points with the Gauls and who visits the desperate Seville of Lopetegui, favorite of the group in September and collapsed, bordering on goodbye, in November.
Tuesday’s will be RB Salzburg’s first visit to Lille, after winning 1-0 in the first round. And it will also be the first duel between Sevilla and Wolfsburg at the Pizjuán, after the 1-1 at the Volkswagen-Arena in September.
Juventus, already classified, plays the pass as the first at Stamford Bridge against a Chelsea that if they won the game would snatch the first place to accompany them to the second round … But if they lose they must be attentive to Malmoe-Zenit, where a The victory of the Russian team would cause the second position to be played head-to-head in Saint Petersburg on the last date. Logic supports Chelsea, of course, but logic doesn’t always hold true.
Two victories for Juve to one for Chelsea and two draws show the statistics of their matches. At Stamford Bridge, 1-0 in 2009 and 2-2 in 2012.
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Champions League: The moment of truth has arrived