As the group stage of the UEFA Champions League draws ever so closely to the end, this week’s action promises plenty. Indeed, there will be huge implications, enough to last the entire season for some teams.
This campaign, where Barcelona might have expected to do better, they are simply just hanging in. Just barely, and probably not for long. Their fate is no longer in their hands. Xavi Hernandez’s men have won just one of the four matches played so far—against Viktoria Plzen.
And it is not just them. Apart from Real Madrid, the three other La Liga sides might yet drop to the Europa League at the end of this gameweek.
How Juventus have fallen down the pecking order in this competition only has to be observed, not processed. The Serie A giants have managed just one win in a group that includes Maccabi Haifa and Benfica.
But for now, as much as is possible, the focus will be on the game at hand. And with all to play for, there surely will be drama.
Review Of Gameweek 4
In Group A, Napoli continued their spectacular run with a 4-2 defeat of Ajax. Victor Osimhen returned from injury to add the icing on the cherry. Liverpool secured its place in the knockouts, thrashing Rangers 7-1, as Mohamed Salah grabbed a hat-trick.
Atletico Madrid were forced to a goalless draw with Group B leaders Club Brugge. Mehdi Taremi scored twice from the spot in Porto’s 3-0 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen.
Robert Lewandowski’s brace could only secure a 3-3 draw on a dramatic night where Barcelona needed to defeat Inter to stay in the driving seat. In the other Group C fixture, Leon Goretzka notched two against Viktoria Plzen to continue Bayern Munich’s perfect record in the Champions League.
Marseille eased past Sporting 2-0 in Portugal to blow Group D open. In a hotly contested encounter, Tottenham did enough to defeat Frankfurt 3-2.
An early red card to Fikayo Tomori meant that Chelsea had an easy 2-0 outing against AC Milan. In the other Group E match, Dinamo Zagreb and Salzburg shared the spoils, 1-1.
RB Leipzig enjoyed a 2-0 victory against the whipping boys of Group F, Celtic. Antonio Rudiger became the hero for Real Madrid after heading in, riskily, the equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Sergio Gomez was sent off in Manchester City’s goalless draw with Copenhagen in Group G. Sevilla earned a lively 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund as Jude Bellingham once again scored.
Maccabi Haifa earned a spectacular 2-0 win against a pitiful Juventus in Group H. Joao Mario cancelled out Kylian Mbappe’s penalty as Benfica forced PSG to a 1-1 draw.
Preview Of Gameweek 5
There is plenty at stake in Gameweek 5.
Groups E-H will begin the week’s action today, while Groups A-D will do business on Wednesday.
With Group E finely poised, the top two sides, Chelsea and Salzburg, will go head-to-head in Austria. AC Milan, still in with a chance of qualification, will travel to face Dinamo Zagreb.
Shakhtar will be desperate to defeat the weakest side in Group F, Celtic, as RB Leipzig host an already-qualified Real Madrid.
Sevilla have a mathematical chance of qualifying from Group G but will need to defeat Copenhagen. In a top-of-the-table affair, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund will go at it. The Bundesliga side need at least a draw to guarantee themselves a round-of-16 spot.
Benfica needs only a draw against Juventus to progress from Group H. PSG will fancy their chances of easing past Maccabi Haifa at home and qualifying for the next round.
Ajax will play for pride when Liverpool visit, although the Reds have an opportunity to top Group A. Napoli should make light work of Rangers in the other match.
Porto face a tough test against Group B leaders, Club Brugge, in Brussels. Atletico Madrid are condemned to defeat Bayer Leverkusen to stand a chance of getting out of the group.
Inter will book their place in the next round with a win against a winless Viktoria Plzen. On the other hand, Barcelona welcomes Bayern Munich to the Spotify Camp Nou with the slimmest of chances of qualifying from Group C.
Group D remains in the balance as Frankfurt takes on Marseille. Tottenham can secure a place in the UCL knockouts with a win against Sporting in London.
Predictions For Gameweek 4
Salzburg vs Chelsea (over 2.5 goals)
Dinamo Zagreb vs AC Milan (over 1.5 goals)
Celtic vs Shakhtar Donetsk (2)
RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid (X2)
Sevilla vs Copenhagen (over 2.5 goals)
Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester City (2)
Benfica vs Juventus (over 1.5 goals)
PSG vs Maccabi Haifa (2)
Ajax vs Liverpool (2)
Napoli vs Rangers (1)
Club Brugge vs Porto (goal/goal)
Atletico Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen (1X)
Inter vs Viktoria Plzen (1)
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich (goal/goal)
Frankfurt vs Marseille (over 1.5 goals)
Tottenham vs Sporting (under 3.5 goals)