The group stage of the UEFA Champions League is almost reaching its climax with game week 5 set for this week. Indeed, the fight for qualification to the round of 16 will go down to the wire.
Bayern Munich, Juventus, Ajax and Liverpool are through. Yet, more teams will be hoping to join them. Even then, teams like AC Milan still have the slimmest chance of qualifying while other groups remain close to call.
There is plenty to look out for as the race for qualification intensifies across the various groups. There is plenty of excitement in store.
Review of Gameweek 4
As cliché as this might sound, the previous game week was filled with goals.
In Group A, Manchester City enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 victory against Club Brugge to go top as PSG conceded in stoppage time and were forced to 2-2 draw with Leipzig.
Liverpool sealed qualification to the round of 16 in Group B after defeating Atletico Madrid 2-0. Meanwhile, AC Milan earned its first point of the Champions League season with a 1-1 draw with Porto.
Ajax secured passage to the next round with a 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund. In the other Group C match, Sporting hammered Besiktas 4-0.
Karim Benzema scored a brace as Real Madrid held on to a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D. Inter Milan overcame Sheriff 3-1 in the other game.
Bayern Munich eased past Benfica 5-2 to book its spot in the next stage as Barcelona gave itself a fighting chance with another slim 1-0 win against Dynamo Kyiv in Group E.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the dying minutes to rescue a 2-2 draw with Atalanta and stay atop Group F, while Villarreal earned a 2-0 win against Young Boys.
Salzburg lost the chance to qualify in game week 4 after losing 2-1 to Wolfsburg. Meanwhile, Lille secured its first win with a 2-1 win against Sevilla.
Juventus outclassed Zenit St Petersburg 4-2 to sail through in Group H as Chelsea managed a 1-0 win against Malmo at home.
Preview Of Gameweek 5
Some cracking encounters will go down this week.
Groups E–H will kick off the action on Tuesday, while Groups A-D will round off proceedings on Wednesday.
Group A will see the two top teams, Manchester City and PSG clash at the Etihad. This encounter could well be the determinant of who tops the group. In the same vein, Club Brugge will host Leipzig for a chance to qualify.
With nothing to lose, Liverpool will welcome Porto to Anfield. Atletico Madrid will be desperate for a win against Milan in the other Group B tie.
Ajax will travel to Turkey to play the whipping boys of Group C, Besiktas as Sporting and Borussia Dortmund battle for the second spot.
Real Madrid visits Sheriff to guarantee qualification but will hope to avoid a repeat of the first leg. Inter Milan will take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group D match.
Dynamo Kyiv hosts Bayern Munich and will hope to get its first point with the visitors having nothing to play for. On the other hand, Barcelona will look to have its revenge against Benfica at home in the other match in Group E.
Villarreal and Manchester United have everything to fight for in Group F when they meet this Tuesday as Young Boys square off against Atalanta.
Sevilla will tackle Wolfsburg as Salzburg travel to face Ligue 1 side, Lille for a chance to feature in the knockout rounds in Group G.
Chelsea will be keen to confirm qualification when it welcomes Juventus to Stamford Bridge. A draw will be sufficient for the Premier League team. Malmo and Zenit St Petersburg will meet in the other Group H match.
Predictions For Gameweek 5
Dynamo Kyiv vs Bayern Munich (2)
Villarreal vs Bayern Munich (over 1.5 goals)
Chelsea vs Juventus (1X)
Barcelona vs Benfica (over 2.5 goals)
Sevilla vs WolWolfsbur (goal/goal)
Malmo vs Zenit St Petersburg (over 1.5 goals)
Lille vs Salzburg (over 1.5 goals)
Young Boys vs Atalanta (2)
Besiktas vs Ajax (over 1.5 goals)
Inter Milan vs Shakhtar Donetsk (1X)
Sporting vs Borussia Dortmund (over 2.5 goals)
Manchester City vs PSG (goal/goal)
Atletico Madrid vs AC Milan (1X)
Liverpool vs Porto (over 2.5 goals)
Club Brugge vs Leipzig (goal/goal)
Sheriff vs Real Madrid (2)