By News Team
7th December 2020
After five gruelling weeks, the Champions League group stage come to a close this week with a lot still to play for. We take a look at the standout games from this week’s action.
Messi v Ronaldo for one final time?
Tuesday night sees not only two of Europe’s elite come up against each other in Barcelona and Juventus, but also, we finally get to see the rivalry we have all been waiting for between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who will be facing each other in the competition for the first time since 2011.
Messi and Ronaldo have previously met in five Champions League encounters, but the Argentine comes out on top as it stands. Messi has scored three times against a side including Ronaldo whilst the Portuguese star has failed to score against a side with Messi in it in the Champions League. Both players are priced to score anytime at 21/10.
Barcelona are currently unbeaten against Juventus in four games, winning three and drawing once with the standout victory coming back in 2015 where Barca defeated the Italian giants in the Champions League final. Juventus have not beaten Barcelona away from home since 2003 but they will feel that this is the best chance they have since then with the Spanish side struggling for form and consistency. Juventus are currently priced at 23/10, while Barcelona are slight favourites at 23/20.
The ‘Group of Death’ to produce some more magic?
RB Leipzig host Manchester United in a game that is expected to be one of the most exciting fixtures of the week as both sides have all to play for in the ‘group of death’.
As things stand in Group H, all three of United, Leipzig and PSG have a chance of qualifying for the last 16 but one will have to miss out and drop down to the Europa League. All three sides currently sit on nine points in the group but with Manchester United having a superior head-to-head difference against Leipzig, a draw will also be enough to see them go through to the next round of the competition whereas a Leipzig and PSG win would see United move to Thursday night football. Leipzig are priced at 6/4 to win with United 17/10 to defeat the German side.
United have lost both of their last two away games against German teams in the Champions League with a 1-3 loss against Bayern Munich in April 2014, and most recently a 2-3 loss against Wolfsburg in December 2015. Leipzig on the other hand have won each of their last three home matches in the Champions League, conceding only one goal heading into this fixture.
Pep’s French woes to continue?
Manchester City host Marseille at the Etihad with Pep Guardiola’s side looking to go unbeaten in the Champions League Group Stage.
Since Pep Guardiola took charge of City, a third of his defeats in the Champions League have been inflicted by French teams with the standout defeat coming in last season’s competition as they fell to a shock defeat against Lyon which saw them crash out of the competition in the quarter-finals. Marseille are 7/1 to cause a shock defeat on Wednesday evening whereas Manchester City are priced as the 2/5 favourites.
Dimitri Payet has scored both of Marseille’s goals in the Champions League this season with the last player to score 100% of his team’s goals in the group stage while scoring at least three times being Barukh Dego for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004. Payet is 4/1 to score any time against City this week.