Matchday 4 of this season’s UEFA Champions League [UCL] group stage kicks off in St. Petersburg, but the focus will be on other matches as teams seek to consolidate their positions ahead of the round of 16.
Chelsea v Ajax @Stamford Bridge @9pm on Nov.5
Not many believed Frank Lampard’s Chelsea team would amount to much this season especially after their opening day defeat to Valencia in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season.
But a win against last season’s semi-finalists on Tuesday could see them on the brink of qualification for the round of 16 with two matches left in the group stages. Both teams are tied atop Group H with six points, but Chelsea will be hoping that their recent good form will make it a flush against the visiting Dutch team at Stamford Bridge though the Dutch team has shown they have no fear of traveling to storied destinations.
Last season, they beat Real Madrid, Juventus, and Tottenham away and have already won at Valencia this season – dismantling the Spanish side 3-0, which means the Blues must be very wary of the four-time European champions.
Current Form: Chelsea [W-L-W-W-W]; Ajax [W-W-L-W-W]
Head to head
23/10/19 UCL Ajax 0 – 1 Chelsea
23/07/10 CLF Ajax 3 – 1 Chelsea
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Ajax
Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan @Signal-Iduna-Park @9pm on Nov.5
Antonio Conte’s men needed an 89th-minute goal to breathe easy the last time these two teams met. And if the truth is to be told, both teams would have been well paid if the match had ended in a draw.
The Italian team has the edge right now in Group F, where Barcelona hold sway and are expected to retain their top position as they entertain bottom side, Slavia Praha. Conte is expecting Signal-Iduna Park to be charged as he revealed at the pre-match press conference.
“The Germans are a strong and proven team, who have been playing in the Champions League for years. An electric atmosphere awaits us, so we’ll need a lot of character. Games like this are crucial for our growth.”
Another win or draw will solidify the Italians in second place while Dortmund must win. A cracker is on the cards!
Current Form: Dortmund [W-W-D-L-W]; Inter [W-W-D-W-W]
Head to head
23/10/19 UCL Inter Milan 2 – 0 Dortmund
Prediction: Dortmund 2-2 Inter
Real Madrid v Galatasaray @Estadio Santiago Bernabeu @9pm on Nov.6
Real Madrid’s season has been a topsy-turvy one, one without consistency. At the weekend, we expected them to overrun Real Betis, but they had to cling to the one point when a victory would have seen them leapfrog Barcelona to the La Liga summit.
Galatasaray are not any better in the Turkish league where they sit in seventh place but are just three points off leaders, Alanyaspor. They have lost on their last three visits to the Bernabeu and do not have a good record on the road in the UCL – losing nine of their last 10 away matches.
This is one match, Zinedine Zidane must contrive by all means to win or else his job will again be under the spotlight.
Current Form: Real Madrid [D-W-W-L-W]; Galatasaray [W-L-L-W-W]
Head to head
22/10/19 UCL Galatasaray 0 – 1 Real Madrid
18/08/15 CLF Real Madrid 2 – 1 Galatasaray
27/11/13 UCL Real Madrid 4 – 1 Galatasaray
17/09/13 UCL Galatasaray 1 – 6 Real Madrid
09/04/13 UCL Galatasaray 3 – 2 Real Madrid
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Galatasaray
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid @BayArena @9pm on Nov.6
Leverkusen are not having a good season but their visitors, Atletico, are not pulling up any trees either. Diego Simeone must urgently find a formula for Atletico to score more than the paltry number they have delivered up till now – six goals in six matches do not show a team that is chasing any championship, whether domestic or international.
Atletico have a raft of injured players that include Jose Gimenez, Stefan Savic, Joao Felix, and Sime Vrsaljko but are well placed in Group D, level on seven points with Juventus and a draw will almost guarantee passage into the round of 16.
Leverkusen, under Peter Bosz, has flattered to deceive. But it’s again getting to crunch time for the Dutch tactician with just one win from their last five games, and that was a 1-0 win over lowly Paderborn in the DFB Cup. The clock is surely ticking.
Current Form: Leverkusen [L-W-D-L-L]; Atletico [D-D-W-W-D]
Head to head
22/10/19 UCL Atletico 1 – 0 Leverkusen
15/03/17 UCL Atletico 0 – 0 Leverkusen
21/02/17 UCL Leverkusen 2 – 4 Atletico
17/03/15 UCL Atletico 1 – 0 Leverkusen
25/02/15 UCL Leverkusen 1 – 0 Atletico
Prediction: Leverkusen 1-1 Atletico
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