The Champions League returns this week with matchday 5. The tournament is nearing the end of the group stage and the winter break before kicking back off in early 2022 with the knockout rounds.
Tuesday and Wednesday night’s Champions League matches will see some of the top teams in Europe playing for big stakes. The biggest game of the week is arguably Manchester City versus Paris Saint-Germain.
Both teams have qualified for the next round, but first place in Group A is up for grabs. Right now, Manchester City are in first place with nine points from 12. Paris Saint-Germain are on eight points from 12 and are looking to move above their rivals.
Part of what makes this game so important is that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are two of the top three favorites to win the Champions League 2021-22.
Latest odds on teams to win the Champions League 2021-22
Here are the latest future winners odds for the top 12 teams in the Champions League 2021-22 courtesy of Bet365:
- Man City +350
- Bayern Munich +400
- Paris Saint-Germain +550
- Liverpool +550
- Chelsea +750
- Man United +1600
- Ajax +2000
- Juventus +2500
- Real Madrid +2500
- Atletico +3300
- Barcelona +5000
- Inter Milan +5000
Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester City went to Paris and lost 2-0 to the French team in the reverse match of the group stage. Manchester City were the better team on the night, but couldn’t break down PSG’s defence — which was surprising.
PSG head into the game with a number of injured players including defender Marqiunhos who is a doubt to play and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Keylor Navas will step in to play in goal, which isn’t a bad backup.
Manchester City are coming off of a Premier League win against a woeful Everton. Pep Guardiola will be without the duo of Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne. The former has an injury and is a major doubt; the latter has tested positive for COVID-19, and won’t play.
With De Bruyne and Grealish both missing, it is difficult to select Manchester City to win this game. However, PSG are so one-dimensional. I don’t expect PSG to win a second straight game against Manchester City. Therefore, the Cityzens should win a close game at home.
Winner: Man City
Ajax vs. Besiktas
Ajax have been one of the most impressive clubs in the Champions League. They have qualified for the round of 16, while Besiktas are eliminated from advancing in the tournament.
This seems like a very straightforward selection, Ajax to win at full-time against a poor Besiktas. The Turkish team has zero points after four games in the Champions League. Ajax can win the group with a victory. They have picked up 12 points from 12 possible.
Liverpool vs. FC Porto
Liverpool host Porto at Anfield after thoroughly thrashing Arsenal on Saturday, 4-0. The Reds have their swagger back despite a number of key players being injured. Liverpool went to Porto and won 5-1 in September with Mohamed Salah scoring twice.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has the chance to rest key players with a busy schedule coming up. Liverpool have already won Group B with Porto in second and seven points behind them with two games left to play. Expect a few changes but not wholesale changes. Klopp will want to give backup players some minutes.
Porto are unbeaten in four straight games with their last two matches ending in victories. However, those were wins on the domestic front. Liverpool are a team unlike any Porto play in the league. The Reds should claim a win on the penultimate day of the tournament’s group stage.
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