The Champions League returns with Chelsea trying to clinch their spot in the next round by winning in Schalke while Manchester City are grasping at straws, forced to beat Bayern Munich in order to keep their hopes of qualifying alive.
CSKA Moscow – Roma: The battle for second place, probably, which Roma hope will go as well as in the first match, when they beat the Russian team 5-1.
Manchester City – Bayern Munich: Last chance for Manchester City, although a draw might be enough to keep their hopes of second place alive as long as there’s a draw in the earlier match. Bayern are already through to the round of 16.
APOEL – Barcelona: The Cypriots only have a place in the Europa League to play for. Barcelona haven’t been the most brilliant team when playing away from home this season, but maybe the momentum from Messi’s great achievement will be carried over to a meaningless match for them, unless they’re fixed on finishing first.
PSG – Ajax: Ajax are doing terribly in the Champions League this season and once again won’t make it out of the group stage. PSG seem to be shaking off the cobwebs from their league start and have chance to clinch first place if they win at home and Barcelona lose in Cyprus.
Schalke – Chelsea: A chance for Chelsea to do away with the troubles of this group, hoping that Schalke’s inconsistent form will allow them to clinch their spot in the next stage, having a three point lead at the moment over second place. It was a 1-1 draw between the teams in the first match at Stamford Bridge.
Sporting – Maribor: Surprisingly Maribor are still in the picture to qualify, partially thanks to that late equalizer by Luka Zahovic in the first match against Sporting. The Portuguese team are in good form at home and should walk away with the win in this one, but their tendency to miss and lose concentration late in matches could prove to be costly.
BATE – Porto: BATE need a win to keep their chances of finishing second alive, but that’s unlikely to happen considering how much better Porto (and Shakhtar) are compared to the other teams in the group.
Shakhtar – Athletic Bilbao: A draw will be enough for Shakhtar Donetsk to qualify, but considering how well they’ve been playing in the competition and how poor it’s been for Bilbao, a win seems a lot more likely.