The penultimate matchday of the Champions League group stages is coming up, and it’s make-or-break time for some big clubs. These midweek matches could even decide the future for some coaches, like Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan, who’s been getting some bad results with the holders of the Champions League. Plenty of teams have the chance to qualify for the knockout round, but they’ll have to do the business, and see how they match up against Europe’s other elite sides.
Roma – Bayern Munich
This is a match of huge proportions for both sides, while Bayern Munich have already mathematically qualified, the Bavarian side has been having lots of difficulty in the Bundesliga. Louis van Gaal’s side is 8th in Germany’s top league, with 14 points to make up between them and the table-leaders Borussia Dortmund. So this match is relatively important if Bayern want to begin to string together some wins, and have a hope of retaining the Bundesliga title this season. Roma on the other hand have six points in the group, and they lead the other two sides by three points. Claudio Ranieri needs to win this match if he wants to go deep into this competition with the giallorossi, and it seems like his squad has the momentum. The frenchman Menez has scored great goals so far this season, and he looks like a very dangerous player for any opposition defence, the question is, will he be able to pierce Bayern’s?
All of the Group A matches
Group A is extremely tight right now, you have last season’s competition winners, Inter Milan, second only by goal difference to the newcomers Tottenham Hotspur, with both sides on seven points, and below those two, Twente have five points, while Werder Bremen only have two! So the matches taking place in this group are crucial to see who will pass through to the next round, and who will come first.
First you have Inter Milan hosting Twente, and the Dutch side get to face Benitez’s team at the perfect time. The nerazzurri are in total disarray, having not won once in their past five matches, and the team is devastated by injuries to many key players. So if Twente can pull off a surprise win away from home,they’ll have a good chance of going through to the next round in place of the holders of the competition.
The other Group A match is first placed Tottenham Hotspur hosting Werder Bremen, and it’s the German side which has been doing badly this season. They’re 12th in the Bundesliga table, just four points away from the relegation zone, and in the Champions League group, qualification would take a miracle. Tottenham on the other hand are coming in to this match having just won a fantastic North London Derby against Arsenal where they came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, away from home! So while on paper this looks like a pretty simple Tottenham win, Werder Bremen might pull out a sneak result, putting a stick between the spokes of Tottenham’s Champions League campaign.
I haven’t been able to adress all the matches which will be taking place this midweek, but if you have any comments or thoughts regarding any matches in the Champions League, make sure to share them below!