THE Champions League returns with some of Europe’s biggest clubs in Tuesday night action.
The likes of Barcelona, Man United, PSG and Bayern Munich are looking to book their last 16 places in record time.
Roma vs Chelsea
Chelsea would have virtually secured qualification for the Champions League last 16 if they had beaten Roma at home.
But instead they inexplicably let a 2-0 lead slip and ultimately only just scraped a 3-3 draw.
Following the chaotic match at Stamford Bridge, Eusebio Di Francesco’s side have tightened up to secure three straight 1-0 wins.
Chelsea have shown some improvement with wins over Watford and Bournemouth but are a long way short of the form they showed last season.
VERDICT: Draw 12/5
Atletico Madrid vs Qarabag
After a loss at home to Chelsea and a goalless draw in Azerbaijan, this match is win or bust for Diego Simeone’s men.
But it has not been plain sailing for Atleti as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal at the weekend.
Following a strong start at their new home, the move to the Wanda Metropolitano seems to have caught up with them and for the first time Simeone’s defensive tactics are attracting criticism.
However they should still get the job done against the Azeri minnows.
VERDICT: Atletico Madrid to win to nil 2/5
Manchester United vs Benfica
Jose Mourinho’s side are in cruise control at the top of Group A.
But they did take their foot slightly off the gas when they only managed to beat basement side Benfica 1-0 in Portugal.
Now the Primeira Liga champions come to Old Trafford knowing that they must win to have any realistic chance of qualifying for the last 16.
United do not need to win but are still likely to send the crowd home happy.
VERDICT: Manchester United to win 1/3
FC Basel vs CSKA Moscow
After a brilliant 2-0 win in Russia followed a 5-0 triumph over Benfica, FC Basel can all-but secure a shock second placed finish in Group A with victory over CSKA Moscow.
Granit Xhaka’s brother Taulant and Dimitri Oberlin both netted as the Swiss side cruised to victory.
Now CSKA know a win, preferably by two goals, is required to put them back into the race for second place.
With nothing to lose, the Russians will make a better fist of it than they did in the home match, but they won’t get a win.
VERDICT: Draw 13/5
Celtic vs Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich made a mockery of Brendan Rodgers’ side’s brilliant form as they crushed the Celts 3-0 at the Allianz Arena.
And they look back to their best with 2013 winner Jupp Heynckes back at the helm.
But the German champions have been known to take their foot off the gas in latter Champions League group matches.
Expect them to do enough to qualify, but no more.
VERDICT: Draw 4/1
PSG vs Anderlecht
Dominant would be an understatement when describing the French side’s form in this group.
They have won each of their first three matches by three goals or more with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani looking the most dangerous strike force in Europe.
On the other hand, Anderlecht have been hopeless, losing 3-0 to Celtic and Bayern and 4-0 to PSG.
Another commanding victory is to be expected.
VERDICT: PSG to lead at half time 2/7
Sporting vs Juventus
Sporting pushed the Old Lady all the way in Turin, only to be undone by a late Mario Mandzukic.
But after grinding out results without looking particularly good at the beginning of the season, Max Allegri’s side are now starting to turn it on.
They hammered Udinese 6-2 away from home despite playing most of the game with ten men, then eased past AC Milan 2-0 at the San Siro.
If Juve are in the same mood in Lisbon, they should win.
VERDICT: Juventus to win 11/10
Olympiakos vs Barcelona
Barcelona look nailed on to finish top of Group D after winning all three of their opening matches.
The Karaiskakis is an intimidating place for any visiting team to go and Olympiakos need a win to maintain any chance of qualification.
And Barca will have to do without Gerard Pique, who was sent off for trying to score a ‘Hand of God’ goal in the home game against the Greeks.
But the challenge is no tougher than playing an entire second half with ten men as they did when they beat Takis Lemonis’ side 3-1 at the Nou Camp.
VERDICT: Barcelona to win 2/9
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