UCL: Judgement day for Napoli and Dortmund on Matchday 6
Sportsbet.io previews Matchday 6 of UCL's group stage play, with Napoli and Borussia Dortmund in a race against time to qualify for the round of 16.
Paris Saint Germain (group winners) and Real Madrid have already booked their seat in the UCL's round of 16, and have nothing to lose in their matchday six fixtures against Galatasaray and Club Brugge.
PSG, with 13 points from five games, played out an enthralling 2-2 stalemate with Real Madrid and are well-placed to sweep aside Galatasaray in their upcoming meeting. Real, who were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by Brugge in the reverse fixture, eye revenge on their trip to Belgium on Thursday.
While Bayern Munich (group winners) aims to be the sixth club in history to have won all their group stage games, Tottenham Hotspur plot to spoil the party in Munich. The reverse fixture saw Bayern inflict a demolishing 7-2 defeat upon Spurs and the Lilywhites, under new management, aim to settle the score at the Allianz Arena.
The other members of the group, Crvena zvezda and Olympiacos, lock horns to claim a third-place finish in Group B.
Current champions Liverpool need a point to qualify to the round of 16 as group winners, although Salzburg might spell doom for the Merseysiders. The Reds, with 10 points so far, have lost all their away fixtures in the group stage this term and must avoid defeat in Austria. The last time a UCL holder failed to make it through the group stage was 2012/13 (Chelsea), and Liverpool will be desperate to escape a similar fate.
A loss against Genk will send Napoli crashing out of the UCL, and simultaneously mean the end of the road for Carlo Ancelotti in the hot seat. The Partenopei are winless in nine games across all competitions, but Tuesday's fixture could be a change in fortunes for Napoli who yet have to taste defeat in the UCL this season.
Barcelona, table-toppers in the Group of Death, have not lost a UCL group stage fixture in three years and travel to Inter Milan with the hope of breaking their eight-game winless run on Italian soil. The Nerazzurri, on the other hand, are level with Borussia Dortmund on seven points but hold the head-to-head advantage. Inter will qualify for the round of 16 if they beat Barcelona, or record a result similar to that of the Dortmund - Slavia Praha fixture.
Die Borussen host the Czech club at the Signal Iduna Park, and need to collect more points than Inter Milan to ease their way into the round of 16. However, Slavia have been impressive on the road with draws against Inter Milan (1-1) and Barcelona (0-0) hence Dortmund must avoid complacency against the Czech champions.
Words: William Paul