Don’t let the standings of this group fool you, AS Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen have already secured their spot in the knockout rounds. Unfortunately for Tottenham, they’ve only managed to find the back of the net 3 times in their first 5 group stage matches, with golden boy Harry Kane unable to make a difference on the field.
Prediction: The standings are already locked, so Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen have no reason to push for something spectacular in their match today. As they revel in their glory today Tottenham will be busy with their consolation prize of scoring a few goals on a mediocre CSKA Moscow team.
This group was pretty much decided the second the teams were drawn. Surprisingly, Sporting CP has put together a few stands in the group stage and has only lost all their games to Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund by 1 goal, which I’d count as a victory if I was their head coach. Legia Warsaw hasn’t been as lucky however and has acted as the resident punching bag of the group.
Prediction: Dortmund and Real Madrid face-off today in a fight to win the group, and Dortmund is coming into the game with a handful of relevant injuries, while Real Madrid is only missing Gareth Bale. I’m going to go against my gut though and say that Dortmund pulls off a draw on the road to win the group, and the young US star Christian Pulisic hits a screamer of a goal (ok that part probably almost certainly won’t happen, but I can dream).
Leicester City you cheeky bastards! Unless Leicester City goes on a winning streak from this weekend until the Christmas break, it’s save to say their shots of defending their Premier League title are completely lost. Who needs Premier League titles though when you’re dominating your Champions League group and only conceding one goal? Not Leicester fucking City, that’s for sure.
Prediction: Leicester play FC Porto in Porto today, so with the group all locked up Leicester will probably just sit back and relax. I expect Porto to win that match, guaranteeing them the 2nd place qualifying spot, while FC Copenhagen beats an underwhelming Club Brugge team but falls just short of qualifying.
Surprisingly, this is the only group this year where two teams will battle it out on the final match day in a head-to-head fight for a qualifying spot. Seperated by 3 points, Sevilla will travel to France to take on Lyon in what is essentially a do-or-die match.
Prediction: Sevilla won the first head-to-head against Lyon by a small 1-0 margin, but with that home shutout they now have the advantage of being able to advance with any result up to, and including, a 1-goal loss. If Sevilla score first Lyon are going to have to find a way to net 3 goals on what has been a pretty stingy Sevilla defense. Four of Lyon’s five group stage goals have come against Dinamo Zagreb, so I don’t think they manage to pull this comeback off against Sevilla. Oh, and Juventus probably wins their game by a million by at least a handful.
Well, that’s it for the 2016-2017 Champions League group stage everyone. See you in the knockout rounds.