Champions and Europa League: 5 unmissable games during matchday 6
Background photo: El Ronzo, CC BY-ND 2.0
It’s make-or-break time in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League this week, as Matchday 6 will determine which sides will reach the knockout stages of the respective competitions. Right now, there are 12 teams qualified for the Champions League’s Round of 16, while 16 have also secured a Europa League knockout stage berth. We have 20 teams yet to discover their fate, so most games will definitively have something at stake.
We have chosen the five best games for the upcoming week of European action. Which one is your favourite?
No UEFA Champions League game this week will have more at stake than the one between Napoli and Liverpool at Anfield. With no team qualified for the knockout stages in Group C, one of Napoli, PSG or Liverpool will be condemned to play in the Europa League come the turn of the year.
As things stand right now, Napoli have the edge with nine points, and only need a draw to clinch their spot in the last sixteen. The Reds, however, have a tougher scenario – they need to win; and by at least two goals to feel safe, but will likely target a second-place finish considering PSG will play against Red Star. Which team will survive in this star-studded clash?
Another season, another year where Barcelona end at the top of the standings in their Champions League group. Los Blaugranas have already claimed the top spot in Group B (W4, D1) and will play for nothing but their pride. Their opponent, however, have a lot more at stake heading into this group-stage finale.
This is because Spurs have seven points and are level with Inter on both points and goal difference; the British side gets the edge solely based on their larger amount of goals scored. Spurs must win here – and wait for a low-scoring win for Inter – in order to get the spot in the next round. Will they come through when it matters the most?
Manchester City have already secured their place in the knockout stages, but which side will go with them remains to be seen. Lyon have the slender advantage, since they’re undefeated thus far (W1, D4), but they will be playing on the road against a Shakhtar side that is yet to win at home during the current Group Stage campaign.
This is another must-win game for both sides, as Hoffenheim are also alive on the race to clinch a Europa League berth. Without a doubt, this game has the makings to be a thrilling encounter with high stakes on the line!
Ajax have been arguably the most surprising side in the UEFA Champions League this season, and the Eredivisie giants have a realistic chance to end the Group Stage at the top of Group E. They will host Bayern Munich this Wednesday knowing that a win will leave them in first place.
However, this won’t be easy since Bayern once again look like a potential title candidate. Their Bundesliga form hasn’t been the greatest during the current term, but this hasn’t translated to Europe and have won their previous two away matches. Will they make it three out of three in Amsterdam?
Undoubtedly, Group G ended being one of the tightest zones in the UEFA Europa League Group Stage since it’s one of just two in which all four teams enter the final round with realistic chances of reaching the knockout stages. And with that in mind, the thrilling encounter between Rapid Vienna and Rangers, on Austrian soil, will be an unmissable one.
The hosts have seven points and sit in second place thanks to a two-game undefeated streak, while Steven Gerrard’s side has six points and sit in third place amid a three-game winless skid. It’s win-or-go-home for these two sides because Rapid could also get eliminated with a draw and a Spartak Moscow win over Villarreal. Which side will come out on top?