Things get complicated for Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield
Anfield has witnessed plenty of famous comebacks on European nights over the years, and the Liverpool faithful must prepare themselves for another vital match in which victory might not be enough to see their team through to the last 16. Three away defeats have left the Reds needing to beat Napoli by two goals or by a 1-0 scoreline, or else hope that PSG fail to win at Crvena Zvezda. Napoli have not won any of their last five away games in the competition but remain unbeaten so far this season. Expect the different scenarios throughout the night as a single goal changes everything.
Pochettino pins hopes on fresh forwards in Barcelona
With Inter Milan set to host PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night, Tottenham know that realistically only a win in Barcelona will suffice if they are to reach the knockout stages for the second season in succession. Mauricio Pochettino took the wise decision to rest Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen in their weekend win at Leicester, while Erik Lamela will also return to the fold. In case it were in any doubt, Eriksen gave a timely reminder of his ability to change a game when he came off the bench to score the winner against Inter Milan two weeks ago. Will his rested legs be able to drive Spurs to victory?
Group F to deliver more goals
One of the biggest surprises in the tournament so far has been Group F. When the draw was made in August, most expected Manchester City to ease through to the next round with little fuss. However, Lyon, Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk have proven their firepower too, and as such there have been Over 2.5 Goals in all ten games in the group so far. In fact, besides Shakhtar’s inability to break down City’s defence across both of their meetings, both teams have scored in every game. The final two matches promise more of the same.
Giants to drop into Europa League
Unless Crvena Zvzeda pull off an unlikely victory over PSG and Liverpool lose to Napoli, one of the latter three sides will find themselves in the Europa League. They will be joined by either Inter Milan or Tottenham who, despite not holding the status of the teams in Group C, would still be among the favourites in the competition. Benfica have already confirmed third spot in Group E, while Lyon will also make the switch should they lose to Shakhtar. Last season Atletico dropped down and went on to win the Europa League; could another late arrival repeat the feat?
Who will be top scorer this season?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s acclimatisation to life at Juventus, partnered with his brief suspension, has opened the door for another player to take the Golden Boot in this season’s competition. The Portuguese has been top scorer for each of the past six seasons but now trails the leading pack by five goals and, considering the quality of those ahead, faces a tough ask to catch up. Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski currently have six goals apiece and, at Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively, are in a strong position to reach the final. Messi lifted the Golden Boot for four years in a row before Ronaldo’s domination and can now reclaim the crown.