RB Leipzig v Man Utd
Live on BT Sport 2
RB Leipzig would possibly boast among the best house data in Europe however they’ve conceded an terrible lot of objectives not too long ago, three in every of their final two video games. Given that Manchester United beat them 5-0 earlier this season, it appears possible Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s aspect might be in a position to sit deep, as deliberate, and look forward to probabilities to steal the ball in midfield and counter-attack.
It was alarming how simply Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford acquired in behind the RB Leipzig defence within the reverse fixture. Their again 4 was typically trying to play offside even when being countered, whereas Leipzig’s aggressive vertical possession meant their central midfield was typically far too disconnected from the defence.
This meant huge areas all over the place, and that systemic difficulty was repeated within the 4-3 victory over Istanbul Basakhesir and 3-3 draw with Bayern Munich. Martial, Rashford, and Greenwood can break once more, buoyed by the velocity and incision of their assaults in opposition to West Ham after Bruno Fernandes was introduced onto the sphere. United ought to find a way to get the win.
Barcelona v Juventus
Live on BT Sport ESPN
Andrea Pirlo and Ronald Koeman are each enduring troublesome seasons domestically and can welcome the respite of the Champions League, though as within the reverse fixture – a 2-0 win for Barcelona – it is the Catalan aspect possible to take the factors. Pirlo’s flat 4-4-2 formation is leaving too many defensive gaps, and Lionel Messi, doing it all on his personal as a quantity ten, can make Juve pay.
Messi drifted throughout the width of the pitch as the point of interest of a 4-2-3-1 at Juve, a system Koeman ought to once more deploy to guarantee there’s higher defensive cowl from the wingers; when Messi is on the fitting, that flank will get left open. From the quantity ten place, Messi ought to fairly comfortably discover area between Juve’s two central midfielders, with communication and compression very poor below Pirlo to date.
What’s extra, with Juan Cuadrado getting ahead from right-back to create most of Juve’s probabilities, there’s certain to be extra room on that aspect for Messi to function inside. With Pedri’s ingenuity on the left to assist Messi, the hosts ought to win this one.
Salzburg v Atletico Madrid
Live on BT Sport ESPN
Separated by simply two factors in Group A, RB Salzburg can qualify in the event that they beat Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, whereas the Spanish outfit want solely draw to go through with only one win from six. It’s been a decent group with constantly poor performances from each these sides, suggesting a low-scoring slog this week in a nervous contest.
The key battleground is on Salzburg’s left. Their 35-year-old left-back Andreas Ulmer has struggled with the tempo of Champions League soccer this season, with Bayern Munich particularly hurting the Austrian outfit down that aspect. Ulmer is not helped by the very fact Salzburg’s star participant, left winger Dominik Szoboszlai, constantly cuts in from the left.
When Salzburg lose the ball, then, they may get caught within the transition on this aspect as Ulmer is overloaded. In Atletico’s new 3-4-1-2 formation, Diego Simeone’s crew lean closely to the left of their interaction, dragging the opponent throughout earlier than switching it abruptly to proper wing-back Kieran Trippier in area. Trippier, who assisted each Atletico objectives on the weekend, can count on to get the higher of Ulmer. Atletico to beat Salzburg is my wager.
Real Madrid v Borussia Monchengladbach
Live on BT Sport 3
Real Madrid are two factors behind Borussia Monchengladbach and might be eradicated with something lower than a win, suggesting Zinedine Zidane can not play with warning as he has tried to in a lot of Real’s current matches. They stay lopsided, inconsistent, and with out apparent tactical path – which is a recipe for a wild, end-to-end recreation as they push for 3 factors.
Marco Rose’s crew are solely mildly much less shambolic, such is their dedication to hurting groups within the transition. Monchengladbach have conceded six objectives of their final three matches in all competitions and acquired caught up in a frantic recreation in opposition to Inter Milan, shedding 3-2 as Laurtaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku acquired in behind.
That appears possible to occur with the tempo of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, though given Zidane’s aspect hold making defensive errors Marcus Thuram an Alessano Plea must be equally efficient. I’m backing a high-scoring recreation on the Bernabeu.