UEFA Champions League returns for matchday 4 on Tuesday with Europe’s elite looking to secure qualification into the knock out stages.
Match 1, 21:00pm: Liverpool (2nd) vs Genk (4th), Anfield Liverpool
It’s another European Night at Anfield as Liverpool welcome Genk to Merseyside. The reds defeated Genk 4 -1 in the matchday 3 reverse fixture. Klopp’s Reds are favorites heading into the tie, brimming with confidence after a dramatic last gasp winner against Aston Villa. Genk head into this tie off back of a 2 – 0 loss to European.
Liverpool can move a step closer to round 16 qualifications with a victory against Genk. The Balgian club sits in 4th place, with just a solitary point from a possible 9. Genk will have to improve performances to have any hope of qualifying for at least the Europa League from the group stage.
Match 2, 21:00pm: Napoli (1st) vs Reb Bull Salzburg (3rd), San Paolo, Naples
Napoli will be looking to banish their series a blues when they take on Salzburg in the Champions League. The Naples fresh from a 2 – 1 defeat Roma in the league, will be looking to improve by collecting all three points against Salzburg. Napoli remains unbeaten in the Champions League this season, sitting at the top of Group E, recording two wins and a draw. A win for Ancelotti’s men will all but seal qualification into the knockout stages.
March 3, 18:55 pm: Barcelona (1st) vs Slavia Prague (4th), Camp Nou Barcelona
Barcelona will be looking to make amends tonight after a shock 3 – 1 defeat to Levante in La Liga. Barca lead a tightly group, contested group, with 7 points from a possible 9, with rivals inter and Dortmund level on 4 points. Barca were victorious over Prague in their matchday 3 meeting, where the Catalan club saw out a narrow 2 -1 win over Slavia.
Barca will be without the services of Luis Suarez and Umtiti, but Alba and Busquets could be making a return to the lineup. Slavia Prague comes into today’s match on the back of a 4 – 0 win over Banik Ostrava in the Czech League. Despite an admirable performance last time out against Barcelona, Slavia know a trip to the Camp Nou is a very different proposition.
Match 4, 21:00 pm: Borussia Dortmund (3rd) vs Inter Milan (2nd), signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Dortmund and Inter head into the match with an identical record of 4 points each, 3 points behind group leaders Barca inter were victorious when they faced Dortmund in the reverse fixture. Whoever emerges victorious will have a more secure route to the knockout stages. Dortmund comes into this fixture of a 3 – 0 win against Wolfsburg, which should lift their confidence.
Inter will be without the services of Alexis Sanchez due to injury, but that should be of little concern to the Nerazzurri who can boast of arguably the hottest strike force in Europe at the moment with Argentine Lautaro Martinez an Belgian Lukaku.
Match 5, 18:55 pm: Zenit St. Petersburg (2nd) vs RB Leipzig (1st), Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg
Zenit have enjoyed a solid start to the season, they head into this contest having being held to a 1 -1 draw at home to CSKA Moscow on Saturday, a result which has left the club three points clear at the top of Russia’s top flight.
Manager Semak will be content with sitting in second place in this group with two home games still to come. However, given that just three points separate the top and bottom teams, Zenit will be aware that failing to take maximum points could leave them outside of the qualification spots with two matches remaining.
RB Leigzig make the trip to Russia to take on Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League having opened up a two-point advantage at the top of Group G. The Bundesliga outfit ran out 2 – 1 victors when the two teams met at the Red Bull Arena on October 23. Leipzig will be brimming with confidence after dispatching Mainz 8 – 0 in the Bundesliga with in-form striker Timo Werner leading the line for the German outfit.
Match 6, 21:00pm: Olympique Lyonnias (3rd) vs SL Benfica (4th), Groupama Stadium, Lyon
Lyon and Benfica head into their Champions League clash on Tuesday evening with both sides sitting out of the qualification places in Group G. The Portuguese giants prevailed by a 2 – 1 score line when these two clubs met in the reverse fixture last month.
Many Lyon supporters were quick to voice their dissatisfaction when Rudi Garcia was appointed as the club’s new manager last month, and the frustration only intensified when the French side suffered disappointment at Estadio da Luz. However, back-to-back victories over Metz and Toulouse in League 1 have relieved the immediate pressure on Garcia, with the club now up to eighth position in the standings.
Benfica have also endured a slow start, but recent performances have indicated the club has turned things around, with five successive wins, conceding just a goal in the process. The Lisbon sit five points clear in their domestic league. Manager Bruno Lage knows his team will have to improve in the champions’ league to have any hope of playing in the round of 16.
Match 7, 21:00 pm: Chelsea (1st) vs Ajax Amsterdam (2nd), Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea and Ajax head in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter at Stamford Bridge having both earned six points from their opening three matches in Group H. However, as a result of their narrow 1 – 0 success in Amsterdam last month, the Premier League outfit holds the smallest of advantages over their Dutch rivals.
Kante returns to the match squad for Chelsea, after being sidelined by injury. Ajax can boast of a fully fit squad, Ajax have scored 8 goals in their last 3 matches. A feat which will pose some worry for Chelsea.
Match 8, 21:00pm: Valencia (3rd) vs Lille (4t), Mestalla, Valencia
Valencia will be looking for their second victory in this season’s Champions League when they welcome Lille to the Mestella on Matchday 4 Los Che have collected four points from their three Group H matches to sit third in the section, while Lille are bottom having picked up just a single point from their three fixtures this term.
Recording just a single point from their three Group H matches thus far, it is going to take a massive effort from Lille to qualify for the knockout stages.
The Ligue 1 side opened their campaign with a 3 – 0 defeat at Ajax before suffering a 2 – 1 home loss to Chelsea at the start of October. They did manage to pick up a point at home to Valencia last time out, though, and a victory in Spain on Tuesday night might well put them back into the mix.