Real Madrid v Celtic
Celtic will be up against it when they travel to face Real Madrid on Tuesday. The Hoops, after all, are already eliminated from Europe, having picked up just a couple of draws against Shakhtar Donetsk, while Real Madrid approach kick off knowing that a victory is required if they are to guarantee top spot in the group. Certainly, they will want to minimise the risk of drawing a side like PSG at the last-16 stage as they did last season.
There is also a need for a response from Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who come into this match after a shock loss against Leipzig and a disappointing draw versus Girona. They have won both of their Bernabeu matches in Europe this season while they have scored at least twice in six of the eight matches they have played at the venue this term.
One crucial aspect of this tie is that Madrid are not inaction again until Monday, when they will make the short trip to Rayo Vallecano. Celtic, meanwhile, have two matches to play in the following seven days, which will doubtless impact the manager’s thinking and could see changes made early – the prestige of the fixture should mean there is little rotation in the starting XI.
Madrid were flattered by their 3-0 success in Glasgow in September but given the varying motivation levels between the clubs and fixture schedule of both, they should have too much in this game. From a Celtic perspective, though, backing both teams to score at 1.75 could be of interest given Los Blancos only have one clean sheet at home this season.
Manchester City v Sevilla
Going face to face in Manchester, Pep Guardiola will be hoping to record a 10th victory over Sevilla to make them the fourth club to fall to the Catalan coach 10 times or more. Sevilla could feel even more vulnerable than ever coming into this tie off the back of a first ever home league defeat to Rayo Vallecano at the weekend.
Sevilla have scored just one goal from their two away trips to Copenhagen and Dortmund to date, whereas City have averaged 3.5 goals per game from their two home ties in the Champions League this season.
Sevilla’s defensive issues have been well publicised following the departures of Jules Koundé and Diego Carlos in the summer and, while Jorge Sampaoli’s appointment has steadied the ship, they still conceded three away to Real Madrid in their most recent away fixture.
The Spanish side have nothing to play for and are guaranteed third spot whatever happens in Manchester, and Manchester City are also through in first place given their head-to-head record against Borussia Dortmund, but they’ll be keen to make sure that they don’t rely on that and will want to end the group stage with a bang in front of their own fans
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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