It’s time for the coup de grace of football, the Champions League has returned again. The fixtures promise to once again leave the fans on edge, as they seek to gain the advantage that will lead to qualification to the knock-out phases. Here are the fixtures, and predictions:
- BATE Borisov Vs Bayern Munich
There is always a chance of an upset in a Champions League fixture, but it’s almost impossible to not look past Bayern demolishing BATE in this fixture. Nothing less than a 3-0 win to the Germans expected here.
Final score: BATE 0 – 4 Bayern Munich
- Benfica Vs Barcelona
This is a fixture that has the potential to throw in an upset result. Benfica are a quality team in their own right, and with the home advantage, may be able to spring in a good result against the Catalan giants. Barcelona, as always, are expected to go all the way in the competition, but this will be one of their tougher early tests. A close tie here, with only the odd goal to separate them.
Final score: Benfica 2 – 3 Barcelona
- CFR Cluj Vs Manchester United
Manchester United have been rather lacklustre in all their displays so far this season, here they have a chance to prove their credentials in this years competition by taking on Cluj. Cluj are not to however, the Romanians have proven themselves to be more than capable of taking on the bigger names in this contest before, with a recent surprise win against Braga. However, with United determined to overcome their disappointing European campaign last year, expect a win for the English side.
Final score: Cluj 1 – 2 Manchester United
- Nordsjaelland Vs Chelsea
Chelsea travel to Denmark to take on Nordsjaelland, in what should be considered a one way ticket to three points for the Blues. Despite their disappointing draw with Juventus, Chelsea have more than enough quality to brush aside the Danish side, who were woeful in their performance against Shakhtar. A three goal margin should be the minimum.
Final score: Nordsjaelland 0 – 3 Chelsea
- Galatasaray Vs Braga
Braga took their foot off the pedal, and paid the price against CFR Cluj in their last Champions League fixture, going down to a shock 2-0 defeat. It doesn’t get any easier here, with a game away at Galatasaray, known for playing in one of the most fiery stadiums in the world. It doesn’t help that the Turkish giants have only lost once in nine games at home. Braga may be considered the superior team, but expect some Turkish delight to be on the plate of Galatasaray fans tonight.
Final score: Galatasaray 2 – 0 Braga
- Juventus Vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Juventus did very well to come back from two goals down against Chelsea in their last outing, and should have no issue at home against Shakhtar, who despite coming away with a 2-0 win against Nordsjaelland, do not possess the quality needed to put the well built Italian team away. Willian will be their best chance at claiming anything, but even he will not be enough. Juventus to stroll through.
Final score: Juventus 2 -0 Shakhtar Donetsk
- Valencia Vs Lille
Both teams suffered disappointing defeats in their opening matches, and will look to make amends against one another. Valencia are missing two centre backs in Rami and Costa, but are in far better form domestically than their counterparts. Lille are struggling in France and in Europe, sitting in 15th in the league, and suffering a surprise defeat to BATE will do no help for their confidence. Valencia to win this one.
Final score: Valencia 1 – 0 Lille