Manchester United was mistakenly drawn with Villarreal, even though both teams faced each other in the group stage while the Premier League side’s ball was not added to the bowl as a potential opponent for Atletico Madrid.
Manchester United was mistakenly drawn with Villarreal, even though both teams faced each other in the group stage while the Premier League side’s ball was not added to the bowl as a potential opponent for Atletico Madrid.
The last 16 ties will be played in February and March.
UEFA blamed a “material error” due to a “technical problem with the software of an external service provider” as it announced that the draw for the first knockout round of its flagship competition would be redone at 2 p.m.GMT.
Key players, rankings, ones to watch: all you need to know about the 16 teams through.
There are nine former winners among the teams through to the UEFA Champions League round of 16. UEFA.com profiles all these high-flying contenders.
Champions League round of 16 draw
The draw will be streamed live on UEFA.com and on the official UEFA Champions League app from midday CET on Monday. Two seeding pots will be formed: one consisting of the eight group winners (seeded teams) and the other of the eight runners-up (unseeded teams). No team can play a club from their group or any side from their own
UEFA ranking: 17 Group C: winners (W6 D0 L0 F20 A5) Last season: group stage (UEFA Europa League quarter-finals) European Cup best: winners (1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1994/95)
Campaign in ten words: Fearless, dynamic, inventive and relentlessly attack-minded: at home and away.
UEFA.com Ajax reporter: Yet another Ajax side shaped in the totaalvoetbal mould. Every player in the team – keeper included – is comfortable in possession and can take the ball even when under extreme pressure. They switch positions effortlessly, excel at creating and exploiting space, and are committed to flowing, creative football. What’s not to like?
Coach: Erik ten Hag Ten Hag has done a magnificent job with a squad that is constantly evolving. After taking Ajax to the brink of the Champions League final in 2018/19, he lost many key players that summer, but has simply rebuilt the side: same script, different actors.
Key player: Sébastien Haller The first player ever to score nine goals in his first five Champions League matches. The Ivory Coast striker has taken to the top tier with aplomb.
Did you know? Ten-goal Haller is only the second player to score in all six group games in a single season, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017/18.
UEFA coefficient ranking: 10 Group B: runners-up (W2 D1 L3 F7 A8) Last season: round of 16 (L 0-3agg vs Chelsea) Best European Cup performance: runners-up (1973/74, 2013/14, 2015/16)
Campaign in ten words: Struggled in a tough group but produced when it mattered.
UEFA.com Atlético reporter: A campaign that never really got going until the win against Porto on Matchday 6. A goalless draw with the same opponents on Matchday 1 was followed by a last-gasp win in Milan which did not have the galvanising effect many had anticipated. Successive defeats by Liverpool left them with their backs against the wall, but that’s just how they like it.
Coach: Diego Simeone Simeone has coached the Rojiblancos to two UEFA Europa League titles, two UEFA Super Cups and two Champions League finals. Last season, he added a second Liga crown to show his powers remain undiminished.
Key player: Luis Suárez Signed from Barcelona in summer 2020, the Uruguay striker has proved an inspired acquisition. He plundered 21 league goals in 2020/21, the last of them guaranteeing his club would claim their first championship for seven years.
Did you know? The only time Atleti failed to get out of the Champions League group stage under Simeone, in 2017/18, they went on to win the Europa League.
UEFA ranking: 1 Group E: winners (W6 D0 L0 F22 A3) Last season: quarter-finals (L on away goals vs Paris) European Cup best: winners (1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 2000/01, 2012/13, 2019/20)
Campaign in ten words: Scoring freely, hungry and deeply committed to title number seven.
UEFA.com Bayern reporter: Despite all their limitations through injuries and illness this season, it’s been relatively smooth sailing results wise and Bayern will again be major contenders in the spring if they continue to build on this rhythm. The tactical ploys new coach Julian Nagelsmann is currently implementing should also become even more visible as the campaign progresses.0 seconds of 0 secondsVolume 0% Lewandowski’s best Champions League goals
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann The 34-year-old has been diligent as successor to Hansi Flick, overseeing some fine displays and a cruise through the group stage. In 2016, he became the youngest coach in Bundesliga history when he took the Hoffenheim reins aged 28, leading them into the Champions League by finishing fourth the following season. He continued to impress across two seasons at Leipzig prior to joining Bayern last summer.
Key player: Robert Lewandowski The relentless Polish marksman hit new heights last term, scoring a record 41 German league goals as Bayern sealed a ninth straight championship. He has maintained that form this season with nine goals in six group fixtures and sits third on the list of all-time scorers in the Champions League.
Did you know? Bayern have extended their record unbeaten streak in Champions League away games to 21 matches.
UEFA ranking: 29 Group E: runners-up (W2 D2 L2 F7 A9) Last season: third qualifying round (L 1-2 vs PAOK) European Cup best: winners (1960/61, 1961/62)
Campaign in ten words: Finishing above Barcelona looked impossible but Benfica pulled it off.
UEFA.com Benfica reporter: Group winners Bayern were just too strong, but Benfica – starting the campaign as clear underdogs – finished above Barcelona with the help of an impressive 3-0 win in Lisbon. Darwin Nuñez’s goals, Rafa Silva’s pace and Nicolás Otamendi’s resilience at the back made sure the Eagles got the job done.
Coach: Jorge Jesus During his first stint, from 2009 to 2015, Jorge Jesus became the most successful coach in the club’s history by winning ten trophies: three Liga titles, a Portuguese Cup, a Super Cup and five League Cups. He returned in 2020.
Key player: João Mário The 28-year-old won a Portuguese title last term with Sporting CP while on loan from Inter. He only arrived at Benfica in July but has made an instant impact with his organisational skills, vision and ability to dictate the pace of games. “He adds class to the team,” says Jesus of the midfielder, a UEFA EURO 2016 winner with Portugal.
Did you know? The Lisbon giants have reached seven European Cup finals but have lost their last five (most recently against Milan in 1990).
UEFA ranking: 4 Group H: runners-up (W4 D1 L1 F13 A4) Last season: winners (W 1-0 vs Man. City) European Cup best: winners (2011/12, 2020/21)
Campaign in ten words: Defensively outstanding with the attacking variety to challenge the best.
UEFA.com Chelsea reporter: This is some team. Everything Thomas Tuchel touches seems to turn to gold and his side have once again been a joy to watch. The Matchday 2 reverse in Turin aside, they look just as ruthlessly efficient as they were during last season’s knockout phase. It will take something special to stop them.0 seconds of 7 minutes, 49 secondsVolume 0%00:0007:49 All Chelsea’s 2020/21 Champions League goals
Coach: Thomas Tuchel The coach took over last January and immediately went 14 games unbeaten. The former Mainz and Dortmund boss was a runner-up with Paris in 2020 before going one better with the Blues last season. His Midas touch is yet to desert him.
Key player: Jorginho The 2020/21 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year is a metronomic presence in midfield who more often than not dictates the tempo of his team and the match.
Did you know? The Blues had conceded just three goals in 12 Champions League games since Tuchel’s arrival before their 3-3 draw with Zenit on Matchday 6.
UEFA ranking: 24 Group D: runners-up (W3 D1 L2 F8 A5) Last season: group stage European Cup best: winners (1963/64, 1964/65, 2009/10)
Campaign in ten words: Strong defensively and creating plenty of opportunities but not clinical.
UEFA.com Inter reporter: Simone Inzaghi’s Inter may be less solid than Antonio Conte’s version, despite the same 3-5-2 system, but the Nerazzurri are certainly playing more attacking football compared with last season. They have missed an incredible number of chances, particularly against Real Madrid and Shakhtar. Should they become more clinical up front, they could go a long way.
Coach: Simone Inzaghi A Serie A and three-time Coppa Italia winner as a player with Lazio, the 45-year-old also brought a domestic cup to Rome during his five seasons in charge. From a tactical viewpoint, he is another exponent of the 3-5-2, like his predecessor Conte.
Key player: Marcelo Brozović The Croatian international has the perfect attitude in putting himself at the service of the team both defensively and going forward; indeed he often leads the ‘distance covered’ stats after a game. The key phases of play often go through him and he has the sort of mentality every coach loves. A real leader.
Did you know? European champions in 2010, Inter have reached the knockout stage for the first time in a decade.
UEFA ranking: 8 Group H: winners (W5 D0 L1 F10 A6) Last season: round of 16 (L on away goals vs Porto) European Cup best: winners (1984/85, 1995/96)
Campaign in ten words: Blend of impressive veterans and youngsters with potential; lacking consistency.
UEFA.com Juventus reporter: Massimiliano Allegri rejoined Juventus in May but he is still searching for the magic dust that carried the team to two finals during his first spell. Very inconsistent in Serie A, Juve were impressive with four wins in as many games to start their European campaign but the 4-0 loss at Chelsea on Matchday 5 brought the Bianconeri down to earth.
Coach: Massimiliano Allegri The 54-year-old returned to the bench with a mission after two sabbatical years. He steered Juve to the Champions League finals of 2015 and 2017 but lost on both occasions.
Key player: Federico Chiesa After tasting EURO glory with Italy, the winger is continuing his progression and turning into a real leader of this Juve team. He scored the only goal in the crucial victory over Chelsea in Turin.
Did you know? The Bianconeri have made the final five times since their last triumph in 1996 but are still waiting for a third success in the competition. No club have lost more finals than their seven defeats.
UEFA ranking: 3 Group B: winners (W6 D0 L0 F17 A6) Last season: quarter-finals (L 1-3agg vs Real Madrid) European Cup best: winners (1976/77, 1977/78, 1980/81, 1983/84, 2004/05, 2018/19)
Campaign in ten words: A perfect group stage facilitated by an in-form attacking unit.
UEFA.com Liverpool reporter: The Reds have left their challengers for dust, storming to the Group B summit without dropping a point. It’s not been plain sailing, though, as they have had to show some mettle to battle back against top-quality opposition in AC Milan and Atlético.
Coach: Jürgen Klopp Liverpool boss since 2015, Klopp guided the Reds to continental glory in 2018/19 and to their first English title in 30 years the next season. A striker turned defender at Mainz, he lifted two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund before heading to Anfield.0 seconds of 0 secondsVolume 0% Thiago’s sensational Liverpool strike
Key player: Mohamed Salah The Egypt forward has been the face of this Liverpool side since arriving from Roma in 2017. A star at Basel, he first landed in England with Chelsea in 2014, but has proved a major talent on Merseyside, his pace, intelligence and finishing helping him bag 32 Champions League goals for the club. He has seemingly gone up another notch this term.
Did you know? Liverpool have been European champions six times – more than any other English team. That is as many titles as Bayern, with Milan and Real Madrid the only sides to have won more.
UEFA ranking: 62 Group G: winners (W3 D2 L1 F7 A4) Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 32 (L 2-4agg vs Ajax) European Cup best: round of 16 (2006/07)
Campaign in ten words: Surprise French champions keen to cause more upsets in Europe.
UEFA.com LOSC reporter: After collecting two points from their opening three games, few would have expected LOSC to reach the last 16. Nevertheless, Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men eventually found their feet at this level, earning their first group stage win in nine years on Matchday 4 and building on that victory to clinch a first knockout round berth since 2006/07.
Coach: Jocelyn Gourvennec The boss made his name in six seasons with Guingamp, winning the French Cup for only the second time in their history in 2014. He had a second spell there following a stint at Bordeaux and returned to the touchline last summer after two years without a club.
Key player: Jonathan David The 21-year-old Canada striker was the most expensive player in LOSC’s history when he joined in August 2020 from Gent, and he truly began to deliver during the business end of the club’s French title charge last season. Even more prolific this term, David weighed in with vital goals on Matchdays 4, 5 and 6.
Did you know? This is just the second time in eight attempts that LOSC have advanced beyond the group stage.
UEFA ranking: 2 Group A: winners (W4 D0 L2 F18 A10) Last season: runners-up (L 0-1 vs Chelsea) European Cup best: runners-up (2020/21)
Campaign in ten words: Guardiola’s free-flowing outfit have been mesmerising to watch at times.
UEFA.com Man. City reporter: City have arguably taken their game to another level this season. They came so close to that elusive first title last term and Josep Guardiola has raised the bar once more as he chases a first Champions League triumph since 2011. When on song, their football is peerless.0 seconds of 45 secondsVolume 0%00:0000:45 Watch Man. City’s winner against Paris
Coach: Josep Guardiola One of the most decorated coaches in the game, the 50-year-old won this competition twice with Barcelona. He has scooped three league titles apiece at the helm of the Catalan club, Bayern and City.
Key player: Kevin De Bruyne The 30-year-old schemer passed 250 appearances for the club last season and remains a talismanic figure in their midfield despite the riches around him. He has endured something of a stilted campaign but remains key.
Did you know? Guardiola reached his eighth Champions League semi-final last season – the joint-most in the competition’s history alongside José Mourinho.
UEFA ranking: 9 Group F: winners (W3 D2 L1 F11 A8) Last season: group stage (UEFA Europa League runners-up) European Cup best: winners (1967/68, 1998/99, 2007/08)
Campaign in ten words: Ronaldo has brought salvation to a topsy-turvy season so far.
UEFA.com Man. United reporter: Jadon Sancho thumped home his first Red Devils goal to confirm their spot in the knockouts with a game to spare. In the midst of a turbulent Premier League campaign, United recovered from an opening-day upset against Young Boys to stabilise their European season at least.0 seconds of 2 minutes, 26 secondsVolume 0%00:0002:26 Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-gasp goals
Coach: Ralf Rangnick The 63-year-old ‘professor of football’ has replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjær as United’s interim manager until the end of the season. Having coached clubs including Hoffenheim and Schalke – whom he guided to the semi-finals in 2011 – Rangnick then oversaw Leipzig’s meteoric rise from fourth tier to Bundesliga and Europe’s elite.
Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo The Portuguese veteran has justified his summer return to Old Trafford, scoring six times in five group appearances. His last-gasp heroics against Villarreal and Atalanta secured United’s last-16 berth.
Did you know? United have been English champions a record 20 times, but have won only two major trophies – the 2015/16 FA Cup and the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League – since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after 27 years in charge.
UEFA ranking: 7 Group A: runners-up (W3 D2 L1 F13 A8) Last season: semi-finals (L 1-4agg vs Man. City) European Cup best: runners-up (2019/20)
Campaign in ten words: Star-studded team with huge potential still seeking the right balance.
UEFA.com Paris reporter: Despite coming second in their group to Manchester City, Paris remain among the chief contenders for the trophy. The 2019/20 runners-up have everything required to go one better this term – not least attacking talent aplenty in Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar – but they must improve their consistency in Europe and Mauricio Pochettino needs to find the best way to support his ‘MNM’ spearhead.0 seconds of 0 secondsVolume 0%00:0000:00 In the Zone: Paris’ counterattack against Leipzig
Coach: Mauricio Pochettino The brains behind Tottenham’s surprise run to the 2019 final, the Argentinian replaced Tuchel at the Paris helm in January 2020, some 20 years after signing for the club as a defender.
Key player: Kylian Mbappé Competing for the limelight with Messi, Neymar and Ángel Di María, the France starlet has been the main source of goals for Paris in this season’s tournament, providing devastating runs into the final third, assists and lethal finishes.
Did you know? When Paris overcame Bayern in the 2020/21 quarter-finals, it was the first instance in Champions League history of the previous season’s runners-up eliminating the holders in the knockout stage.
UEFA ranking: 5 Group D: winners (W5 D0 L1 F14 A3) Last season: semi-finals (L 1-3agg vs Chelsea) European Cup best: winners (1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2001/02, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18)
Campaign in ten words: Looking ominously back to their best after a shaky start.
UEFA.com Real Madrid reporter: Madrid’s strong form on the road – three wins, nine goals, none conceded – underpinned their progress. With Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior delivering the goods, the Merengues could afford a surprise stumble at home to debutants Sheriff. Madrid are where they want to be, and from here they’re always a threat.
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti The manager who steered Madrid to ‘La Décima’ in 2014 returned last summer for a second stint in charge. He is one of just three coaches to have won the European Cup/Champions League on three occasions.
Key player: Karim Benzema Many people wondered where Real Madrid’s goals would come from when Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2018, but the France forward has more than stepped up to the plate to become the club’s talisman. Fittingly, he scored Madrid’s 1,000th European Cup goal against Shakhtar earlier this campaign.
Did you know? Madrid have never failed to make it through the group stage of the Champions League.
UEFA ranking: 22 Group G: runners-up (W3 D1 L2 F8 A6) Last season: group stage (UEFA Europa League round of 32) European Cup best: group stage (1994/95, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22)
Campaign in ten words: Nerves jangled after a brilliant start, but potential is there.
UEFA.com Salzburg reporter: Salzburg looked to be cruising after taking seven points from their first three games, but faltered as they prepared to take the final step towards the knockouts. Results have not been quite as sparkling since November, but this exciting young team will be a force to be reckoned with once they regain their composure.
Coach: Matthias Jaissle It was a considerable surprise when Salzburg announced that a 33-year-old former Hoffenheim defender, who had never coached a top-flight team, would be their new boss last summer. He made the move up after two years in command of their U18s.
Key player: Karim Adeyemi The striker has big boots to fill but could be the next top-class forward to come off the Salzburg production line, after Patson Daka and Erling Haaland. The 19-year-old is quick, versatile and shows no mercy in front of goal. He has also worked his way into the senior Germany team.
One to watch: Luka Sučić What the 19-year-old midfielder lacks in experience, he makes up for in quality. Already a central component in Salzburg’s system, his success in the Champions League earned him a first cap for Croatia.
Did you know? Salzburg have made it to the round of 16 for the first time in their history; they reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1994, losing 2-0 on aggregate to Inter.
UEFA ranking: 28 Group C: runners-up (W3 D0 L3 F14 A12) Last season: UEFA Europa League play-offs (L 1-4 vs LASK) European Cup best: quarter-finals (1982/83)
Campaign in ten words: Mightily impressive recovery after September setbacks for vibrant young side.
UEFA.com Sporting reporter: The outlook was bleak after the Lions opened their first group stage in four years with back-to-back defeats but three straight wins – and big ones at that – saw them through to the knockouts for only the second time. Some debut campaign for 37-year-old coach Rúben Amorim.
Coach: Rúben Amorim The former Portugal midfielder masterminded Sporting’s first Liga title in 19 years during his first full season as coach. The Lions set a league record for the longest unbeaten sequence in a single campaign – 32 matches unbowed – and dispatched Braga in the League Cup final.
Key player: Pedro Gonçalves He had netted just seven career goals for Famalicão before joining Sporting in August 2020 but ended his first term in Lisbon as the league’s top scorer with 23. The 23-year-old started this campaign in similar form after winning his first two Portugal caps in June.
Did you know? Sporting had progressed from the group stage on only one of their eight previous attempts in the Champions League era.
UEFA coefficient ranking: 21 Group F: runners-up (W3 D1 L2 F12 A9) Last season: UEFA Europa League winners (W on penalties vs Man. United) Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (2005/06)
Campaign in ten words: Lack of a finisher nearly cost them a knockout place.
UEFA.com Villarreal reporter: The Yellow Submarine played some excellent football during the group stage, in particular dominating Manchester United for large swathes at Old Trafford. Gerard Moreno’s injury issues meant that they lacked a natural goalscorer, which cost them dearly on more than one occasion, but they got the job done.
Coach: Unai Emery The former Almería and Valencia coach made the Europa League his own with a hat-trick of successes at Sevilla. Led Paris to the treble in 2017/18 and Arsenal to a European final a year later, before joining Villarreal in summer 2020 – and promptly winning the Europa League again.
Key player: Arnaut Danjuma A summer arrival from the English second tier might not have had fans overly excited, but the Dutchman has been a revelation both domestically and in Europe for Villarreal, terrorising defences with his skill, pace and directness – as well as his eye for goal.
Did you know? Just under half of Villarreal’s 52,000 inhabitants can fit inside their 23,500-seater stadium.
Welcome to the final matchday of the Champions League group stage! Let’s have a quick look at what will happen in the final matches.
Game of the Week
Bayern Munich vs Barcelona
1, It proved to be a fantastic weekend for Bayern Munich who brushed aside great rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a chaotic ‘Der Klassiker’ showdown to move four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga standings. Here, they enter this clash with Barcelona, having already sealed top spot in UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group E after winning all five of their previous group stage matches, netting a whopping average of 3.8 goals per fixture.
2, That included a mammoth 3-0 away H2H victory at Camp Nou on matchday one, a result that extended their streak to three straight wins against Barça – the longest such streak suffered by the visitors against any opposition in European football history. Bayern have also won a remarkable 22 of their 23 prior UCL home group stage matches (D1), a run dating back to 2013/14, which will further increase confidence here.
3, A late 1-0 home defeat to Real Betis over the weekend was hardly ideal preparation for this crucial UCL clash for Barcelona, especially as that defeat ended their previous six-game run without a loss (W3, D3). Sitting two points clear of Benfica in second spot in Group E, only a victory here would guarantee that the Catalans would qualify for the knockout stages given their negative H2H record versus the Portuguese outfit.
4, That could prove an extremely tough task as Barcelona have now netted just four goals across their previous eight UCL clashes, whilst they’ve also failed to score more than once in a UCL match since December 2020 – their longest ever such run in competition history.
5, Players to watch: Bayern’s Thomas Müller loves this fixture as he’s scored seven goals in six previous UCL matches vs Barcelona, including the opener in the reverse H2H. Barça’s Ousmane Dembélé is expected to be fit for this match and has three goal contributions in four previous H2Hs with Bayern (G1, A2).
6, Hot stat: Bayern have scored two or more goals in their last 11 home UCL outings.
7, Apex prediction: Bayern 2-0 Barcelona
Miracle in Milan?
AC Milan vs Liverpool
1, Seven-time European champions AC Milan have a mountain to climb to advance to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), needing a win over six-time champions Liverpool to stand any chance. The footballing gods will ultimately decide their fate though, as whilst a draw in the Porto vs Atlético Madrid match would put Milan through (if they win here), a win for Porto would see Milan finish outside the top two, as would a win for Atlético if it came by a higher margin than any Milan victory.
2, The Serie A leaders could also finish last in Group B and fall out of European competition all together if they don’t show up ready for a war. But the ‘Rossoneri’ will have to find at least another gear here based on the fact they’ve lost five of their last six matches (W1) when English opposition have visited the San Siro in European competition (excluding qualifiers), notably failing to score in four of those defeats.
3, Liverpool will still be on a high after scoring a 94th minute winner over Wolves last time out, securing their fourth win ‘to nil’ in their last five games. Boss Jürgen Klopp has the luxury of rotating his squad should he wish given that their Round of 16 status is already guaranteed, although a win would make Liverpool the first English club to navigate the UCL group stages with a 100% record.
4, The ‘Reds’ have been marauders this UCL campaign, scoring first in all of their group games. Milan did give Liverpool a scare in the reverse fixture though, leading 2-1 at the break – the only time across Liverpool’s 22 games played this season that the Merseysiders trailed at half-time.
5, Players to watch: Milan could use some Franck Kessié magic here, as they’ve never lost when the midfielder has found the net (W26, D4), while Divock Origi’s heroics at the weekend could earn him a start, and his last six Liverpool goals have come away from home.
6,Hot stat: Milan have seen the opening goal arrive before the half-hour mark in 12 of their last 14 matches.
7, Apex prediction: Milan 2-1 Liverpool
‘Group of the Week’
1, For the first time since 2009, all four teams go into the final matchday with a chance of progression. That’s the case in Group G which features Lille, Salzburg, Sevilla and Wolfsburg who are fighting it out for two places.
2, While there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way, the situation is relatively straightforward. The top two (Lille and Salzburg) can secure qualification by avoiding defeat and they don’t play each other, while Sevilla and Wolfsburg in the chasing pack must win to stand any chance. But every team knows three points will see them through. Talk about perfectly poised.
3, Salzburg vs Sevilla: Amid a host of permutations in Group G, one thing is clear – the winner of this final UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage clash between Salzburg and Sevilla will advance to the knockout stages. After winning both of their two previous home games during this group stage, the advantage rests with the Austrians, who prepared for this clash with another home league victory to maintain their near-perfect home record in all 2021/22 competitions (W11, D1). Though Salzburg were declared warm favourites on all 12 of those occasions, it remains to be seen how they’ll rise to the additional challenge offered by Sevilla, having lost three of their last four games at home to Spanish opposition.
4, Wolfsburg vs Lille: Bottom-placed Wolfsburg will end the night either in the UCL last 16 for the first time since 2015/16 or eliminated from Europe entirely. Only a victory here can see them avoid the latter scenario, and while the reverse meeting on matchday one (D 0-0) showed their defensive resilience, it remains their last clean sheet in this competition, and their record since (W1, D1, L2) is poor.
1, Players to watch: With just five games under his belt, Ajax’s Sébastien Haller is the fastest player in UCL history to reach nine goals. Memorably, four of those goals came in the reverse fixture! While none of Paulinho’s six competitive goals this season have been crucial to the result, he has found the net in three of Sporting’s five UCL group games.
2, The seemingly unstoppable form of Ajax continued unabated over the weekend, as they swept aside Willem II 5-0 to make it ten games unbeaten (W8, D2). While this UEFA Champions League (UCL) fixture will undoubtedly pose more of a challenge, Ajax have their sights set on joining an elite group of only six other clubs to pick up maximum points in a UCL group stage.
3, Even though all four places are already set in stone in this group, it is unlikely that group winners Ajax will take their foot off the pedal here. Indeed, only Bayern Munich and Manchester City have scored more goals than Ajax’s 3.2 per match on average, while only UCL holders Chelsea can boast fewer goals conceded ahead of this final match day.
4, Feeling vengeful after their comprehensive 5-1 defeat in the reverse fixture, Sporting Lisbon arrive in Amsterdam after putting together a 12-game winning streak in all competitions. Yet, with the ‘Leões’ picking up just two wins across their last 12 UCL away games in the competition proper (D1, L9), they seem well deserving of pre-match underdog status.
5, Current winning run aside, the case for Sporting mainly lies in their solid away record on Dutch soil (W5, D1, L3). However, Sporting shouldn’t lack any motivation, after winning their last three UCL games at any venue, especially as they have never previously won four consecutive games in the UCL.
6, Hot stat: Ajax have scored at least twice in eight of their last ten UCL games.
7, Apex Prediction: Ajax 3-1 Sporting
Apex Predictions (FULL)
Real Madrid vs Inter
Real Madrid lead Group D by two points and come into this midweek welcome of Inter in superb form. Indeed, Los Blancos are on an 11-game unbeaten run and have won their last eight in all competitions. Inter, too, are unbeaten in 11 and a 3-0 win at Roma on Saturday extended their winning run to five games. They did lose the reverse fixture late on back in September and have lost their last three meetings with Real Madrid. A point is enough for Real Madrid to secure first and the pair could well play out a draw at the Bernabeu. So, Madrid 1-1 Inter?
Porto vs Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid are at the bottom of Group B but they can still finish second if they beat Porto and Liverpool beat Milan. However, they have lost their last three Champions League game and have only won three of their last 10 in all competitions in total. FC Porto are on point clear of both Atletico and AC Milan in Group B. A draw would be good enough here as long as Milan fail to beat Liverpool. Porto are winless across their last three away matches in the Champions League. So, Porto 2-1 Atletico?
Zenit vs Chelsea
Zenit have third place secured no matter what happens on Wednesday due to their superior head-to-head record over fourth place Malmo. Chelsea just need to match Juventus’ result in order to secure top spot but Thomas Tuchel’s side find themselves in a rut. Defeat at the weekend was only their first lose in 13 matches but there have been warning signs in recent weeks. Chelsea have conceded in each of their last three matches and injuries are starting to pick up for Thomas Tuchel’s side. While they remain favourites on Wednesday, they should expect a very tricky game against Zenit. So, Zenit 0-1 Chelsea?
Juventus vs Malmoe FF
Chelsea’s superior head-to-head record over Juventus means the Old Lady need to win here and hope Zenit can do them a favour in Russia. The Italian side have won back-to-back league matches, and have won six of their last eight at home. Malmoe FF have been the Group F whipping boys and it is now impossible for them to secure European football in the New Year. They have earned just one point from their five matches, but have won their last three away games. Nevertheless, this should be a routine home win for Juventus. So, Juve 3-0 Malmoe FF?
Atlanta vs Villarreal
Serie A side Atlanta must beat Villarreal to leapfrog the Spanish side into second place in Group F. Atalanta will finish bottom of the group if they fail to win on Wednesday and Young Boys beat Manchester United. Villarreal must avoid defeat to secure Champions League knockout football next year. Villarreal have lost their last three matches with top-flight clubs, while Atalanta are unbeaten in 10. So, Atlanta 2-1 Villarreal?
Benfica vs Dynamo Kyiv
Benfica know that if they beat bottom side Dynamo Kyiv and Barcelona fail to beat group winners Bayern Munich then they will finish second and qualify for the knock-out stage of the competition for the first time since 2016/17. Dynamo Kyiv are bottom of Group E and cannot improve on that. While Benfica will naturally think they should beat the worst team in the group, they did only manage a 0-0 draw with them in the reverse meeting and that result would see them finish third. So, Benfica 2-0 Kyiv?
Thank you for reading our Champions League predictions for the last matchday of the group stage, never forget to keep an eye on our football app ‘Apex Football’ to get one of the quickest livescore and match event pushes. Feel free to comment your ideas and feeling below in the comment area. Enjoy the Champions League!
The Egyptian scored twice as the Reds ultimately ran riot at Goodison Park, triumphing 4-1 to pile pressure on their former boss Rafael Benitez.
Next time you hear someone says the form book goes out the window in a derby match, you can tell them to be quiet!
It certainly didn’t here. All of Everton’s pre-match fears were realized, as Liverpool showed them at yes, there are indeed levels to this game.
Another game, another masterclass from Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian scoring twice as his side recorded a 4-1 win at Goodison which could and should have been even more comprehensive.
He’s the seventh-best player in the world, according to the Ballon d’Or voting. Nice joke, maybe? If there’s anyone better than Salah right now, then they’re keeping themselves well-hidden.
That’s 19 goals in this season in all competitions, and the Christmas decorations have only just gone up.
He got 44 in his first, record-breaking year on Merseyside; playing like this, he really should smash that total this time around.
He was backed up ably here, in fairness. Jordan Henderson, Liverpool’s skipper, was magnificent, scoring the first goal and setting up the second. A captain’s performance, if ever there was one.
Diogo Jota rounded off the scoring, and with a goal of elite class too, and at that point the home fans began to stream for the exits.
“You’re gonna boo in a minute,” came the taunts from the away end. They were right. The final whistle drew a loud chorus from those who had punished themselves by staying.
In the director’s box Bill Kenwright, the Everton chairman, and Marcel Brands, the director of football, were berated by supporters. It was not a pretty sight, or sound.
“Get him f***ing out of this club,” yelled one fan, then two, then more. “Write this in your report,” protested another. “This club is a joke, from top to bottom.”
Liverpool fans loved it, of course. “Rafa’s at the wheel,” they sang, echoing their taunting of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford in October.
Solskjaer has been sacked since that humiliation at the hands of the Reds, and it would be a surprise, to say the least, if Rafa Benitez was not following him to the Job Centre soon.
His Everton side, now without a win in eight games, were simply no match for an opponent that was sharper, quicker, more controlled and blessed with far greater quality in every single department.
Liverpool led by two inside 19 minutes, and it could have been five. Joel Matip and Salah had already missed chances by the time Henderson steered them ahead on nine minutes, a sumptuous left-foot finish from Andy Robertson’s pull-back.
Salah made it 2-0, racing onto Henderson’s pass and opening up his body to finish sublimely past Jordan Pickford in front of the Gwladys Street.
Some Everton fans rose from their seats at that point, and you could understand why. Liverpool looked rampant.
They let the hosts back in before half-time though, Demarai Gray left alone to beat Alisson from Richarlison’s fine pass. From nowhere, a lifeline. Goodison, at last, began to direct its passion in a positive manner. Their side, belatedly, began to press and harry and ask some questions.
Liverpool, though, had extra gears, and they used them ruthlessly after the break.
Nineteen minutes into the second half Seamus Coleman, the Everton captain, dallied on the ball on the halfway line and let in Salah, who simply ran away from the Irishman before slipping the ball past Pickford as if it were the easiest thing in the world. It was anything but.
Coleman beat the floor in frustration, as Salah celebrated in front of a jubilant away end, who let off a flare in delight.
There was more to come, Jota spinning sharply in the box to blast home high past Pickford 11 minutes from time, and had Liverpool been a little less charitable then the scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for Everton.
As it was, four will do, to go with the five they scored at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
These really are halcyon days for those Liverpool fans, some of whom invaded the pitch at the full-time whistle, hoping to nab one of their heroes’ shirts.
Nothing doing. Salah & Co made their way to the dressing room. Jurgen Klopp, grinning from ear to ear, delivered his trademark fist pumps; one, two, three.
His side, meanwhile, delivered their very own Fab Four.
Hey! The international break has finally gone, do you miss league games? Time to have a preview of key matches this weekend!
Liverpool vs Arsenal
20.11.2021 17:30 (utc)
Liverpool saw their 20-game unbeaten run in the top flight come to a sudden halt prior to the international break, going down 3-2 to West Ham. That makes welcoming opponents Arsenal to Anfield all the more enticing, with just two points separating them coming into the weekend, and as Liverpool’s last three league defeats have now come against London clubs!
The ‘Reds’ currently boast a nine-game unbeaten league home run (W5, D4), albeit having drawn their last two despite taking the lead in both games. The four points dropped in those two matches are as many as they surrendered from winning positions in their previous 23 league games at Anfield. A visit from Arsenal could therefore be the tonic for Liverpool to get back on track, as the Merseysiders have won the last five home league H2Hs, finding the net at least three times on all occasions. But Arsenal are one of the league’s most in-form teams at the moment as Mikel Arteta’s youth-oriented strategy finally seems to be uniting fans of the team. Their current eight-game unbeaten streak (W6, D2) is actually the longest of all PL clubs and you have to go back to August to December 2018 to find the last time they embarked on a longer top-flight run without defeat. After the hysteria surrounding starting the season with three defeats, the ‘Gunners’ have catapulted themselves to the cusp of the top four. They’ve kept three consecutive PL clean sheets on their travels and are now on the verge of securing four successive top-flight away shutouts for the first time since May 2005. That’s a big ask here though, as they’ve won only one of the last 12 league H2Hs against Liverpool (D4, L7), keeping one clean sheet in that time. Players to watch: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has seven goal contributions in five home PL games against Arsenal (G5, A2), whose in-form youngster Emile Smith Rowe has seen four of his six PL goals arrive in the first 30 minutes of play. Hot stat: Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s average of 2.18 points per game against Arsenal is the third-highest points per game ratio of all managers who have faced Arsenal 5+ times in the PL.
Match Facts & Betting Odds
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Liverpool’s last 8 games (Premier League). Over 2.5 goals 1.50 Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches (Premier League). Over 1.5 goals 1.16 Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Arsenal win or draw 2.62 Liverpool are undefeated in their last 10 home matches against Arsenal in all competitions. Liverpool win or draw 1.11 Liverpool are undefeated in their last 9 home matches (Premier League). Liverpool win or draw 1.11 Arsenal have won their last 3 matches (Premier League). Arsenal win 6.50 There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Arsenal’s last 3 away games (Premier League). Under 2.5 goals 2.62
Opera Football Prediction
Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season last time out before the international break, losing 3-2 away to West Ham in a thrilling game. Arsenal now hold the longest unbeaten run in the division as a result, eight games without defeat in the Premier League. Liverpool remain favourites but they haven’t been as solid at the back this season as normal. They are struggling to get the right balance in midfield without Gini Wijnaldum. Liverpool have won their last five home league matches against Arsenal but Mikel Arteta’s side will give them a tough game on current form. So, Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal
Leicester City vs Chelsea
20.11.2021 12:30 (utc)
Things aren’t quite right at Leicester City with their pre-season expectation to challenge the top four currently off-track as they languish in the bottom half of the Premier League (PL) standings. Compounding matters further for the hosts is the fact that manager Brendan Rodgers is heavily linked with a move away from the club, stirring further unrest amongst their ranks. An optimistic fan would point to Leicester beginning this weekend just five points off the top five and being unbeaten in five of their last six PL games (W2, D3, L1). However, if Rodgers’ record against high-flying Chelsea is anything to go by, this will be a tough afternoon for the hosts (W2, D8, L8) though those outings are usually tight affairs, with eight of the last ten producing two or fewer total goals.
The international break came at the perfect time for title-chasing Chelsea, who had dropped points for just the third time this season prior with a frustrating 1-1 home draw against Burnley. Boss Thomas Tuchel also had a lengthy list of injuries to contend with and the break has given those individuals time to step up their recovery efforts ahead of the PL return. Extremely solid when playing away, Chelsea have picked up 13 of a possible 15 points on their travels so far (W4, D1) and are one of just two unbeaten PL away sides, alongside Brighton. That form has been built on a solid defensive unit that has conceded just once across five PL away games this campaign. Players to watch: Leicester’s Patson Daka became the first Zambian to score in the PL after his strike here just last month, he also netted over the international break. Another player who scored for their country during the break was Chelsea and Germany star Kai Havertz; he’s led the line in the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Hot stat: No PL side has picked up fewer yellow cards than Chelsea’s 12 this season (1.09 per match on average).
Match Facts & Betting Odds
Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Chelsea win or draw 1.18 Chelsea have won their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Chelsea win1.75 Leicester have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches (Premier League). Over 1.5 goals1.30
Opera Football Prediction
Leicester are winless in three (D2, L1) and are already seven points adrift of fourth place. Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League but dropped points to Burnley last time out. Chelsea have only won one of their last four away to Leicester but will be considered favourites here.
So, Leicester 0-1 Chelsea.
Barcelona vs Espanyol
21.11.2021 20:00 (utc)
Club legend Xavi Hernández returns to Barcelona, but this time in the dugout, as he’s charged with turning around what is the club’s second lowest 12-game La Liga (LL) points tally in the 21st century. Their 3-3 draw (after being 3-0 up) against Celta Vigo before the international break extended Barça’s winless LL streak (D2, L2) and summed up the on-field problems and morale-sapping results that Xavi must now address.
The new boss couldn’t have chosen a better first game than the ‘Derbi Barceloní’, as Barcelona are unbeaten in 22 LL matches against city rivals Espanyol (W17, D5) – their longest-ever undefeated H2H streak against their derby foes. As Xavi plots a way to make the Nou Camp a fortress again, he’ll expect to extend Barcelona’s 11-game winning LL H2H home run. H2H history can only get you so far though, and what Espanyol have is improving form in their corner with three wins across six LL games (W3, D2, L1) – as many victories as they managed across their previous 25 LL fixtures. Three points here will actually propel Espanyol above Barcelona, and possibly heal some of the wounds of a 1-0 loss here back in July 2020 that relegated the visitors. Alternating between draw and defeat on the road since the start of the season (D3, L3), gaining a first win at the Nou Camp since February 2009 – a match that saw Barça boss Xavi play in midfield – seems a stretch of the imagination. However a stalemate would add to Espanyol’s H2H draw record of 38, which is more than they have recorded against any other LL opponent. Key battle: Barça’s Marc-André ter Stegen has gone six LL games without a clean sheet, but does have a joint-personal best of seven H2H LL clean sheets to his name. He will have to stop red-hot Raúl de Tomás who is looking to become only the second Espanyol player in the 21st century to score in six consecutive LL games. Hot stat: No side has seen more match goals (eight) beyond the 80th minute in LL home games than Barcelona.
Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions. Barcelona win or draw 1.08 Espanyol have failed to win their last 15 away matches (LaLiga). Espanyol lose or draw 1.08 Barcelona have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 4 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions. Under 2.5 goals 2.37 Barcelona have won 5 of their last 6 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions. Barcelona win 1.36 Espanyol have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 4 away matches (LaLiga). Over 1.5 goals 1.20
Opera Football Prediction
It has been a busy international break for Barcelona, who appointed legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez as their new head coach and brought back another favourite in Dani Alves, although the experienced full-back can’t play until January. Barca head into the derby with Espanyol in pretty poor form, and are currently ninth in the table. They blew a three-goal lead last time out against Celta Vigo to draw 3-3, conceding in stoppage time. Before that, they did manage beat Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, but even that followed a disappointing draw with Alaves in La Liga. Espanyol picked up an impressive 2-0 win last time out over a resurgent Granada thanks to goals from Raul de Tomas and Adria Pedrosa. It was an important response from Vicente Moreno’s men after suffering a defeat to bottom club Getafe. Espanyol have won three of their last six and only lost once, so they come into this game in very good form, although Xavi’s homecoming at Camp Nou has a Barcelona win written all over it. So, Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol
Watford vs Manchester United
20.11.2021 15:00 (utc)
Claudio Ranieri hasn’t quite enjoyed the ‘new manager bounce’ Watford fans were hoping for, winning just one of his four Premier League (PL) matches in charge (L3). This contributed to his side heading into the international break only two points above the drop zone, hardly ideal with Manchester United up next, especially as they’ve suffered more PL defeats against them than any other side (W2, L12). If the ‘Hornets’ are to get back on the right side of the results, then rediscovering their threat in front of goal will be key. They’ve failed to score in a joint league-high seven matches this season, a problem that’s amplified when you’re averaging 1.73 goals against per game. Yet it’s worth noting that they did win and bag 3+ goals in three of the four matches that they did score, suggesting any win could be via a thriller. With manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær still under mounting pressure, Manchester United won’t care how they win, just as long as they do. However, the ‘Red Devils’ boast only one PL success across their last six encounters (D1, L4), with those four defeats representing as many as they had in their previous 40 matches in the competition (W24, D12). Although the visitors hold a dominant H2H record against the hosts, recent issues overcoming newly-promoted sides will be causing Solskjær serious angst. United are winless in their last three PL matches against newly-promoted teams (D3) and could go four without a win in such matches for the first time since 1997! Players to watch: Josh King scored a hat-trick in Watford’s last goalscoring match, and he’s netted in two of his last three games vs United. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 20 goals in his last 14 league games against promoted teams. Hot stat: Watford are without a clean sheet in 21 PL matches, that’s their longest ever run without one in the top flight.
Match Facts & Betting Odds
Man Utd have won 15 of their last 17 matches against Watford in all competitions. Man Utd win 1.45 Man Utd are undefeated in 30 of their last 31 away matches (Premier League). Man Utd win or draw 1.11 Man Utd have been winning at both half time and full time in 7 of their last 8 matches against Watford in all competitions. Man Utd win/win 2.30 There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man Utd’s last 3 away games (Premier League). Over 2.5 goals 1.66 Man Utd have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 away matches (Premier League). Over 1.5 goals 1.20
Opera Football Prediction
Watford have lost three of Claudio Ranieri’s first four matches in charge. After a shock 5-2 win away to Everton, Watford have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Southampton and Arsenal. The international break came at the right time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though the pressure is still on. Supporters are quickly losing faith after a very bad start to the season. United have lost four of their last six in the Premier League and have generally struggled at Vicarage Road in recent times. United have conceded in each of their last seven matches away to Watford and only have two clean sheets in two of 11 league matches this season. It looks like they’ll have to do it the hard away again here. So, Watford 1-1 Man Utd
Manchester City vs Everton
21.11.2021 14:00 (utc)
Manchester City are one of just three clubs ever to successfully defend a Premier League (PL) crown, though only Manchester United have retained PL titles on more than one occasion. Yet, with City beating United themselves just before the international break, they will feel confident of building on that and keeping pace with the title race, especially after eight successive wins against opponents Everton across all competitions. After a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace late last month, City will target a strong start, as they last failed to win a PL home game after scoring in the opening 15 minutes back in September 2020. Another loss certainly seems unthinkable, with City never losing successive home league games in front of attending fans under Pep Guardiola (2016/17-present). Everton’s last game before the November international break (0-0 vs Tottenham) saw them record their first clean sheet since September 25. The same result would be a huge boost to the mid-table ‘Toffees’, though they’ve not kept successive PL clean sheets since May. Following a 5-0 defeat here on the final weekend of 2020/21, Everton’s last away win against City dates back to December 2010. That hoodoo looks set to survive, though neither of Everton’s last two away league clashes against a reigning champion (W1, L1) have seen them fail to cover a +1 handicap. Key battle: Man City’s Phil Foden scored in both league H2Hs last term, whilst four of his last six PL goals have been second in the overall order on the day. Though personally goalless since September 2017, former City man Fabian Delph may be a worthy foe for him in the centre of the park, after a strong performance against Spurs earlier this month. Hot streak: City’s last six PL wins by 2+ goals have seen them score inside the first 15 minutes.
Man City have won their last 8 matches against Everton in all competitions. Man City win 1.14 Man City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches against Everton in all competitions. Over 1.5 goals 1.14 Man City have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 home matches against Everton in all competitions. Over 2.5 goals 1.44 There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Man City’s last 3 home games (Premier League). Under 2.5 goals 2.75 Man City are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 matches (Premier League). Man City win or draw 1.02 Everton have failed to win their last 5 matches (Premier League). Everton lose or draw 1.02
Opera Football Prediction
Manchester City bounced back from a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace with an easy 2-0 win over Manchester United before the international break. They start the weekend 3 points behind the leaders Chelsea. Everton are winless in 5 league matches and have lost 3 times in that spell. They have won one of five away league matches this season. So, Man City 3-0 Everton
Tottenham vs Leeds
21.11.2021 16:30 (utc)
The weekend’s Premier League (PL) action concludes with what should be an entertaining 100th competitive clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United. Around 8,000 fans watched on as Tottenham won 2-1 in the first edition of this game at the old White Hart Lane back in 1925 and new manager Antonio Conte would surely take a repeat of that result here on what is his home league debut as Spurs boss. The highly-coveted Italian manager will be confident of getting his tenure off to a flyer as he won at least once against each of the 53 teams he faced across his prior Serie A and PL appointments. However, he will need to get Tottenham scoring in order to achieve that feat in what will be his first meeting with Leeds, as only Norwich have netted fewer than their nine PL goals this term while they are now without a goal in three straight league games! Leeds are another side desperately struggling for goals, as only Tottenham and Norwich have scored fewer than their 11 in the league so far. As a consequence, there’s already been unwanted talk of ‘second-season syndrome’ at the club as their cult hero manager Marcelo Bielsa looks to steer the off-colour ‘Lilywhites’ away from the relegation dogfight. While Leeds gained a confidence boost when winning their first away league game of the season at rock-bottom Norwich, the quality of the opponents there will leave fans under no illusions that they should temper their expectations here. They may well score as they did in five of the last seven away H2Hs, though victory in this game would be their first at Spurs since 2001 (D1, L4 since). Players to watch: Harry Kane should return to Spurs full of confidence after scoring seven goals in two games across the international break for England. Meanwhile, Leeds forward Rodrigo has scored twice in his three career appearances against Tottenham, both coming in 3-1 victories. Hot stat: Tottenham haven’t had a shot on target in two straight PL games.
Opera Football Prediction
Tottenham failed to have a shot on target for the second league game running in their 0-0 draw at Everton prior to the international break but will be confident of getting back among the goals when they welcome a Leeds side that has conceded 18 times to north London. The Whites secured an important victory in their last away game, returning to Yorkshire from Norwich with all the spoils. However, they are winless in their last five trips to Spurs, losing four, including a 3-0 defeat here at the beginning of the year. Antonio Conte will have worked those not on international duty hard at Hotspur Way and as he aims to get his ideas across, Spurs could make it two wins from three under their new boss in Sunday’s afternoon encounter. So, Tottenham 2-1 Leeds
Wolves vs West Ham
Wolverhampton Wanderers will be itching to return from the international break to right some wrongs after forfeiting their five-game undefeated streak (W4, D1) in the Premier League (PL) by losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace last time out. In hindsight though, even Wolves will be happy with their recent recovery after a shaky start to the season, and it seems consistency is eventually paying off after using just 18 different players in the league, the joint fewest of any team. Boss Bruno Lage and his men will likely be happy to return to Molineux after winning their last two home PL fixtures, as many as they’ve managed in the nine such fixtures prior (L7). They now chase a hat-trick of home top-flight league victories for the first time since November 1980. They’ll welcome current PL high-flyers West Ham who must still be on cloud nine after their 3-2 win over Liverpool before the international hiatus put them into third place. That monumental win was their fourth PL victory in a row – the longest winning streak in the league – and they’ll now aim to win five PL games on the bounce for the first time since February 2006. The ‘Hammers’ have been breaking down doors on their travels lately, as their current 11-game unbeaten streak away from home in all competitions (W8, D3) is their longest ever undefeated away run as a top-flight club. They did the league double over their hosts last season, which was their first time doing so since 1922/23 – the same season in which West Ham last won back-to-back away league matches at Wolves! Players to watch: Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez has seen 14 of his last 17 PL goals arrive in the second half, while West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen scored three goals in the two PL H2H matches last season, and has now averaged a goal every 77 minutes vs Wolves across three PL H2Hs. Hot stat: No side has scored more set-piece goals (excluding penalties) than West Ham’s six this PL campaign.
Match Facts & Odds
West Ham have won their last 4 matches (Premier League). West Ham win 2.40 Wolves have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches against West Ham in all competitions. Over 1.5 goals 1.33
Opera Football Prediction Wolves’ five-game unbeaten streak came to an end last time out in a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. Wolves are yet to keep a clean sheet at home in the Premier League this season. West Ham have won six of their last seven after beating Liverpool 3-2 before the break. With six goals conceded over their last three games, West Ham are not watertight at the back either. Nine goals have been scored across the last two meetings between the sides so we should expect another entertaining affair here. So, Wolves 1-2 West Ham?
For more details and match live scores, please focus us on our App ‘Opera Football’. You can easily subscribe to a team or match to get the very first update of match events.
If you want to read any other teams you like, kindly comment in the area below, we will surely update it next week.
Have a super nice weekend together with opera football!