- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On November 2, 2011
- 0 Comments
- 2011/12 UCL
By Geoff Reid
Bayern Munich vs Napoli from the Allianz Arena, Munich
The Bavarian giants have been in such great form as of late, their manager Juup Heynckes believes that today’s visitors from Italy should set up to counter attack them, and that’s a fair point. Bayern have won 13 out of their last 16 games, and scoring 44 goals in the process, while only conceding three in return. The staggering fact is most of those 13 games have been without Dutchman Arjen Robben who is still out injured due to a groin injury. While Napoli sit second in this tough group, they didn’t have the best of warm-ups to this one on the weekend by losing 2-1 away to Catania, even though five starters were rested ahead of this tie.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Napoli
Villarreal vs Manchester City from the Estadio El Madrigal, Villarreal
The La Liga side have not had the best of season’s this term, and of course news got worse recently with New Jersey born striker Giuseppe Rossi being out injured until at least April with a torn ACL. Other players do have injuries, and manager Juan Carlos Garrido has said his team need to play the match of their lives if they are to get anything from a Manchester City side who are in top form currently. Roberto Mancini’s side are on a tear, and sit comfortable atop of the Premiership, and have a five point lead over neighbors United. They did get off to a slow start in this tournament though, but are still right in the mix and another win over the yellow submarine would go a long way to challenging for a place in the next round.
Prediction: Villarreal 1-3 Manchester City
Trabzonspor vs CSKA Moscow from the Huseyin Avni Aker, Trabzon
After a 3-0 defeat in the Russian capital in match day three, Trabzonspor manager Senol Gunes is confident ahead of today’s clash that his side can turn the tables and break away from CSKA. Both sides have actually surprised so far because it was suppose to be the French champions Lille that were to challenge Inter Milan in the group, but this has been a pleasant change. Both sides warmed up with wins over the weekend in their respective leagues, so this one will be interesting to keep an eye on.
Prediction: Trabzonspor 1-0 CSKA Moscow
Inter Milan vs Lille from the San Siro, Milan
The 2009/10 champions have had a rough season domestically so far, and losing to arch rival Juventus over the weekend will not have sat well for the club, and manager Claudio Ranieri. Inter have also had a few injuries to deal with this term to key players, so some see this team currently as a wounded animal ready to get unleashed. Lille themselves have not lost an away match since last season on April 9th. A side who was favored to challenge for top spot in this group, the Ligue 1 champions are a young side who are learning how to compete on both fronts after their title win last season.
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 Lille
Manchester United vs Otelul Galati from Old Trafford, Manchester
Sir Alex Ferguson has a lot of respect for the Romanian champions, who said are very organized after their previous meeting a fortnight ago when United won 2-0. When the groups were drawn, it was almost a forgone conclusion the red devils would dominate Group C, but that hasn’t been the case. United currently sit second behind Benfica, and some would way were lucky to draw at home to Basel 3-3. Galati manager Dorinel Munteanu said that a draw today would be a dream for his team, which would give them their first Champions League point in their history.
Prediction: Manchester United 4-0 Otelul Galati
Benfica vs Basel from the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon
With a win today, Benfica will book their place in the last 16 in the new year. Manager Jorge Jesus is serving a suspension, so he won’t be at the stadium for this one, but is confident it shouldn’t be a problem. Two weeks ago, Benfica beat Basel 2-0 away in Switzerland, and the squad as a whole are confident they can repeat the same result on their own patch. The Swiss champions Basel have to give themselves credit for staying in touching distance of the top two spots in the group. They’ll at least qualify for the Europa League, but they won’t be satisfied with just that.
Prediction: Benfica 1-0 Basel
Lyon vs Real Madrid from the Stade de Gerland, Lyon
When these teams met on the last match day, Real Madrid ran away with a 4-0 victory in the Spanish capital. A defeat for the home side today will not go down well in Lyon, and will put them in a very tough position which is something they haven’t grown used to over the last number of years in this tournament. The galactico’s just need a point from this tie to all but guarantee themselves a place in the knockout round in the spring.
Prediction: Lyon 2-3 Real Madrid
Ajax vs Dinamo Zagreb from the Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam
Ajax know what they have to do, and a win with a Real Madrid win would put the Dutch giants in pole position of second place in Group D. Manager Frank de Boer says his side should go with their usual 3-4-3 formation in this one that has served them so well over the years, while Dinamo on the other hand are just happy to be in Amsterdam. Seeking their first points in the group, Zagreb pulling off an upset would really shake things up in this group, and would be blown wide open.
Prediction: Ajax 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb