- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On November 22, 2011
- 0 Comments
By Geoff Reid
Bayern Munich vs Villarreal from the Allianz Arena, Munich
After losing on the weekend at home to rival Borussia Dortmund, Bayern manager Juup Heynches believes it’s good for his team to have this came only three days later. He believes the mistakes that cost them on Saturday have been corrected in training, and are drilling into his side to respect Villarreal tonight. The bad news is they are missing Bastian Schweinsteiger who is out with a broken collarbone until mid December, but the good news is Arjen Robben is back from injury and completed 72 minutes on Saturday. The aim for Villarreal is to possibly get two wins from these last two games, and with luck see if they can reach the Europa League, but that looks highly unlikely.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Villarreal
Napoli vs Manchester City from the Stadio San Paolo, Naples
With Bayern likely end up winning the group, the battle will be for second place currently occupied by the Premier League leaders, but the Italian hosts are only two points behind City going into this home fixture against them. Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri believes nobody gave his side a chance when the group was drawn which was a massive mistake because they are a good them who are unlike the traditional Italian side and are very good going forward. The citizens on the other hand will have all the pressure on them just with the amount of money Roberto Mancini has spent as City boss the last few years. Minus Carlos Tevez for obvious reasons, everyone else should be available for selection, and this one has potential to be a cracker.
Prediction: Napoli 2-3 Manchester City
CSKA Moscow vs Lille from the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
With both clubs needing a win for different reasons, this might be an attacking game from the start. The home side are joint second on five points with Trabzonspor and Lille sit at the bottom on two points, and will be looking to cement their place in the last 16. The problem is CSKA are without their top scorer Seydou Doumbia who is suspended, so Brazilian veteran Wagner Love is likely to fill the void. For the French champions, to say their backs are against the wall are an understatement. Not only do they need a win to keep any hopes of European football alive, let alone Champions League hopes, they were late arriving in the Russian capital due to fog. They’ve struggled to adapt to playing on two fronts with league play as well as Europe, but they’re also a young team, and whatever happens this season, manager Rudi Garcia believes this experience will only help his squad for the future.
Prediction: CSKA Moscow 2-1 Lille
Trabzonspor vs Inter Milan from Huseyin Avni Aker, Trabzon
Senol Gunes, manager of Trabzonspor believes if his side can beat Inter again and qualify for the knockout rounds will be like a gold medal but with the Italian side wanting to complete their qualification for the last 16, this one should be very tight. Inter manager Claudio Ranieri knows if they can get a win in this fixture, they can then concentrate on moving up the Serie A table until the knockout stages start in the new year.
Prediction: Trabzonspor 1-2 Inter Milan
Otelul Galati vs Basel from National Arena, Bucharest
In a group that has been tighter then anyone predicted, this one is a must win for both, although the home side’s chances of staying in European competition are extremely slim currently sitting bottom of the group and not one point collected. If anything, it’s been a learning experience for the Romanian champions. Basel will be okay with a draw, but manager Heiko Vogel doesn’t see it that way. The Swiss champions believe they still can upset the odds and knock either Manchester United or Benfica out of the Champions League, so a win as a must.
Prediction: Galati 0-2 Basel
Manchester United vs Benifca from Old Trafford, Manchester
Both of these teams sit on eight points at the top of the group, and a lot is on the line for these European giants. Historically, these clubs have faced off in this competition when it matters, and this will be no different. United are currently on a five game winning streak and staying tight after the back ever since they let in six against arch rival Manchester City. United will be the favorites here, but Benfica have a plan, or at least manager Jorge Jesus says his side does and as long as they stick to it in defense and attack, their belief is they should win.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Benfica
Lyon vs Ajax from the Stade de Gerland, Lyon
After the draw was made for the group stages, Lyon along with Real Madrid were favored to qualify from this one, but right now it’s the Dutch champions that sit ahead of Lyon in second place. Both of these clubs still have their fate in their own hands, and Lyon believes that’s something that favors them here. Both sides lost on the weekends domestically, and maybe with one eye on this match was the reason why, but Ajax manager Frank de Boer doesn’t believe that. If they do get what they need to do, they need to concentrate for 90 minutes and they ended up conceding two goals in the last five minutes on the weekend which can’t happen again.
Prediction: Lyon 2-2 Ajax
Real Madrid vs Dinamo Zagreb from the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
With the Spanish giants already through to the next phase of the competition, the only thing on the line is solidifying top spot in the group, and Dinamo trying to earn their first points and possibly qualify for the Europa League. Real boss Jose Mourinho will probably rest a lot of his usual starters, and that’s why Dinamo manager Krunoslav Jurcic believes his side can get their first points in the group.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb