Home and Dry Chelsea Host Dinamo Zagreb
Meanwhile, their Croatian counterparts cannot qualify for the last 16 but are still in with a chance of grabbing the consolation prize of Europa League football.
Graham Potter has taken to the Champions League like a duck takes to water, and Chelsea’s place in the knockout rounds was sealed with a 2-1 win over Red Bull Salzburg last week thanks to two stunners from Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz either side of the break.
Now three points clear of AC Milan at the top of the section, Chelsea are guaranteed to progress to the knockout stages as group winners given their superior head-to-head record over the Italian champions, and Potter will welcome the chance to prioritize next weekend’s Premier League showdown with Arsenal.
While that humbling at the hands of Brighton was a shock to the system for Chelsea, Dinamo Zagreb have flattered to deceive themselves in recent weeks and cannot rely on fond memories of their earlier win over the Blues to get them over the line.
A wealth of changes can be expected on the hosts’ end, but the importance of a confidence-boosting win before hosting Arsenal cannot be underestimated, and we have faith in Potter’s sight to rectify Saturday’s mistakes and progress to the last 16 on a high.
PSG aim for top spot as the travel to face Juventus
The final whistle cannot come quickly enough in Europe for Massimiliano Allegri‘s eliminated side, while the visitors are still vying for top spot with Benfica.
PSG’s defensive coaches have had their work cut out for them in recent weeks, but thankfully for Christophe Galtier, his celebrated attacking triumvirate have ignored the outside noise surrounding all of their off-field endeavours to continue their remarkable run in front of goal.
Lionel Messi‘s contract, Kylian Mbappe‘s future and Neymar‘s recent legal troubles have all been new episodes in the ongoing PSG soap opera, but the trio were on song in last week’s 7-2 thumping of Maccabi Haifa, which confirmed Les Parisiens’ place in the knockout rounds.
PSG cannot always rely on their talented forward line to drag them out of trouble, but Juventus are in big trouble themselves, with Allegri’s injury crisis worsening by the week.
PSG can expose a weakened Juventus XI themselves to finish first and leave the Old Lady at risk of no European football after the World Cup.
The Citizens have already qualified for the last 16 as group winners, while the visitors will drop down into the Europa League knockout rounds after securing third spot.
Manchester City are one of only five teams in this season’s Champions League who are yet to lose in the group stage, with victories in their first three matches followed by successive goalless draws against Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund.
Both sides will have more important fixtures to prioritise in the coming weeks before the World Cup than Wednesday’s clash, and neither team is expected to be at full strength here.
Man City boss Guardiola has confirmed that Haaland will not be involved on Wednesday as he recovers from “ligament damage”.
Nevertheless, Man City will still be regarded as favourites with their superior squad depth and they should have enough quality to come away with a routine victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Real Madrid look to seal top spot in Group F
Los Blancos lost their first competitive game since April as they fell to RB Leipzig last Tuesday, and also stumbled to Girona on the weekend in LaLiga, while their Scottish visitors won comfortably at Livingston after their Champions League fate was confirmed in midweek.
It is not often that we see Carlo Ancelotti quite as animated as he was after the final whistle on Sunday afternoon, as his Real Madrid side dropped points for just the second time this season in LaLiga, following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Girona.
With top spot still to guarantee in the group, and with incentive to bounce back from a mini-slump, expect to see a professional performance from the hosts, as they welcome the 52-time Scottish champions to the Spanish capital.
After a slight blip from Ancelotti’s men, we expect a professional performance here to get the job done in the Champions League.
Los Blancos need a win to secure top spot, while Celtic are playing for nothing but pride, so we can see a solid, if unspectacular, win for the talent-stacked hosts.
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