Whilst Manchester United are sitting pretty at the top of their group, some of Europe’s biggest footballing names are up against it in matchday five of this season’s UEFA Champions League.
Serie A leaders Napoli head into their game with Shakhtar Donetsk knowing only a win will keep the door slightly open for their qualification hopes.
Napoli have chosen to focus on the Scudetto this season and, as a result, have not hit the same highs in Europe as Sarri’s men have shown at the top of their league. They lost to their Ukranian opponents in the return fixture, and a draw for Shahktar will be enough for them to qualify. Napoli will be looking to the likes of Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne to lead the side from the brink of elimination.
Borussia Dortmund are woefully out of form currently and Atletico Madrid have been struggling to score in recent matches, and both teams need victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Roma to have any hope of making it through to the next round.
Tottenham Hotspur are already through and will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat in the North London Derby to Arsenal at the weekend. Roma, fresh from winning their Derby della Capitale 2-1 against Lazio, only need a draw to knock out Atletico Madrid who drew 0-0 with their city rivals Real on Saturday night.
Juventus, surprisingly beaten at the weekend, need all three points at home to in-form Barcelona to smooth their passage to the knockout rounds.
Barca will win the group if they get a point in Turin, and Juventus know full well that Sporting CP are breathing down their necks looking to grab second spot in the group. Barcelona will have been relieved to see Luis Suarez finding the back of the net twice against Leganes on Saturday and will hope he can carry that form forward. As mentioned, Juve will be keen to avenge their loss at the weekend that sees them continue to trail Serie A leaders Napoli.
Elsewhere, in Group A Basel and CSKA Moscow will be hoping to get positive results and claim second place behind Manchester United. Group B is done and dusted in terms of qualification, both Bayern and PSG will progress and all that remains is who finishes top. A point for Chelsea in Group C sees them through and Liverpool’s clash with Sevilla in Group E will decide who tops that pile. FC Porto and RB Leipzig both have a chance of qualifying from Group F behind Besiktas, but with Leipzig playing out of form Monaco they are just about favourites to make it to the knockout stages.