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AMUNEKE’S UCL VERDICT

AMUNEKE’S UCL VERDICT

Roma vs Manchester City
This tie is could go either way. Both teams need something from this encounter and they have the quality to get them. My fear for Manchester City is how well they’ll approach this game. If City attack Roma like the way they have been playing all season, they might end up playing in the Europa League but if they play expansive football, they could stretch Roma who haven’t look good in defence.

The loss of Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero is a big blow to them going forward and I don’t Vincent Kompany will be fully fit to lead the charges in Rome. Manuel Pellegrini needs his players to show character in this game to cage the counter-attacking Roma side that has flourished with the likes of Gervinho, Miralem Pjanic and Totti pulling the strings in midfield.

Having said all, they still need a favour from Bayern who must win for them to advance so even if they get the job done, they must pray CSKA don’t pull any shock surprise at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munchen vs CSKA Moskva
Bayern Munich have nothing to play for but pride, records and maybe UEFA points and a tidy million euros in prize money as they host CSKA Moscow in their final Champions League group game.

The Bavarians easily sealed top spot in the so-called tough group by many of us but against CSKA they are yet to lose or drawn to the Russians which seems like a glimmer of hope for either Manchester City or Roma. CSKA will perhaps take some consolation from the current arctic weather in Munich with temperatures expected to be around the freezing mark at kickoff.

Barcelona Vs PSG
Barcelona currently sit just one point behind PSG in Group F and the Catalans know that only a win will see them progress as group winners. The Liga giants are most likely to go all out against their French counterparts and can take solace in that they have won all but one of their home competitive games this season.

PSG need only to avoid defeat to secure top spot and it’s crucial Laurent Blanc remind his players of the task at hand. The Parisian side are yet to taste defeat in all competitions this season and will know what to expect when they travel to Camp Nou tonight.This has all the makings of an entertaining affair with goals at either end, though the final result could favour PSG, especially if Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes with a point to prove to his former employers.

Ajax vs APOEL
Were Ajax not to claim a victory from this encounter, it would be the first time in the Dutch club’s history that they have failed to win any of their six Champions League group outings. They have just the Europa spot battle.

Chelsea vs Sporting CP
Having already secured progress to the last 16 as winners of Group G, Chelsea face a Sporting Lisbon who need a point to clinch their own qualification. And that could be achievable if Jose Mourinho decides to rest his big stars which I believe he will to keep the squad fresh for the busy festive period. But irrespective of the players Chelsea field, they will be difficult to beat most especially at Stamford Bridge.

Maribor vs Schalke 04
Schalke go into their final Group G encounter knowing that a win, coupled with a Sporting defeat against leaders Chelsea, will see them into the knockout stage but on a ground where Chelsea and Sporting have failed to pick up wins, Roberto Di Matteo must be wary of Maribor.

The Slovenian outfit are out of the running to progress from the pool but will gain a Europa League spot with victory at the Ljudski vrt.

Di Matteo will be hoping to end his Chelsea hoodoo of failing to guide the Blues from group stage of the competition despite leading them to glory in 2012. Since their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea last time out in the Champions League, Schalke have put eight past Mainz and Stuttgart. It’s going to be close.

Porto vs Shakhtar Donetsk
There will be little more than pride to play for when Porto host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio do Dragao this evening. The two sides have already booked their places in the knockout stages with the five-point margin between the pair ensuring that Porto have already won the group, irrespective of the outcome of this encounter. So they’ll both play a relaxed football.

Athletic Club vs BATE
Its going to be a tale of battle for (crumbs) survival. Athletic Bilbao and BATE will hope to and secure third spot in UEFA Champions League Group H. Both teams have not been impressive ,winning just one of their five matches since overcoming Napoli in qualifying round.

BATE’s domestic season finished at the end of November, with the champions extending their record unbeaten run to 31 league games so an adventure in the Europa League won’t be a bad finish for the Belarusian champions.

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