The UEFA Champions League kicks off this mid-week and we hope to add this mid-week football excitement to our calendars to keep us entertained every week.
Juventus travel to Monchengladbach after coming of a great morale boosting victory with a 94th minute victory in the Serie A; and will be hoping to replicate some similar performances tonight against their rivals in this group and are also coming into this game in good form.
The game between the 2 teams landed up being a 0-0 draw 2 weeks ago and since then Juventus has won 2 games and lost 1 since then. Juventus need to win games now to show their fans confidence in their performances. Juventus has lost Tevez, Llorente, Vidal and Pirlo but have signed some good able replacements in Mandukic, Dybala, Cuadrardo, Hernanes and Khedira to give them enough support to keep up a challenge on both domestic and European fronts. The front 3 of Morata, Manduzkic and Cuadrado will be up front to inject some pace into this game as they aim to push on for an early goal to put pressure on Gladbach.
Gladbach have gone on a tearing run in their last 3 games scoring goals 9 goals in that duration led by Raffael and Stindl to get them back into 5th spot in the Bundesliga. They will now have to turn all their attention to the Champiosn League knowing that tonight’s game is win or go home as they sit rock bottom of their group table with 1 point from 3 games. Gladbach know that they have the home crowd support and will need to put on a show with an early goal to keep pressure on the Old Lady who just 6 months ago were in the finals of the Champions League.
Both teams know that the result is vital today, Juventus to get them to the 10 point safety mark with games against tough Sevilla and Man City to come; as well as Gladbach to survive in this competition; so this should be a high scoring editing contest.
Atletico Madrid travel away to Astana after beating the same team by a score of 4-0 in the home leg 2 weeks ago. Atletico Madrid have since gone on to maintain their momentum, winning 1 and drawing 1 of the games that they have played since then. Madrid will know that victory in this game, and in particular to blow up their goal difference is extremely important in case it lands up being a 3 way tie between themselves, Benfica and Galatasary.
Madrid rely a lot up front on Greizmann, who is generally given a free role, and this freedom has seen him net 4 goals this campaign, well on his way to replicate the 22 goal haul from last season. He is partnered up front with either Martinez or Torres, both of whom have gotten off to reasonable starts this campaign. They also have Correa and Vietto to call up from the bench in case additional firepower is needed. The midfield of Madrid is particularly a good one assembled with Koke, Tiago, Carrasco and Gabi.
Astana have the pressure of their domestic league to worry about, as they go into the last day of the season with a 1 point lead in hand and the title will be decided this weekend, so distraction could be elsewhere. Astana will try and put in a good performance for the fans, but securing that domestic title for a 2nd year straight and qualify for the Champions League qualifiers are extremely important for them. They might rest a few players as they did in the previous round against Madrid which saw them getting thrashed by 4 goal margin. They sit at the bottom of this group with just 1 point from 3 games, and looks really difficult for them to gather enough points even to qualify for the Europa League with 3 better teams above them.
I think Atletico should win this game comfortably, and if they win only by 2 goals we get a refund.