VAVEL's Gameweek 6 Champions League Predictions
ROME, ITALY - DECEMBER 07: Pepe Reina of SS Lazio during the press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F stage match between SS Lazio and Club Brugge KV at the Formello sport center on December 07, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images)

In the most intense group stages ever in the history of the UEFA Champions League we approach the climax of the group stage looking ahead to the sixth and final round of fixtures.

There are plenty of narratives to look out for, can Real Madrid and Manchester United qualify amongst many others? Can Borussia Mönchengladbach hold on? Read my predictions below ahead of this week's games and see what you think.

 

Game of the week 

Group H - RB Leipzig vs Manchester United: 20:00, Red Bull Arena (BT Sport 2HD)

Group H may be the last one on the list alphabetically but make no mistake the much perceived 'group of death' has lived up to expectations. The three horse race between RB LeipzigParis Saint Germain and Manchester United has been great with all of those teams beating one another. 

With the worst head-to-head record the pressure is on RB Leipzig to get a victory in Tuesday's game as anything else is unlikely to be enough to see them qualify. Their confidence will have been lifted with a last gasp win in Turkey last week but will still be ruing the chances wasted against PSG. They will take confidence from their earlier victory against PSG at the Red Bull Arena and their semi-final run last season. 

As for Man United their inconsistency has continued, whereas earlier in the season they were getting results in Europe and not domestically their fate seems to have reversed. They have now picked up consecutive wins whilst a slump in the Champions League with just one win in three means they have taken it to the very last game. Although they sit top due to goal difference at the moment a win for PSG will mean the standings will be separated by head-to-head records once again and they will go top. I suspect the Red Devils may be able to just about do enough to finish second. 

Prediction: 2-2

Tuesday

Group E - Chelsea vs FK Krasnodar: 20:00, Stamford Bridge (BT Sport 3HD)

Chelsea have won their group and their season is really beginning to pick up. A superb four-goal-haul from frontman Olivier Giroud saw off Sevilla in devastating style, expect many changes to be made by coach Frank Lampard and we may see a rare start for young talent Billy Gilmour

As for FK Krasnodar although they are set to depart the Champions League they have secured qualification to the Europa League via third spot. A fine achievement for a Russian side doubted by most and expect them to give a much-changed Chelsea side a run for their money in what should be an open game.

Prediction: 3-2

Group E - Stade Rennais vs Sevilla: 20:00, Roazhon Park (BT Sport Extra 3)

Many were excited for the exciting pair of coach Julien Stéphan and Eduardo Camavinga to feature in Europe this season both highly rated and young in respect to their positions at the club. It is safe to say Stade Rennais have looked  out of their depth in this competition and with a defeat to Krasnodar last time out the one positive they can take is at least a small proportion of their fans got to see them play. 

For Sevilla, after looking like they had recovered from a slump earlier on in their season only to suffer a damaging couple of defeats to Chelsea and Real Madrid in their past two games. It must be noted that they were not favourites for either but they will look to get back to winning ways despite qualification already being assured. 

Prediction: 0-2

Group F - Lazio vs Club Brugge: 17:55, Stadio Olimpico (BT Sport 1HD)

Lazio never seem to want to make their life to season for themselves. Falling a goal behind last week against Borussia Dortmund before an equaliser kept themselves second in the group ahead of a decisive match against Club Brugge. The last time they played the Belgian side it was away from home and with a depleted side due to Covid and they still managed a draw so I expect them to go one step further and secure all three points. 

Prediction: 1-0 

Group F - Zenit St. Petersburg vs Borussia Dortmund: 17:55, Group F (ESPN HD)

It has been safe to say Zenit St. Petersburg have been one of the most underwhelming teams in the competition this season. Having suffered a damaging home defeat in Gameweek 1 versus Club Brugge they never really recovered and sit bottom on just a solitary point. 

As for Borussia Dortmund, they have secured qualification with their draw versus Lazio but still have something to play for here to finish in first place. With Erling Braut Haaland out of the side his absence was keenly felt in a draw at the weekend but against a team so poor in Europe this season they will fancy their chances of picking up the victory.

Prediction: 0-2

Group G - Barcelona vs Juventus: 20:00, Nou Camp (ESPN HD)

On paper any game between two European heavyweights such as Barcelona and Juventus should be a must watch. The reality of it may be that Barcelona's heavy defeat of Juventus in Turin means they will need to lose by four not to finish first. Given their return leg blues in Europe of recent seasons I would not necessarily rule it out.

That being said, Juventus' form has not been where it should be. They did narrowly overcome city rivals Torino with a late comeback victory in the derby last Saturday. Their vulnerabilities against bigger teams this season have been noted and I do not think will have been addressed since the weekend. 

Prediction: 2-1

Group G - Dynamo Kyiv vs Ferencvaros: 20:00, NSK Olimpijs'kyj (BT Sport Extra 4) 

Both teams may be eliminated from the competition but they will each harbour hope of qualifying in third with a victory being enough for either side. Dynamo Kyiv, especially at home will go into this tie as favourites but were comfortably dispatched last week by Juventus. They can take confidence from their good domestic form.

Ferencvaros have arguably been better away from home than at home in the competition this season, their last trip was a late comeback from Juventus away from getting their first ever Champions League victory. I do not think they will get that this year. 

Prediction: 2-1 

Group H - Paris Saint Germain vs İstanbul Başakşehir: 20:00, Parc des Princes (BT Sport Extra 2) 

Having a look in the other action in Group H aside from the 'game of the week' above PSG's win to many will be seen as a formality at home to İstanbul Başakşehir. After seeing their second-half Neymar inspired performance against Man United it is easy to see why people expect them to pick up where they left off, especially at home. 

Although Başakşehir are eliminated from European competition this season, they held out PSG for more than an hour at home whilst giving RB Leipzig a late scare and beating Manchester United. On their travels they have not been so convincing hence why I expect a PSG win here.

Prediction: 4-1

Wednesday 

Group A - Bayern Munich vs Lokomotiv Moscow: 20:00, Allianz Arena (BT Sport Extra 3) 

With qualification and first place in the group secured although Bayern Munich's 100 percent record in the competition was ended with a draw to Atlético Madrid. Bayern coach Hansi Flick will have no qualms in fielding a weaker team to provide his players with some rest ahead of the weekend. 

Their opponents Lokomotiv Moscow may have suffered a more damaging defeat than most in Gameweek 5. Not only did their loss to Red Bull Salzburg prevent them the opportunity to climb into second ahead of the final game but it has also knocked them out of the Champions League. Europa League football remains a slim possibility with an unlikely victory against Bayern Munich, but I do not see that happening. 

Prediction: 3-0  

Group A - Red Bull Salzburg vs Atlético Madrid: 20:00, Red Bull Arena (ESPN HD)

The first of many crunch games for Champions League football on our Wednesday list. RB Salzburg have catapulted themselves back into contention with an impressive away victory in Moscow last week. The form of Dominic Szoboszlai has also attracted attention from Atlético rivals Real Madrid.

Although Atlético have not won a European game since defeating RB Salzburg in gameweek 2 they showed their qualities in a draw against Bayern Munich last week. A good win at the weekend saw a goal from Thomas Lemar which will be a huge boost for the team if they can get him to top form. These type of high-pressure games are what coach Diego Simeone loves and I think once again he will get it right. 

Prediction: 1-2 

Group B - Real Madrid vs Borussia Mönchengladbach: 20:00, Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano (BT Sport 3HD)

Another huge game on Wednesday night sees Real Madrid in a huge matchup where a defeat could see them eliminated from the group stage. Amazingly it would be the first time they will have not been in the last sixteen of the premier competition in more than thirty years. They got a good victory away to Sevilla at the weekend but defeat here could cost coach Zinedine Zidane his job. 

Both of these teams lost in the Champions League last week and for Borussia there will be very much a feeling of 'what could have been' if they do not achieve it. Going into the final gameweek top of the standings they could still feasibly finish third with an away defeat. I think their lack of nous in this competition may ultimately cost them.

Prediction: 2-1 

 

Group C - Manchester City vs Olympique de Marseille: 20:00, Etihad Stadium (BT Sport 2HD) 

With progress to the round of sixteen as group winners secured Manchester City can afford to experiment. Having avoided defeat against FC Porto last week will we get to see some more fringe players such as John StonesNathan Aké or American goalkeeper Zach Steffen feature? 

Whilst Olympique de Marseille are eliminated from the tournament, third place is still possible if they better Olympiakos' result. So they will also be looking to see how strong the Citizen's team is. Either way I think Man City should win though it may be a closely fought game.

Prediction: 1-0

Group C - Olympiakos vs FC Porto: 20:00, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki (BT Sport Extra 4) 

Any followers of Arsenal or Wolverhampton Wanderers will need no reminders of how good Olympiakos can be in Europe after their run in the Europa league last season. A win will allow them to compete in the competition once again and after missing the opportunity to secure that last week will they be able to do it this time?

I have said in my predictions to keep an eye on FC Porto this season as although domestically they have not got going yet they have been impressive in Europe and could take pride from their draw against Man City. This game may go down to how many players are rested again so it feels safe to go with a draw in this one.

Prediction: 1-1

 

Group D - Ajax vs Atalanta: 17:55, Johan Cruyff Stadium (BT Sport 1HD)

Prior to last week's game against LiverpoolAjax were the most in-form team in Europe. They created plenty of chances but it was a game decided by goalkeepers as André Onana's error led to the game-deciding goal whilst Ajax were unable to beat Caoimh Kelleher between the Liverpool posts. The Cameroonian will look to bounce back in this huge game.

Atalanta have the benefit of extra rest ahead of their huge game Wednesday evening after their game at the weekend was postponed. A disappointing draw against FC Midtjylland was not ideal but it does not change much in terms of their Gameweek 6 permutations, avoid a defeat and they will be through. After seeing their performance at Anfield I think they can do that.

Prediction: 2-2

Group D - FC Midtjylland vs Liverpool: 17:55, MCH Arena (BT Sport 2HD) 

What an achievement it was for Midtjylland to get a result in the Champions League. A draw against quarter finalists of last season Atalanta was a great result. With Liverpool already winning the group could they potentially capitalise on a weakened team fielded against them?

What a week for Liverpool, confirmed top-spot in their group and completely destroyed Wolves. Andrew Robertson was phenomenal as was most of their team and even with a much changed side there seems to be a great competitive balance in the squad for places so I think they will win regardless.

Prediction: 0-2

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