As we edge closer to the end of the group stages, wins will become even more crucial as clubs look to end this round in the top two.
As we enter the closing stages of the Group Stage of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League, the importance of three points increases that little bit more, with clubs increasingly desperate to enhance their chances of a top-two finish in their group. Some will have more work to do than others, and we will have a better idea of who will make it to the knockout stages after all 16 matches set for this week have been played.
There will be four Premier League sides continuing their Champions League campaign, including Manchester City’s home game against Swiss side BSC Young Boys on Tuesday, with Manchester United and Arsenal facing Copenhagen and Sevilla, respectively, on Wednesday evening.
Manchester City (England) v BSC Young Boys (Switzerland) – Tuesday 7th November, 20:00
Manchester City are, of course, the reigning European Champions after a 1 – 0 win against Italian Giants Inter Milan in the 2023 Final back in June. Pep Guardiola’s side are off to a good start in their title defence, sitting top of Group G with 9 points, 3 ahead of second place RB Leipzig after three matches.
The Cityzens’ latest win in this year’s competition was against the Swiss side, beating them 3 – 1 in Switzerland in late October. Manuel Akanji (48’) and Erling Haaland (67’ – Penalty, 86’) scored the goals for the English heavyweights that day. City will look for another win against their Swiss counterparts to confirm their spot in the knockout stages.
Manchester City’s remaining Champions League Group Stage matches are as follows:
Red Star Belgrade v Manchester City (Stadion Rajko Mitić, Wednesday 13th December – 17:45 Kick-Off)
Borussia Dortmund (Germany) v Newcastle United (England) – Tuesday 7th November, 17:45
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United are the second and only other Premier League side to be playing Champions League football on Tuesday. The Magpies are currently 3rd in Group F with 4 points, and they are only behind Dortmund due to their head-to-head record after the German giants beat Newcastle 1 – 0 last time out.
This week, they will meet again, this time at BVB’s home, the Signal Iduna Park. Howe’s side will have the chance to not only take revenge but also to move to the top of the group should results go their way. Newcastle got a massive 1 – 0 win against Arsenal in the league at the weekend, whilst Dortmund lost 3 – 0 to Bayern in Der Klassiker on Saturday. This should provide the Magpies with some confidence.
Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) v FC Barcelona (Spain) – Tuesday 7th November, 17:45
Five-time European Champions FC Barcelona are set to make the trip to the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg to face 14 time Ukranian Champions Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday evening. The Blaugrana sit top of Group H with 9 points, and a win would see them qualify for the knockout stages.
Meanwhile, Shakhtar does have the opportunity to move level on points with 2nd place FC Porto should results go their way.
Atletico Madrid (Spain) v Celtic (Scotland) – Tuesday 7th November, 20:00
2nd place Atletico Madrid welcomes bottom of the group Celtic to the Estadio Metropolitano on Tuesday. Brendan Rodgers’ Bhoys did secure a highly credible 2 – 2 draw against the Spanish Giants last time out, taking the lead on two occasions at Celtic Park before having to settle for a point in the end.
Celtic could go level on points with 3rd place Lazio with victory in the Spanish Capital, but defeat would edge them closer to elimination from this season’s competition. Meanwhile, Diego Simeone’s Atleti side could find themselves at the top of Group E with a win should Feyenoord lose or draw with Lazio.
Lazio (Italy) v Feyenoord (Netherlands) – Tuesday 7th November, 20:00
Lazio are set to welcome Dutch Champions Feyenoord to the iconic Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Matchday Four of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Group Stages. Feyenoord sit top of Group E with 6 points, and they can stay top and take a step closer to the knockout stages with a win. Lazio can climb to second with a win should Celtic beat or draw with Atletico Madrid.
Feyenoord would seem to have the psychological edge coming into this contest after they were comfortable 3 – 1 winners at De Kuip last time out on matchday three.
AC Milan (Italy) v Paris Saint-Germain (France) – Tuesday 7th November, 20:00
AC Milan are 7 time European Champions, but the Rossoneri come into this game against Paris Saint Germain at the San Siro bottom of Group F with 1 point. By contrast, PSG are top with 6 points as they look to be crowned Champions of Europe for the first time in the club’s history. Milan can climb the table with a win, should results go their way. PSG can remain top with victory.
The Parisians will have the psychological upper hand after they were 3 – 0 winners against their Italian counterparts at the Parc des Princes in Paris last time out.
Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) v RB Leipzig (Germany) – Tuesday 7th November, 20:00
Red Star Belgrade are bottom of Group G, but the one time Champions of Europe do have the chance to climb to third place in the group should they win and other results go their way. Leipzig will look to keep themselves within touching distance of leaders Manchester City with a win against the Serbian heavyweights.
RB Leipzig were 3 – 1 winners at the Red Bull Arena when they last met in the 2023/24 Champions League Group Stages.
FC Porto (Portugal) v Royal Antwerp (Belgium) – Tuesday 7th November, 20:00
While they are not entirely out of this season’s Champions League, Belgian champions Royal Antwerp need to win at the Estadio do Dragao to stand any realistic chance of progressing to the next stage after collecting no points from their first 3 matches. Meanwhile, 2 time winners Porto will seek to at least go level on points with group leaders FC Barcelona with a win.
FC Porto were emphatic 4 – 1 winners when they met on the third matchday at the Bosuilstadion.
Now that we have taken a look ahead at Tuesday’s games, we will now preview all of Wednesday’s matches. Two Premier League clubs will resume their Champions League campaigns, with Manchester United facing Copenhagen away from home and Arsenal hosting Sevilla at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal (England) v Sevilla (Spain) – Wednesday 8th November, 20:00
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side are currently the front runners to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage, with the Gunners sitting at top of Group B with 6 points. They are 1 point ahead of 2nd place Lens and 4 points ahead of their next opponents, Sevilla, who they are set to play at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening.
These two clubs last met on the third matchday at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville. Arteta’s Gunners were 2 – 1 winners thanks to goals from Gabriel Martinelli (45+3’) and Gabriel Jesus (53’) either side of half time. Nemanja Gudelj (58’) got the only goal of the game for the Spanish hosts.
Arsenal’s remaining Champions League Group Stage matches are as follows:
PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal (Philips Stadion, Tuesday 12th December – 17:45 Kick-Off).
Copenhagen (Denmark) v Manchester United (England) – Wednesday 8th November, 20:00
Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United travel to the Parken Stadium to face Danish Champions Copenhagen on Wednesday evening. The Red Devils sit in third place with 3 points, just 1 behind Turkish Giants Galatasaray in second. United have the chance to leapfrog them with a win if Galatasaray lose or draw against Bayern Munich.
United should have confidence going into this match after beating their Danish counterparts 1 – 0 at Old Trafford after Harry Maguire found the back of the net with less than twenty minutes remaining in the second half (72’).
Manchester United’s remaining Champions League Group Stage matches are as follows:
Copenhagen v Manchester United (Parken Stadium, Wednesday 8th November – 20:00 Kick-Off).
Galatasaray v Manchester United (Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi, Wednesday 29th November – 17:45 Kick-Off).
Napoli (Italy) v Union Berlin (Germany) – Wednesday 8th November, 17:45
Italian Champions Napoli welcomes Union Berlin to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona for their latest 2023/24 Champions League Group Stage match. In Group C, Napoli are second with 6 points, 3 behind leaders Real Madrid on 9. Union Berlin are at the bottom with 0 points from their first three matches.
The Italian Giants could go level on points with Real Madrid, whilst Union can go level on 3 points with Braga if they win and the Portuguese side loses to Los Blancos.
Real Sociedad (Spain) v Benfica (Portugal) – Wednesday 8th November, 17:45
Real Sociedad and two-time European Champions Benfica will be going head to head at the Reale Arena on Wednesday evening. Sociedad are top of the group on goal difference with them and 2nd place Inter Milan having 7 points each. They can stay top with a win against Benfica.
As for the Portuguese side, they are at the bottom with 0 points, but if RB Salzburg loses, they will go level on points with Salzburg if they beat Sociedad.
Bayern Munich (Germany) v Galatasaray (Turkey) – Wednesday 8th November, 20:00
Group A leaders and three-time Champions of Europe Bayern Munich will face Turkish Giants Galatasaray at the Allianz Arena on matchday four on Wednesday. The Bavarians have 9 points and will effectively secure their spot in the next round should they win and other results go their way.
Galatasaray are currently second in Group A, and if they emerge victorious in Munich, they will come within 2 points of their German counterparts going into the final two 2023/24 group stage matches.
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) v Lens (France) – Wednesday 8th November, 20:00
Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven will take on France’s Lens at the Philips Stadion this week on matchday four of this season’s Champions League. The hosts sit bottom with 2 points in Group B, with Lens 3 points better off in second place.
PSV can go third with a win, whilst Lens could leapfrog Arsenal into top spot if they win and Arsenal lose against Sevilla.
Real Madrid (Spain) v Braga (Portugal) – Wednesday 8th November, 20:00
Real Madrid have been Champions of Europe no less than fourteen times, and they currently sit top of Group C with 9 points, looking to lift the trophy for a fifteenth time this season. As for Braga, they are in third place with 3 points to their name.
Should results go their way elsewhere, Real Madrid can confirm their qualification for the next round with a win at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday.
RB Salzburg (Austria) v Inter Milan (Italy) – Wednesday 8th November, 20:00
17-time Austrian Champions RB Salzburg welcome two-time European Champions Inter Milan to the Stadion Salzburg on Wednesday evening. The Nerazzurri sit second on goal difference and have 7 points like leaders Real Sociedad. Salzburg are four points behind in third place with 3 points.
If Sociedad loses to Benfica, Inter Milan can go top of Group D with a win against the Austrian Champions. Should Salzburg beat Inter, they will bring themselves to within just a point of their Italian counterparts.
With the Group Stages of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League reaching its climax, the eyes of the football world will be on the Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Several clubs will see themselves as having a strong chance of European glory this season.
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