The last round of fixtures in the UEFA Champions League sees Liverpool and Tottenham fighting to avoid elimination from Europe’s number one competition.
The two Manchester clubs have already booked their place in the last 16, but Jürgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino need big performances from their teams if they are to avoid elimination at the group stage.
Climbing to the top of the Premier League at the weekend, following Manchester City’s defeat away to Chelsea, Liverpool’s unbeaten league form (13 wins & 3 draws) couldn’t be any better. However, they will need to win 1-0 or by at least two clear goals against Napoli to qualify for a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
So far, the Reds have lost all three games away from home in the competition, but have won both of their home fixtures. The five-time winners warmed up for the clash with a resounding 4-0 victory away to Bournemouth, with their star man Mohamed Salah taking home the match ball after scoring a hat-trick.
Napoli also enjoyed an emphatic 4-0 win at the weekend against Serie A strugglers Frosinone, extending their undefeated run to 12 games in all competitions. Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens were just two of several players rested by Carlo Ancelotti, who has promised to go to Anfield “with an attacking mindset.”
After collecting just one point from their opening three Champions League group matches, Tottenham had their work cut out to be in with a chance at qualifying from their group.
Christian Eriksen’s valuable goal off the bench against Inter Milan in Match Day 5 means that Pochettino’s men just need to equal Inter Milan’s result in their last game to advance to the last 16.
Only, Spurs must travel to the Nou Camp to face the mighty Barcelona, whilst Inter host Group B’s bottom side PSV. With Messi’s men already guaranteed top spot in the group, the North London club will be hoping the Argentinian superstar sits this one out. But even if he does rest, the Blaugrana have an embarrassment of riches to call upon, making this an enthralling contest.