The decisive 2nd legs of 4 games are to be played in the Champions League with some of Europe’s big guns facing early exit. Paris St Germain and Juventus are facing tough battles ahead of them and will need to play at their best in order to overcome Real Madrid and Tottenham respectively.
Liverpool v FC Porto (5-0)
Jurgen Klopp’s side are in driving seat to reach the Round 8 having won their first game comfortably 5-0 in Porrtugal.Sadio Mane was the hero notching a hattrick and Senegalese forward, together with Firmino and Salah are going to be again the biggest threat to the visitors. The Reds are scoring goals for fun at home in Europe and scored 12 goals in their home matches. Klopp is under no illusion that a professional performance is required from his players in order to progress, but the 5 goals margin might prove too much for Porto. The away side is familiar with the competition and will look to restore some of their pride by performing well at Anfield.
Paris v Real Madrid (1-3)
The French champions are hosting the defending champions of the Champions League in what appears to be one of the most anticipated clashes in recent years. Real won 3-1 at the Bernabeu and will be hoping to score an away goal in order to make PSG’s task even harder. Biggest miss will be Neymar who is facing a tough battle to overcome his injury in time for the World Cup in the summer. Real may miss their midfield maestros Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, both of them remain doubtful for the game. “We think we can go through because of the first leg. We were superior to them in our play and the chances we created. We have to do that for the full 90 minutes this time. It’s a huge motivation to be able to knock out the holders.” – said the Brazillian Dani Alves at the press-conference. Kylian Mbappe and Marco Veratti trained normally so they are both going to be available for the decisive game. Paris Saint-Germain struck first at Real Madrid only to end up losing 3-1 – but the French side have history when it comes to turning round that deficit against their Spanish rivals.
Manchester City v Basel (4-0)
Manchester City are leading comfortably their tie against Swiss champions Basel and will have to mark their progression to the next round. The English side is unbeaten at home this season and will look to extend their impressive record. A 4-0 first-leg win in Switzerland has left Manchester City within sight of a second quarter-final appearance, while Basel will be looking to restore some pride. İlkay Gündoğan (2), Bernardo Silva and Sergio Agüero gave City a 4-0 first-leg win in Switzerland, matching the club’s record away win in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, and leaving their opponents facing a third last-16 defeat. Guardiola’s men are targeting the title domestically and will be hoping to have impact in Europe as well. City have scored 62 goals at home, conceding 13. Only Wolverhampton, in the English League Cup fourth round on 24 October, have prevented them scoring.
Tottenham v Juventus (2-2)
After intriguing 2-2 draw in Torino 2 weeks ago, Spurs are going in the second leg with optimism. A fine first-leg fightback has given Tottenham two valuable away goals as they welcome Juventus to Wembley, although with the scores level at 2-2 the tie remains finely poised. Gonzalo Hugain penalty miss and a spirited performance by Spurs in the second half led to the game ending in draw and all to play for. Spurs’ prospects looked bleak when the Italian champions, through Gonzalo Higuaín, raced into a 2-0 lead within nine minutes at the Juventus Stadium. Harry Kane halved the deficit, however, and after Higuaín had smashed a penalty against the crossbar on the stroke of half-time, Christian Eriksen’s second-half free-kick ensured the sides would travel to London level at 2-2 – although with the English club having two potentially vital away goals. A draw will see Pochettino’s side progress, but having to play against experienced Italian giants a game plan playing for draw might come too risky. Having struggled at Wembley in Europe last season, Tottenham won all three matches at the stadium in Group H this time round, prevailing 3-1 against both Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid before a 3-0 defeat of APOEL FC on matchday six. Harry Kane is continuing to impress and he would like to add to his 9 goal tally so far this season.
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