Thursday 14 December 2017 / 02:01 AM

UCL MATCHDAY 5 PREVIEW

Things are heating up on matchday five of the UEFA Champions League, with some European heavyweights at risk of being knocked out earlier than anticipated. Here’s a rundown of the best games to look forward to:

Sevilla v Liverpool FC 6:45am (AEDT), Wednesday, November 22 @ Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville

Both teams come into this game with not much separating them in the group standings. A win for either side will be enough to seal progression to the last 16. A draw, however, will ensure Spartak Moscow are still in with a chance on the last matchday.

Liverpool have one of Europe’s in-form wingers in Mohamed Salah, who is breaking club records left, right and centre since arriving from Roma during the summer. Salah has helped solved Liverpool’s goal-scoring woes in not being able to fit in a traditional striker.

Meanwhile, Sevilla have struggled to find the back of the net of late, with the talented Luis Muriel and Wissam Ben Yedder unable to fight each off, despite offering something similar. A scrappy, low-scoring draw appears to be on the cards here given what is at stake.

Score prediction – 1-1 draw

Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur 6:45am (AEDT), Wednesday, November 22 @ BVB Stadion, Dortmund

Tottenham have already secured their passage into the next round, and a win away will ensure first position. Dortmund need to win and hope Real Madrid only get a point in their game to stay alive for the last matchday.

In good news for Dortmund fans, Tottenham showed a weakness when defending on the left side on the weekend in the Premier League against Arsenal. Playmakers Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli were also unable to dismantle Arsenal, like they did to Real Madrid on matchday four a few weeks ago.

Setting up defensively in midfield with two holding midfielders appears to be the way to go in ensuring a blueprint for Dortmund to nullify Tottenham.

Score prediction – Dortmund 2-1

Atletico Madrid v Roma 6:45am (AEDT), Thursday, November 23 @ Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid

As dreadful as Atletico have been so far in the group stages, they still have a chance of progressing, thanks to Roma dismantling Chelsea on the previous matchday. A draw for Roma seals their place in the next round, while Atletico need to win their remaining two games and rely on other results to progress.

Atletico will need talisman Antoine Griezmann to find his scoring boots again, as the French international hasn’t goaled for Atletico in his previous eight appearances. However, he did score for France last week, so a much-needed Atletico goal might be on its way shortly.

Atletico defender Stefan Savic misses this game through suspension, which doesn’t bode well as Roma striker Edin Dzeko is in great touch, reaping the benefits of Roma’s 4-3-3 attacking formation.

Score prediction – 2-2 draw

Juventus v Barcelona 6:45am (AEDT), Thursday, November 23 @ Juventus Stadium, Turin

A draw is good enough for Barcelona to finish first in group D away to Juventus. However, the job isn’t done for Juve yet, as Sporting Lisbon are only three points behind.

In a boost to Barcelona’s chances of progressing, key defender Gerard Pique will feature after coming back from suspension. He will be crucial in helping Barcelona stop in-form Juventus striker Paulo Dybala, who is third in Italy’s domestic league scoring charts with 11 goals.

Barcelona won comfortably on matchday one 3-0, and will no doubt be looking for Lionel Messi to provide the magic touch again. Given how well Barcelona are traveling in La Liga at the moment, it would be a surprise if they don’t wrap this up in Turin.

Score prediction – 1-3 Barcelona

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About the author

Brett Sinclair

Sport has always been a big passion in Brett's life and he aims to share his vision with Commentary Box Sports' readers. Based in Melbourne, Brett covers AFL, NRL, cricket and football for CBS.

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