Champions League Matchday 5 Picks and Predictions

It's matchday 5 of the Champions League group stage. Some big names including Juventus, Napoli and Atletico will be playing their decisive games this week.

Champions League Matchday 5 Picks and PredictionsSome of the European greats could likely find themselves out of competition for the Champions League title, as Matchday 5 of the Champions League holds some crucial group-stage games.

Napoli, despite leading the way in Italian's football top tier, are one of those teams, as they are struggling to get going in Champions League. The Italians will matchup against the Ukrainian's Shakhtar Donetsk, and they will feel the pressure alright, with only win suffice if they want to keep their European dream alive.

Also, German side Borussia Dortmund and the Spaniards Atletico Madrid could also be one of the great teams that will not progress further in this competition. Even if they beat Tottenham and Roma, respectively, results elsewhere possess the potential to seal their European fate.

Last season's vice-champions Juventus will also need a good result when they face Barcelona on Wednesday, and they need it badly.

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Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk

Marek Hamšík and Pepe Reina after Napoli's matchday four loss ©AFP/Getty Images
Marek Hamšík and Pepe Reina after Napoli's matchday four loss©AFP/Getty Images

Napoli are still the only team in Italy that still hasn't been defeated, but this will be a small consolation if they miss out on the knockout stage of the most prestigious European club competition, the Champions League.

Not only that Maurizio Sarri's team needs a win on Tuesday night, but they need a win with at least 2 or 3 goals margin, and preferably that they don't concede any in the process. This is due to their last game they played against Shakhtar, which they lost 2-1.

It's evident that this term Napoli's primary objective is finally winning the Scudetto, but if they manager two wins out of two last games in the Champions League group stage it might just be enough to see them through to the knock-out round.

On the other hand, Shakhtar will still have a saying in this match, and they are aware that they don't need a win from this game, a draw would be enough to see them qualify from the group.

The San Paolo is a difficult place to go, though, and while Napoli may have other priorities in 2017-18, they'll do enough to keep their slender hopes of qualifying alive.

Prediction: Napoli 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Juventus vs Barcelona

Paulo Dybala and Juventus celebrate victory against Barcelona in last season's quarter-finals ©Getty Images
Paulo Dybala and Juventus celebrate victory against Barcelona in last season's quarter-finals©Getty Images

In the last game between these two giants, it was Barca who got away with the spoils. By beating Juve 3-0, they avenged the score from the previous season when the Italian champion knocked them out from the competition with a 3-0 win at Torino.

However, I expect a different outcome in this leg at the Allianz Arena. Both Juventus and Barcelona still haven't qualified from the group stage, but it's Barcelona who is close to achieving this goal with 10 points out of 4 games and with a win to the direct competitors for the first place, Juve.

Even thou Barcelona are in great form, both domestically and in Europe, they will be missing some first-team players for this match; Dembele, Gomes, Turan, Mascherano, just to name the few. While the team from Torino will have all of its players at disposal, which undoubtedly will be great news for their manager Allegri.

Even thou Juventus are not in a great form at the moment; they still can hurt Barcelona if they pull out their A-game on Wednesday evening.

If Bianconeri play close to their full potential, they can grab a win in this match.

Prediction: 2 - 0

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FM 2018 Blog - Football Manager 2018: Champions League Matchday 5 Picks and Predictions
Champions League Matchday 5 Picks and Predictions
It's matchday 5 of the Champions League group stage. Some big names including Juventus, Napoli and Atletico will be playing their decisive games this week.
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