Champions League

Hot Champions League teams heading into Matchday 5

The premier European club soccer competition returns for matchday five on 23.11 and 24.11 with the group stage hotting up as it edges closer to its climax. There are some important match-ups to look out for this week with some big name teams looking to cement their progress to the knockout stages, whilst some face early elimination and one surprise minnow will be aiming to keep their record going strong.

This week provides a good opportunity for fans around the world to take advantage of any sportsbook signup bonus offers to place bets on the big heavyweights like Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Internazionale Milan and Ajax who all have favourable fixtures. Sportsbooks offer a whole selection of various sports to choose from when making bets and there is no bigger competition in soccer than the Champions League where you can find a lot of great offers to tempt any willing bettor to lay their stakes if you know where to look. 

You can even try your luck at selecting your pick in a couple of big games that are too close to call this week, and one of those match-ups is where we start our preview for round five of the group stage competition. 

Group A (24.11 matchday)

The two new heavyweight giants of European club soccer backed by the riches of the Middle East go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium in England when Manchester City take on Paris SG. The English club were one step away from lifting the trophy last season, beaten in the final by rivals Chelsea, and now they aim to go one better they need to show their dominance by winning fixtures like this one.

They will be looking for revenge from a 0-2 reverse in the French capital on matchday two and their lethal strike force – even sometimes without a recognised centre forward player in the team –  will give them the best chance of doing so. Paris SG of course have their own lethal forwards with Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe considered to be three of the best in the world but only German champions Bayern Munich have scored more goals in four group matches than City and with their home crowd right behind them they can take the game to their illustrious opponents. If they want to go one step further than last season and lift the trophy they are going to have to overcome such an opponent as Paris SG to prove they can.


The other fixture in this group sees Club Brugge take on RB Leipzig knowing that a win will secure third spot but that if City can also do the business against Paris SG, it will set up a winner-takes-all clash in Paris on matchday six that could see the Belgian side cause another surprise to send shockwaves through the football world and steal a knockout place from Messi and co. Keep a close eye on this week’s matches to see how the outcomes set up the final round of games – if City and Brugge both win (and that double is definitely worth a bet), the meeting in Paris could have major consequences.

Group H (23.11 matchday)

Another clash between two of the biggest and most successful teams in Europe takes place this matchday when defending UCL holders Chelsea take on a strong Juventus team in London. Thomas Tuchel’s team are hoping their home advantage will count as they aim to avenge a narrow defeat in Italy earlier in the group stage – the only loss of any points so far in their defence of their crown; whilst Juventus have won all four fixtures so far.

Both teams have already secured a path to the knockout stage in an otherwise easy group so the onus is now on taking the top spot and a more favourable draw in the latter stages of the competition. Chelsea have overall been in very good form in the English Premier League – topping the table ahead of Manchester City, Liverpool and surprise package West Ham United – whilst their upcoming opponents are having as tough a time of things in Serie A as Barcelona are having in La Liga since the shock summer departures of their stars. Juve lie way down in eighth place and are 14 points off the lead. 

With their poor domestic form and with home advantage for Chelsea, the odds are in favour of giving the West Londoners a big push to draw level in the battle for winning the group which also sees Zenit St. Petersburg of Russia hoping to claim the double over Malmo when they visit Sweden. It will be the home team’s first real opportunity to get points on the board to avoid an embarrassing clean sweep of defeats in the group – something we believe they will take advantage of this week.

Group B (24.11 matchday)  

Unlike their compatriots above, Liverpool are already comfortably into the knockouts with four wins from four opening matches and will be aiming to prolong that 100% record when they welcome Porto to Anfield.

The Reds scored five times in Portugal on matchday two and as the Portuguese have only conceded one goal across their other three matches so far, it demonstrates just how successful Jurgen Klopp’s attack has been this season. It is a safe bet to go with a home win, meaning a win for Atletico Madrid at home to an AC Milan team in the group’s other fixture will set up another winner-takes-all clash in the final round in Porto between the clubs from neighbouring Portugal and Spain. 

Milan are a shadow of their former European great sides of the ‘80s and 90’s and currently sit bottom of the group with just a single point from a possible 12 so far – although they are joint-top of their domestic league by some margin, their UCL campaign is all but over as they struggle to make the leap from winning at home to taking on the best of the continent. Atletico have been very untypical of their defensive power under Diego Simeone’s charge so far this season, surprisingly conceding six goals so far (five in two games against Liverpool), but they usually do just enough to make it count and should claim a vital three points.

Group D (24.11 matchday)

The so-called “Group Of Death” is named for one smaller team in a group with three larger heavyweight opponents and this season it is the turn of the first team from Moldova to qualify for the group stages of the competition since its inception in 1992. Sheriff Tiraspol already made history in qualifying for the competition and then stunned the world with a shock victory away to illustrious Real Madrid to make it two wins from two opening fixtures.

Defeats in both games against Internazionale Milan have stopped the Moldovian minnows in their tracks a little and dropped them to third spot in the table but the points tallies are pretty close and they have the perfect chance to get back to winning ways when they travel to rock bottom Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday five. Victory in Ukraine combined with a draw in the other fixture of the round between the group’s two biggest clubs will create a thrilling three-way chase for the two knockout spots ahead of the final matchday.


Sheriff will feel confident of victory this week to give themselves a fighting chance of rewriting the UCL history books for the third time in just a few months.

UCL round-up elsewhere…

In other fixtures on this matchday it is widely expected that Bayern Munich (Group E, 23.11) and Ajax (Group C, 24.11) will continue their reigns at the top of their respective groups with away victories over the bottom clubs Dynamo Kyiv and Besiktas respectively. Both sides have won four from four so far and are both six points clear at the top of their groups, with Robert Lewandowski firing the German side to glory and Ajax looking to revive their historic success of top young up-and-coming talent to earn progression to the latter stages following a group stage exit last season.

Meanwhile, the intrigue continues in both Group F (Manchester United, Villareal, Atalanta, Young Boys – 23.11) and Group G (RB Salzburg, Lille, Wolfsburg and Sevilla – 23.11) where all eight teams can still take the four knockout positions. These two groups are very hard to call and it will take a lucky bettor to make winning picks for qualification from these groups.