Champions League: City Safe, United Can Qualify


Preview of two key Champions League matches for this Wednesday. Juventus vs. Manchester City, and Manchester United vs. PSV Eindhoven.

Juventus vs. Manchester City

Juventus welcome Manchester City to the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night, with Massimiliano Allegri knowing his side could leapfrog the English outfit into 1st place in the group D table with a win.

Juventus began the season terribly –especially domestically. In recent weeks however the Old Lady have recovered in Serie A, and could book a place in the knockout stages with a win on Wednesday.

Juve currently sit 2nd in the group, having accrued eight points from four matches. The Italian outfit beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad on November 25.

The Bianconeri are on a 15-match unbeaten home run (W9 D6) in UEFA competition, dating back to a 2-0 loss to FC Bayern München in April 2013.

Juventus last hosted Premier League opposition when beating Chelsea FC 3-0 in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage. Their overall home record against English clubs is W12 D5 L3.

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Juve are in good form ahead of the match, having won their last three Serie A games, with a 1-0 victory over AC Milan on Saturday underlying their subtle return to form.

Manchester City meanwhile are through to the round of 16, although mass changes are not expected from Manuel Pellegrini who will want to guarantee first place in the table in order for better seeding.

The Citizens will be seething from their performance on Saturday, wherein they lost 4-1 to Liverpool at the Etihad – their worst result since moving ton the ground from Maine Road.

City’s 3-1 win in Seville on matchday four was their third in succession since their 15 September loss to Juventus. It means they will compete in the round of 16 for the third year running.

David Silva is a doubt for the match, while Wilfried Bony and Vincent Kompany won’t be back until the weekend at the earliest.

Juventus vs. Manchester City Match Prediction

Juventus’ poor form in Serie A this season has put a blotch on what is actually a superb team. A team who have won three consecutive Serie A titles and reached last season’s Champions League final.

Man City have enjoyed a good season so far, but having lost so disappointingly on the weekend, along with the fact they’ve already qualified, means they’re likely to taste defeat once again this Wednesday.

Manchester United vs. PSV Eindhoven 

Manchester United welcome PSV Eindhoven to Old Trafford on Wednesday night, with qualification to the round of 16 in reach for Louis Van Gaal’s men.

Manchester United can guarantee a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday if they beat their hosts PSV Eindhoven.

Louis Van Gaal’s men currently sit top of group b on seven points after four matches, having accrued seven points from their last three matches.

For United’s Memphis Depay, the match is a reunion with the club he left in the summer.

United are unbeaten in their last eight European home fixtures (W7 D1), a run dating back to March 2013.

Man United currently have nine first team players out with injury, although captain Wayne Rooney could return for Wednesday’s match, as could French international Anthony Martial.

Although a win for the hosts guarantees them qualification to the round of 16, PSV can leapfrog Man United to top place with a win on Wednesday.

PSV hosted Louis Van Gaal’s men on their opening Champions League match this season, and although they conceded first, two late goals resulted in a shock victory for the Dutch outfit.

Wednesday provides visiting tactician Phillip Cocu a chance to pit his wits against Louis van Gaal, his former coach with FC Barcelona and the Netherlands.

Cocu will need to improve upon his side’s away record should they go top of the group: they’re are looking for their first away points in this season’s competition after defeats at PFC CSKA Moskva (2-3) and VfL Wolfsburg (0-2).

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PSV last won in England in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16, securing a 1-0 win away at Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Manchester United vs. PSV Eindhoven Match Prediction

Wednesday poses an opportunity for Louis Van Gaal’s men to not just seal qualification – but perhaps more pertinently to allow the final match to become moot – allowing him play a second string.

PSV have played commendably this season in Europe, but their record away from home points toward a loss at Old Trafford on Wednesday.