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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESUMES WITH WEEK 5 FIXTURES

The UEFA Champions League resumes on Tuesday night as teams still have a lot to fight for in the bid to make the Round of 16.

Bayer Leverkusen travel to Russia to face Lokomotiv Moscow while Juventus host Atletico Madrid in an open Group D clash. Both Juventus and Atletico Madrid need a win to secure qualification before the final group fixtures but a draw in Turin will most likely displace both  Lokomotiv Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen.

In Group A, bottom table Galatasaray host Club Bruggee while former champions, Real Madrid welcome PSG in a clash that defines who joins PSG in the Round of 16. Club Brugge who top the Belgian Division A League table have to win away from home to have any hope of displacing Madrid from the second position, a feat that is though less likely to happen.

A newly managed Tottenham side will be hoping to seal their place in the round of 16 when they host Olympiacos on Tuesday night. In the anticipation that Bayern Munich will do the needful by beating Red Star Belgrade away from home, Spurs will be good for the next round even with a game to spare.

Group C leaders and last season quarter finalists, Manchester City host Shakhtar Donestk at the Etihad Stadium while Croatian champions, Dinamo Zagreb welcomes Atalanta in a fixture that largely determines who joins City in the next round. Atalanta are quite hopeless as they seat at the bottom of the table with just a point while Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donestk are tie at 5 points each.

On Wednesday, Liverpool will need only a point to ascertain qualification to the next round when they host Napoli at Anfield, but the Jurgen Klopp side may be hunting for a pound of flesh owing to their 2-0 loss at the opening of the champions league season at Naples. The European champions won 1-0 at this venue last season in a dramatic fixture that saw the reds qualify for the round of 16 and went on to win the cup and Klopp will want to do the same especially to have his key players rest ahead the busy Decemeber schedule. Red Bull Salzburg visit Genk in the other fixture. The Australian champions will have to depend on the failures of one of Napoli or Liverpool if they must qualify from Group E.

In a keenly contested group, Barcelona must win when they host Borrusia Dortmund on Wednesday night as the Spanish champions are only a point ahead of the Germans.  Inter Milan still have good cards to play as they jet to Slavia Praha seeking all 3 points in pursuit of a ticket to the round of 16. Being the weak link of the group, Praha may succumb to the hunger of the former Italian champions and if this happens, Group F qualification battle might be stretched till the last match day.

Group G leaders, RB Leipzeig host Benfica in a bid for the Germans to seal their qualification while Olympic Lyon travel to Zenith St. Petersburg.  Zenith will be hoping to displace Lyon from the second position before the last match day as the Russian side eye round of 16 qualification.

In a closely knitted Group H, table leaders, Ajax visit Lille in the penultimate group fixtures as last year’s semi-finalist hope to seal their place in the next round. Chelsea who sit second on the log with goal difference fencing the blues from the Dutch side, will also travel to Spain, to face a fellow round of 16 contender, Valencia.

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