Tips for this week's Champions League action

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published

This week in UEFA Champions League we have two incredibly entertaining and two incredibly dull games. There is no doubt that the Paris Saint Germain-Real Madrid tie will be one of the greatest games of the season. On the other hand, Juventus has to score and win in Wembley, which puts Tottenham in a great position to score goals too.

But the match between Liverpool and Porto can become a rather mundane affair while the Manchester City and Basel clash may not be much different either.

Despite Neymar's injury, Paris Saint Germain is still capable of posing a great offensive threat to all teams and Real Madrid is well aware of that. Both teams prepared themselves for this game by resting their best players during the weekend even though it made things more difficult for them in the domestic league.

This, however, shows that the Champions League is both teams' primary target and the verdict whether they had a good or bad season largely depends on the outcome of this game. We already know that Real is out of the La Liga title race, Paris in comparison has been so dominant in Ligue 1, it faced little to no competition from any other teams. Thus, the French powerhouse won't be satisfied without the Champions League title and that fact binds the fate of their season to this game.

As for the strategies, two contrasting philosophies will clash today. Paris will try to dominate and Madrid will seek to capitalize on counter-attacks. One thing is for sure, there will be plenty of goals in this one. A team like Paris Saint Germain has to score and a team like Real will find lots of time and space for counter-attacks.

Elsewhere, Juventus will be forced to play a game they are not familiar with, namely an offensive game. Their lack of offensive strategy and acceptance of Tottenham's game cost them an easy victory. The only way to compensate for that mistake is to play a decent offensive game this time around.

Even though they may likely fail to do so, Juventus still has to give it a shot. This will make the game fast and entertaining.

Tottenham will also seek opportunities, given it learned in the first leg against Juventus that controlling a game defensively was not a viable option. This combination of Juventus and Tottenham may also produce lots of goals.

Finally, let's take a look at the potentially boring matchups. Not that the teams are bad or anything, but the competition is just imbalanced.

Liverpool has already sealed the fate of the match in the first game and is a much better team than Porto. It would not be logical to expect the situation to change drastically in just two weeks.

Thus, a Liverpool victory is the most plausible option here. The same argument goes for the Manchester City-Basel match and you can easily expect more than a one-goal difference.

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