This evenings final round of Champions League encounters gives the Premier League an opportunity to break a Champions League record of having five teams qualify for the final round of 16, for the first time in its history. Last night saw Manchester United join Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester City in the next round and tonight Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool have an opportunity to make it five.
The all important match up is taking place at Anfield this evening with Liverpool welcoming Spartak Moscow, knowing a point will secure qualification for the Reds. The reverse fixture saw Jürgen Klopp’s men dominate but after falling behind, they could only draw 1-1 despite several good opportunities to take all 3 points.
After a strong performance against Brighton at the weekend, Liverpool will feel confident of getting the job done this evening, hoping the good form of Phillipe Coutinho (£4.70) and Roberto Firmino (£1.88) will ensure their place in the round of 16! But with the Reds ability to concede a nervy encounter could be in store if the likes of Quincy Promes (£0.89) inspires a goal for the Russians!
Despite having already qualified, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will have a huge bearing on the fortunes of Index favourites Napoli. They travel to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk whilst Napoli travel to Holland to face Feyenoord, with the Italians requiring City to beat Donetsk and them to pick up the three points to qualify. It looks a tough ask for the Italians with Pep likely to rest some City stars ahead of the Manchester Derby on Sunday.
It was widely reported that David Silva (£1.32) is set to miss tonights game and potentially the derby but Pep may turn to the likes of Ilkay Gundogan (£0.82) and Bernardo Silva (£1.26) to lead the team tonight, not bad players to have in reserve! With Match Day Dividends on offer Napoli will surely be going all out for victory making the attacking trio of Lorenzo Insigne (£3.05), Jose Callejon (£1.42) and Dries Mertens (£1.89) all strong candidates for dividends. All to play for in Group F.
Finally Spurs welcome Apoel to Wembley and having already secured qualification will surely use tonight’s game to rest a few players. Will this give Fernando Llorente(£0.68) a chance to shine and give the reportedly want-away left back Danny Rose (£1.71) an opportunity to show Manchester United what they should be signing?
Five English sides in the last 16 can only be a good thing for the Premier League and Indexers alike!