It’s the final Matchday of 6 the Group Stage in the UEFA Champions League (UCL). There are still many issues to be decided with regards to qualification for the last 16. We don’t know the eight third-placed teams who will then play in the Europa League. There are must-win fixtures for some teams and others who have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. Our UEFA Champions League picks today focus on matches that have implications for both teams.
Manchester United vs BSC Young Boys
|Man Utd to win||-260|
|Young Boys to win||+650|
This may not look like a crucial fixture for Manchester United. However, there is still the potential scenario of United finishing second in Group F. The runners-up in each section play one of the group winners in the round of the last 16. However, the rules mean it won’t be another English club. So, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are amongst potential opponents in the first knockout round
If United draw at Old Trafford they win the group. However, a defeat to Young Boys and a Villarreal win at Atalanta means second place and a much harder task at the next stage. However, the interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has already made an impact. Young Boys need three points but United can’t afford to play for a draw so we expect a decisive win by more than one goal at their famous stadium.
UEFA Champions League Pick – Manchester United -1 against BSC Young Boys at +105
Atalanta vs Villarreal
|Atalanta to win||-135|
|Villarreal to win||+325|
Hence for the purpose of winning the group, the result of this match is insignificant if Manchester United avoid the nightmare scenario of losing at home to Young Boys. That is highly unlikely so this match is akin to a knockout fixture. The winners will finish second and progress to the round of the last 16. However, Villarreal are a point ahead of Atalanta so a draw on the road will suffice.
The reverse fixture in September did produce a 2-2 result so the sides are evenly matched. However, a huge positive for the Spanish team is their current manager. Unai Emery managed Sevilla when they won the Europa League three times and won the competition again last season with his current club. That experience can help Villarreal secure that crucial point so we predict a draw.
UEFA Champions League Pick – Atalanta vs Villarreal draw at +300
Wolfsburg vs Lille
|Wolfsburg to win||+135|
|Lille to win||+205|
Group F is so tight that there is still plenty to play for. A win for Lille ensures first place and Salzburg and Sevilla then compete for second place. Wolfsburg will finish fourth but can still secure second place so it’s all to play for in Germany.
The first meeting at Stade Pierre Mauroy was goalless but playing for a draw could end badly for Lille. Then a decisive result in the other group fixture drops the French club into second place. However, Lille can earn the three points that secures the group at Wolfsburg this week.
UEFA Champions League Pick – Lille to beat Wolfsburg at +205