PSV Eindhoven vs Arsenal
It’s not exactly the most high-stakes encounter. After thrashing Lens 6-0 last time out, the Gunners will finish top of Group B whatever happens on Tuesday night.
In fact, this is the deadest of rubbers; PSV Eindhoven have also guaranteed a place in the round of 16, having finished as group runners up. PSV previously beat Lens, the head-to-head rule meaning they qualify even if Lens win their game against Sevilla).
Mikel Arteta can afford to play an unfamiliar line-up against the Dutch hosts then. But Arteta would presumably welcome the chance for Arsenal to return to victory after a frustrating defeat to Aston Villa in the Prem.
Can the north London side see off this opposition? In the previous meeting between the two in this campaign, it ended 4-0 to Arsenal.
But PSV are flying in the Eredivisie, with Peter Bosz’s side ten points clear of nearest rivals Feyenoord. In fact, Arsenal’s win over the club is their sole defeat this season.
Eddie Nketiah seems likely to start for the visitors; Nketiah is 37/20 to find the net. For PSV, it could be worth taking a chance on Ricardo Pepi to hit the back of the net.
Pepi has scored in back-to-back games, most recently during a substitute appearance against Heerenveen at the weekend, and also against Sevilla, again from the bench. He may get more game time on Tuesday, and is also 37/20 to score for the hosts.
Man Utd vs Bayern Munich
If the previous game doesn’t make much difference to either side, this one carries much more significance. On one hand, Bayern Munich have already won the group at a canter, four wins and a draw putting them eight points clear.
In theory, that suggests they should be able to take it easy against United – except Bayern were on the end of a pretty shocking defeat in the Bundesliga this weekend.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were beaten 5-1 away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. That result may look like an aberration, since it’s Bayern’s only league defeat of the season thus far. Still, does it offer Man United hope that this opposition are flawed – or just fear that the German team will be furious at that last result, and keen to atone?
Man Utd know about flaws, of course. The side sit bottom of Group A – though if they’re able to win this match and the Copenhagen vs Galatasaray game ends in a draw, United will finish as runners up.
Improbable? Perhaps, but all United can do is produce at Old Trafford. That in itself is no small feat; Bayern are unbeaten in their last 39 group stage matches. The Munich side won the reverse fixture 4-3, but elsewhere United have suffered more dispiriting results, losing away to Copenhagen – and at home to Gala.
United also lost this weekend at home, going down 3-0 to Bournemouth. And while Bayern’s loss to Eintracht was eye-catching, United have made a habit of underwhelming results this season, with seven league defeats in all.
United are effectively playing for their lives, Bayern merely for pride – so it’s telling that even playing away from home, the visitors seem likelier to triumph. Munich are 5/4 to win, while you could also back over 3.5 goals at 5/4; four of United’s five CL games this season have seen at least five goals scored.
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