UEFA Champions League Cup
UEFA Champions League Cup (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Football | UEFA Champions League | Matchday 5 | Preview

By Chris Sampson

  • Liverpool on the brink of qualification, City face Dortmund with progress assured
  • Tottenham and Chelsea could go through
  • Celtic and Rangers fight for Europa League place

Europe – The fifth round of Champions League fixtures could see a number of issues resolved for British clubs.

RB Salzburg v Chelsea 25.10.22 17.45

Group E is incredibly tight with only three points separating leaders Chelsea from fourth placed Dinamo Zagreb. The Blues are only one point ahead of Salzburg, who lie second in the group, making this fixture crucial to both teams’ hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages. A victory for either side could see them qualify depending on other results. Chelsea, unbeaten under Graham Potter, drew at home to Manchester United this weekend, while Salzburg were held to a goalless from by Sturm Graz.

Celtic v Shakhtar Donetsk 25.10.22 20.00

Celtic go into the clash with Shakhtar knowing that a win is vital if they are to secure a Europa League place. Their Champions League campaign has shown promise, however the Scottish champions have ultimately failed to deliver at key moments in matches and have only one point from four matches. That point was gained in the away fixture against Shakhtar and boss Ange Postecoglou will be desperate to get three points on the board before a daunting trip to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in their final fixture. Celtic won a seven-goal thriller at Hearts on Saturday to go four points clear at the top of the league. Shakhtar enjoyed a three-nil win in their last league game and sit second in the Ukrainian league. They are currently third in Group F, a point being RB Leipzig, so they have everything to play for and will be determined to get a result at Celtic Park.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City 25.10.22 20.00

Manchester City have already qualified for the next stage, so it will be interesting to see what sort of team Pep Guardiola fields. City got back to winning ways in the league with a three-one success over Brighton, with former Dortmund star Erling Haaland getting another two goals. Dortmund won five-nil at home against VfB Stuttgart with in-form Jude Bellingham scoring twice. They lie fifth in the Bundesliga and are second behind City in Group H.

Ajax v Liverpool 26.10.22 20.00

Liverpool are strongly placed to qualify for the knockout stages and will travel to Amsterdam looking to confirm this mathematically. A win or a draw will see them progress. After an uncertain start to the season Jurgen Klopp’s side enjoyed a big win away at Rangers in the Champions League, a stirring home win over Manchester City and a further victory over West Ham. However, Liverpool were brought down to earth on Saturday with a one-nil defeat at Nottingham Forest, leaving them eighth in the league. Ajax enjoyed a four-one win away at RKC Waalwijk and sit top of their domestic league. They have a slim chance of making the knockout stage but are handily placed to claim third place and a Europa League place.

Napoli v Rangers 26.10.22 20.00

Rangers, without a point so far in the Champions League travel to Naples to face Group A leaders Napoli. Only a late equaliser secured Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side a draw at home against Livingstone and, after a torrid Champions League campaign so far, Rangers are under pressure. They have a slim chance of making the Europa League, however van Bronkhorst will be looking for his side to put in a performance and show that they are capable of being competitive against Europe’s elite. Napoli are already assured of a place in the knockout stages.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sporting Lisbon 26.10.22 20.00

Spurs currently lead the group, but Sporting are only a point behind in third, meaning that the group is still very open. A Tottenham win will see them progress to the knockout stages. Antonio Conte’s team have lost their last two league matches, to Manchester United at Old Trafford and at home to Newcastle United. Sporting are currently fourth in the Portuguese league and enjoyed a three-one win over Casa Pia AC. They will take heart from their win over Spurs in the reverse fixture.

The Champions League Matchday 5 fixtures take place on Tuesday October 25 and Wednesday October 26.