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Champions League: Matchday five storylines to follow

The Champions League has reached the penultimate round of group games and there is lots to look out for in the midweek matches as the battle for the last-16 intensifies.

This article was originally published on 24 October 2022

Napoli, Club Brugge, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid have all guaranteed a place in the next stage of the competition, while Celtic, Rangers and Viktoria Plzen are the only teams that are unable to advance.

Blues to struggle in Austria

WhatFC Salzburg v Chelsea, Champions League
WhereRB Arena, Salzburg
When17:45, Tuesday 25th October 2022
How to watchBT Sport 4
OddsFC Salzburg 7/2, Draw 3/1, Chelsea 8/11

It is all to play for in Group E and there is a huge clash taking place at the Red Bull Arena, with second-place FC Salzburg taking on leaders Chelsea.

The Blues are only a point ahead of Tuesday's opponents, while third-placed AC Milan and Dinamo Zagreb in fourth are both on four points.

Any slip-up now could prove costly and Graham Potter's side may find life difficult against a Salzburg side who have made their home ground something of a fortress.

Die Roten Bullen haven't lost at home in their last 40 competitive fixtures, with their last defeat coming against Villarreal in the Europa League in February 2021, while they are unbeaten in their previous seven Champions League matches on their own patch.

Although Chelsea are still yet to lose under Potter, they have been under-par with back-to-back draws against Brentford and Manchester United and the hectic fixture schedule is starting to take its toll on the Blues squad.

Salzburg could grab a massive win here, priced at 7/2, and send themselves to the top of the group heading into the final round of fixtures.

The end is nigh for The Old Lady

WhatBenfica v Juventus, Champions League
WhereEstadio da Luz, Lisbon
When20:00, Tuesday 25th October 2022
How to watchBT Sport 8
OddsBenfica 19/20, Draw 5/2, Juventus 3/1

Juventus are enduring a disappointing campaign and it looks like the misery will further be piled on them on Tuesday evening when they travel to Benfica in Group H.

The Old Lady are third in the pool, five points behind leaders PSG and second-place Benfica, and failure to get a victory in Portugal will end the Italian club's chances of reaching the last-16.

Massimiliano Allegri's men have been woeful on the road and they only recently recorded their first away win of the season, edging past Torino 1-0 in a scrappy encounter.

Juventus have suffered defeats at PSG, Monza, AC Milan and Maccabi Haifa this term - conceding seven times and scoring just once - and a fifth loss could be looming.

Benfica, who are 50/1 to win the tournament, are yet to taste defeat across all competitions and they are unbeaten in their previous nine competitive games at the Estadio da Luz - winning eight and drawing one.

Another big scalp set to fall

WhatBarcelona v Bayern Munich, Champions League
WhereCamp Nou, Barcelona
When20:00, Wednesday 26th October 2022
How to watchBT Sport 5
OddsBarcelona 5/4, Draw 3/1, Bayern Munich 7/4

It has been another miserable European campaign for Barcelona and they are on the verge of being knocked out at the group stage of the Champions League for the second year running.

The Catalans are third in Group C, three points behind second-place Inter Milan who play host to Viktoria Plzen at the earlier time of 17:45 on Wednesday.

Should the Serie A outfit get the three points as expected, Barcelona would have to pick up the win on home soil against leaders Bayern, who have a perfect four wins from four so far.

The Bavarians know a victory would secure top spot and they have an impressive record on the road to fall back on, having lost just one of their last 28 away matches in the Champions League.

Barcelona have won their last two assignments to nil, beating Villarreal 3-0 and Athletic Bilbao 4-0, but they have tended to falter when it comes to the pressure moments against the bigger opposition.

Xavi's troops have lost to both Bayern and Inter Milan in Europe, while they also suffered a damaging 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season.

Goals are likely to be on the agenda in this clash, as there have been 26 goals across the last six meetings, and over 3.5 goals at 11/10 could be the way to go.

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