We have reached the sixth and final matchday of the 2022/23 Champions League group stage, and there is plenty left to play for.
Here are our picks and predictions.
💪 Game of the week
Marseille v Tottenham
It might not have been the most intriguing group when the draw was made, but Group D is the most delicately poised of them all as we head into the crunch finale.
Tottenham, Marseille, Sporting CP and Eintracht Frankfurt can all still finish top of the group, but they can also all be dumped out of the competition if they aren’t careful.
Antonio Conte’s Spurs perhaps have the least to worry about considering they just need a draw in Marseille to progress or a victory to be assured of top spot in the group, but their hot and cold form of late means avoiding defeat in the south of France is by no means guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Sporting just need a draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt to qualify for the last 16, but a shock Primeira Liga defeat to Arouca at the weekend was far from the ideal preparation for Rúben Amorim’s side.
Marseille and Frankfurt fans will be clutching their prayer beads on Tuesday evening, but all hope is not lost yet.
📊 Fun fact: Tottenham have never won in their six previous trips to France.
🔮 Our prediction: Marseille 2-2 Tottenham
🤔 Too close to call
Shakhtar Donetsk v RB Leipzig
There are also a couple of reasons to keep a close eye on Group C on Wednesday evening.
European champions Real Madrid are already assured of a place in the knockout rounds, but if they were to suffer a surprise defeat at home to Celtic, it would certainly make matters very interesting.
Over in Warsaw and Shakhtar Donetsk — one of the competition’s surprise packages this year – are hosting a Leipzig side who have a chance of topping the group if Real Madrid slip up.
But the Bundesliga outfit could also drop into the Europa League if they suffer defeat to Shakhtar and remember, the Ukrainians won 4-1 when these two sides last met on matchday one.
Leipzig may have beaten Real Madrid last week but another huge effort is required from Marco Rose’s men if they are to book their ticket to the last 16.
📊 Fun fact: Shakhtar have drawn their last three European home games 1-1.
🔮 Our prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 RB Leipzig
😨 Potential upset
Milan v Salzburg
We could also be in for a nervy night at San Siro on Wednesday.
Chelsea’s win over Salzburg last week sent them through to the round of 16 as winners of Group E, but that runners-up spot is very much up for grabs.
Milan will claim it if they just avoid defeat to Salzburg, but the Austrian side will leapfrog the Serie A champions if they can pull off an upset.
Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung are calling this game the “Grande Finale” and you can understand why, as a defeat for Salzburg combined with a shock win for Dinamo Zagreb at Stamford Bridge would also see third place changing hands.
It should make for a fascinating clash in Milan and after they were beaten away at Torino on Saturday, it will be interesting to see if the Rossoneri can hold their nerve and get the job done.
📊 Fun fact: No Austrian club has won a UEFA game at San Siro in 12 previous visits (D2 L10).
🔮 Our prediction: Milan 1-2 Salzburg
🤩 Star man
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
The 21-year-old Georgian magician has enthralled everybody fortunate enough to have watched him play this season, and he’ll have another opportunity to make a name for himself on a big stage when Napoli take on Liverpool on Tuesday.
Luciano Spalletti’s men won 4-1 when they hosted Liverpool in Naples on matchday one, and another victory at Anfield would see them become the first Italian side since Milan in 1992/93 to win all six group stage matches.
The Partenopei are currently on a sensational 13-match winning run in all competitions and Kvaratskhelia will be hoping to add to his tally of five goal involvements in the Champions League so far this season.