The Champions League is one of the most watched football competitions across the globe and the next set of group matches take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Liverpool, Ajax, Juventus and Bayern Munich are already through to the last 16 but that leaves 12 places still to be decided. Matchday five features some big head to heads such as Barcelona taking on Benfica and Sporting facing Dortmund while there are other big games such as Villarreal versus Man Utd and Chelsea against Juventus.
One of the games of the week is Barcelona hosting Benfica. It will be new coach Xavi's first European game in charge and after a humiliating 3-0 defeat in Lisbon, Barca must avoid defeat to have qualification in their own hands on the last day. Victory over Benfica will see them progress with a game to spare while Jorge Jesus' men need to avoid defeat to stay in the hunt, but a victory will put their destiny in their own hands.
Elsewhere, Villarreal take on Man Utd in the incredibly open Group F. The group, also featuring Atalanta and Young Boys, is the most even of all and everyone still has a chance of qualifying. Both Villarreal and Man Utd are on seven points while Atalanta have five and Young Boys three. United will book their place in the last 16 with a win while Villarreal will take a big step towards qualification.
In group C, there is also a big showdown in Lisbon between Sporting and Dortmund. The Portuguese side were beaten 1-0 in Germany and a two goal victory against the Germans will see them progress while any win for Dortmund will see them qualify. A draw or one goal Sporting win will see second place decided on the last day. Ajax are already through while Besiktas are out. Dortmund have been missing Erling Haaland and Ruben Amorim's side will fancy their chances on home turf.
Other big showdowns see Man City take on PSG in group A. That will likely see first place decided and a win for either will book their place in the knockout stages. Club Brugge also take on Leipzig and the Belgians need to win to keep the pressure on the losers of Man City versus PSG. Another eyecatching clash sees Real Madrid travel to Moldovans Sheriff. Madrid were stunned 1-2 at home by Sheriff, but after starting with two wins, two defeats to Inter have seen Sheriff drop to third place and defeat here will likely see them eliminated. Real Madrid will be through with victory.
Finally, Liverpool host Porto and even though Liverpool are already through as group winners, Porto are fighting with Atletico Madrid and Milan for second place in group B while Sevilla take on Wolfsburg and leaders Salzburg play second placed Lille in group G. Like group F, nothing has been decided in that group either.
As you can see there are plenty of matches in midweek to enjoy and many football fans like to increase their enjoyment of matches by placing a bet. Sometimes it is to try and win money on a result they think will happen, but other times, it is placed on a game just to give the punter interest in a match he or she would not normally be interested in.
If sports betting is not your thing, there is no problem. Online casinos are now widespread and the advantage over traditional casinos is that they can be played at any time of the day from the comfort of your own home. Many footballers such as James Maddison, Mario Balotelli and Wayne Rooney like casinos so football and casinos definitely go together. In New Zealand, the Champions League is played early in the morning, but with online casinos, the player decides what time he or she plays.
There are many online casinos in New Zealand and it is extremely important to make sure that the site you are using is a reliable one. To do that, ensure the website has the Gambling Commission logo at the bottom of the page. That way, you will know that the site is safe to use. We have provided you with a list of safe casinos and as you can see, they all offer bonuses to attract new customers. We recommend you search around for the offer that most suits you.
There are plenty of games to get stuck into such as Blackjack (or pontoon) where players get two cards and then stick or twist in an attempt to get to 21 without busting, Bacarrat, Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps and much more. In fact, some players in New Zealand have won huge sums of money on casinos so it is well worth having a go. However, we remind you to bet responsibly. Enjoy the football and happy gambling!
Standout matches today