Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
The final round of Champions League group matches gets underway with eight crucial fixtures. There are two Premier League representatives involved and fans of English football will be hoping to see Liverpool join Arsenal in reaching the knockouts.
Whilst the Gunners have already sealed their place in the last 16, Liverpool must beat Swiss side Basel to join Real Madrid as Group B qualifiers.
Liverpool V FC Basel. 7:45PM. ITV 1
Despite picking up just four points from five matches, Brendan Rodgers’ men could still seal their place in the last 16 with a vital win against Basel.
The Reds have endured a difficult Group B campaign, which was underlined by the late Ludogorets equaliser last time out, but they will be confident in front of a buzzing Anfield crowd. If they bring their best, then they should secure a dramatic end to this group phase.
Basel are by no means an easy opposition, though, and Paulo Sousa’s men enter this clash with seven wins from their past eight competitive matches. However, they did suffer defeat at the Bernabeu and Liverpool will be hoping to make Anfield a similarly formidable fortress.
Liverpool have improved in recent games but are still miles away from the standard shown in 2014/14. However, this is a real opportunity to finally get their season running in top gear. Expect them to take grab that chance with both hands.
Liverpool V FC Basel Betting
This is the sort of huge European night that Anfield has craved for over five years and it should be a thrilling night on Merseyside.
If there is one man that knows what this means to the fans then it is captain Steven Gerrard. The Reds skipper has provided plenty of golden moments over the years and, whilst he has been scrutinised in recent weeks, he still has a huge part to play at Liverpool Football Club.
Expect him to lead by example against the Swiss.
Steven Gerrard to score anytime @ 10/3 with Paddy Power
Galatasaray V Arsenal. 7:45PM. Sky Sports 5
The Gunners have already sealed their progress from Group D to continue their record of consecutive last 16 appearances. However, Arsene Wenger’s men will still want to pass this test in Turkey by picking up three points in the Telekom Arena.
Arsenal’s chances of beating Dortmund to top spot are virtually non-existent but Arsene Wenger will be eager to fire a warning shot across Europe by winning this tricky fixture. Galatasaray have been poor in this year’s competition, but the trip to Istanbul is never easy and the hosts will want to take advantage of a weak Gunners defence.
The 3-2 loss to Stoke was another reminder that Arsenal’s shortcomings can be ripped apart, but the Premier League side are still capable of dominating games with the ball and their ability to control the midfield could be key. They have, however, suffered another blow as Jack Wilshere’s injury is worse than first expected and could keep the England man out to March.
In some ways, points are irrelevant in this one. Nevertheless, both teams will want to end the group stage on a high, especially as they’ve each got crucial domestic matches this weekend. The neutrals could be in for a real treat.
Galatasaray V Arsenal Betting
The reverse fixture ended 4-1 to the Gunners and the north Londoners will fancy their chances against a Galatasaray defence that has shipped 15 in the group stage already.
However, the Turks will want to impress in their final fixture and should give the Gunners a real run for their money. The situation makes it a really tough game to bet on as it could go one way or the other, but we think attack is the best form of defence for both sides and hope the added freedom should allow for some expansive play at both ends.
Over 3.5 match goals @ 9/5 with BetVictor