Back at it today and tomorrow for the final matches of the group stage. There is still some intrigue to be had, and we’ll look at that in each group for the preview and then get to the picks.
In Group A, Bordeaux are free and clear with 13 points and are strolling into the elimination round. What will be decided today is who takes the other transfer spot from that group, as Juventus (8 points) host Bayern Munich (7). I’m honestly surprised that Munich is in this position both in this group and where they stand in the Bundesliga. I just flat out expected more and every time I thought they were going to turn it on, they haven’t.
Group B has Manchester United leading by three over Wolfsburg, and the two sides play today in Germany. Wolfsburg are one better than United on goal difference – after the Red Devils missed their chance for an easy Group title by losing at home to Besiktas last time out. The latter is bottom of the group with four points and -4 goal differential, and play CSKA Moscow (7 points, -1).
There’s still a good race to be had in Group C, where Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Marseille battle it out for two spots. The Spanish and Italian giants are in the best spots heading into today, with Madrid on 10 points and in the lead, while Milan has 8 and stands second. But Marseille sit third on 7 points and host Madrid today. A Marseille win would leave Milan needing a win at Zurich to advance.
Group D has kind of been the forgotten group of this set of four which has played together throughout. Chelsea have taken the competitive fun out of it in some respects, capturing 13 of a possible 15 points, and there’s nothing left to play for today, as FC Porto have locked up second place with 9 points.
So, with that set up, my picks are below. Remember, it’s 10 points for a winner and exact score; 5 points for win and correct margin of victory; and 2 points just to have the winner. You also get 10 for forecasting a draw and nailing the score; and 5 for forecasting a draw but having it come in with a different score. It’s never too late, and point values will increase as we go through the elimination rounds, so it’s still good to jump in now.
* Juventus v. Bayern (I don’t believe anymore … JUV 1-0)
* Maccabi Haifa v. Bordeaux (Why not … HAIFA 2-1)
* Besiktas v. CSKA Moscow (Throwing a dart … BES 2-0)
* Wolfsburg v. Manchester United (Does Sir Alex run out the kids again? … WOLF 2-1)
* FC Zurich v. AC Milan (One final head-scratcher in this group … 1-1 DRAW)
* Marseille v. Real Madrid (I really want to pick Marseille, but I won’t … 3-2 RM)
* Atletico Madrid v. FC Porto (listed here because it’s on the schedule … AM 2-1)
* Chelsea v. Apoel Nicosia (Yawn … CHEL 3-0)
1) 180 – writered21
2) 137 – aaronstollar
3) 128 – RegularGuy
4) 101 – dkstones
5) 89 – nica1004
6) 60 – tomwilhelm
7) 47 – FlashMan
8) 19 – Lowecifer
9) 16 – FFCinPCB
10) 5 – RandyNA
Check back later tonight for results and picks for tomorrow’s matches.