It’s the final round of fixtures in the Champions League, and this week we will find out which sides have progressed through to the next round of the competition. There are still a number of places that need to be decided, and some of the biggest teams in Europe will have an anxious wait to see if they have made it through.
Inter Milan vs Barcelona
Inter Milan have been flying since Antonio Conte arrived at the San Siro. However, they have a big challenge on their hands if they are to progress through to the next round. Romelu Lukaku has been instrumental in the success that the Italian club has achieved. The Belgium striker has scored ten goals in his 15 Serie A appearances. However, he has only scored once in this qualifying campaign.
They will need a win against Barcelona to ensure their passage through to the next round, as any slip up could open up the path for Borussia Dortmund to pounce. The German side will be expected to get maximum points from their final game as they take on Slavia Prague, who are yet to win a game in this season’s competition.
Barcelona have already ensured their place at the top of the group and may opt to play a weakened side like they did this time last year. On that occasion, they did so against Tottenham Hotspur, which ensured the English side progressed with a draw on the final day of the group at the expense of Inter.
This fixture is a very tight one to call and could go either way. It will largely depend on the team that Barcelona puts out. However, there is a high chance of both teams scoring as these two sides have scored more than anyone else in Group F.
Ajax vs Valencia
Valencia would have been counting their lucky stars that they were able to get a last-minute equaliser against Chelsea in their last fixture as that means that their qualification hopes are still in their hands. However, Ajax are also not yet through to the next round, which means the battle for a place is between these two opponents as well as Chelsea.
The Blues host Lille in the last game of their fixtures, which means they should be able to get the three points they need. A point would be good enough for Ajax to progress. Valencia will need to at least match Chelsea’s result to get through to the next round of the competition.
Ajax gave Valencia their only defeat in the Champions League in the previous meeting between the two. The Dutch side ran away with a 3-0 win in that game in Spain, and you would be hard-pressed to suggest that they won’t do that again. Ajax have conceded the fewest goals in this group and have scored the most. It would be a disaster if they weren’t to get through, and they should get the three points they need to condemn Valencia to the Europa League after Christmas.