Champions League Wednesday Preview

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City are both looking to seal their places in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Wins for Spurs and City on Wednesday would take them into the knockout stages.

City face the tough looking trip to Naples as they face Napoli – but they know just avoiding defeat will see them through but Pep Guardiola will not be playing for a draw in Italy.

“Why would we play for a draw when we can play for a win?” the City boss said.

“We are going to try to win the game against Napoli like at West Brom [last Saturday]. They are athletes, they play a game – we want to win.”

Spurs go into their clash with Madrid at Wembley – knowing that victory would take them through, although likewise the Spanish giants will also progress with three points.

“Of course this is a game that you have to be brave in. When you are playing against the best team in the world, if you are not brave, it is so difficult. You start losing,” Spurs chief Mauricio Pochettino said.

“And yes we are going to be brave. For me it is it is important that our mentality is right good, we are going to try to play without fear, and dominate the game and try to win with that mentality.

“It is more about the team, the squad, not picking out one player. Of course we are going to try to be brave in the way that we are going to play.”

Liverpool host Maribor at the top of Group E and with their destiny firmly in their own hands but despite the 7-0 win in the reverse fixture, Jurgen Klopp has warned fans not expect the same again.

“If you expect a high result from the first second and you are already nervous in the first minute then that would not be too smart,” said Klopp.

“If anyone is expecting something like this (7-0) I cannot change that. If we win at the end 1-0 I am completely happy about it because it means we have three more points.”

Elsewhere, Besiktas can wrap up progression from Group G if they beat Monaco in Istanbul.

See below for a run-down on the games, including predictions from leading agent Barry Silkman and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey together with everything you need to know from the bookies – with BoyleSports’s Leon Blanche.

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Liverpool 19:45 Maribor

TEAM NEWS: Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are both ruled out whilst Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren are major doubts. Denis Sme and Luka Zahovic are sidelined for the visitors.
KEY FACT: Maribor have won only one of their nine games against England opposition in all competitions, a 2-1 win against Wigan
MATCH ODDS: Liverpool 1/20 Draw 12/1 Maribor 33/1
GRAEME SAYS: Maribor won’t present a problem to Liverpool here…4-0
SILKY SAYS: Easy home win for sure, three points coming Liverpool’s way…3-0
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Liverpool -3 @21/20
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Philippe Coutinho is just over £5 – still looks good value to us

Napoli 19:45 Manchester City
San Paolo

TEAM NEWS: Arkadiusz Milik is out for Napoli, whilst City are without skipper Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy.
KEY FACT: Man City have won only one of their six European games in Italy
MATCH ODDS: Napoli 9/5 Draw 11/4 Man City 7/5
GRAEME SAYS: I believe that City will have enough here, but will be close…1-2
SILKY SAYS: A really good game this and I see goals too, but a draw…2-2
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Both Teams to Score and Man City win @14/5
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Kevin De Bruyne is now just over £4 – still a wonderful buy

Tottenham Hotspur 19:45 Real Madrid

TEAM NEWS: Harry Kane is a doubt for Spurs but looks set to play. Victor Wanyama is out. Mateo KovacicGareth BaleRaphael VaraneKeylor Navas and Dani Carvajal all miss out for Real.
KEY FACT: Spurs yet to keep clean sheet in five European games at Wembley
MATCH ODDS: Spurs 11/5 Draw 6/5 Real 13/5
GRAEME SAYS: Both teams would be happy with a draw here and I think that is the outcome…1-1 
SILKY SAYS: A tough one for Spurs, I can see Real coming out on top here…1-3
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Real Madrid win @13/5
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Marco Asensio is a great talent and at £2.21 is a bargain

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