Champions League Round 5 Preview and Lineups

The Italian clubs enjoyed a positive Round 4 in the European elite competition, with Juventus sealing their qualification to the knockout stages, and Atalanta recording a historical win in Anfield. But on the other hand, Inter’s second defeat against Real Madrid put them on the edge of elimination. Can Antonio Conte’s team miraculously save their European season?

Here’s our preview and predicted lineups for round 5 of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage.

Atalanta – Midtjylland

They’ve done it! Atalanta managed to avenge their embarrassing 0-5 home loss to Liverpool by beating the English Premier League champions on their own turf in Anfield. Although the Reds had their major absentees in defense, La Dea’s win will no doubt help them refresh their so-far underwhelming season, and now they have a chance of making it two wins in a row in Europe when they welcome Danish champions Midtjylland in Round 5 of the Champions League Group Stage.

Gian Piero Gasperini will probably field his favorite attacking triangle from last season, star strikers Duvan Zapata and Josip Iličić, supported by captain Alejandro Gomez. The veteran tactician is once again able to rely on his best midfield, with Marten De Roon and Remo Freuler in the double-pivot , flanked by Hans Hateboer and Robin Gosens.

Atalanta have been perfect away from home in the competition but are yet to win a home fixture, and this should be their chance, as they meet a side they have already crushed 4-0. Although a win wouldn’t secure them qualification, but it could put them in front of Ajax before their decisive encounter next week.

Borussia Mönchengladbach – Inter 

Shakhtar Donetsk were enjoying themselves at the top of group B, until Borussia Mönchengladbach destroyed them home and away in a stunning aggregate score of 10-0. On the other hand, Inter are yet to win a single European match this season in four tries, and after their back-to-back defeats against Real Madrid, their European hopes are hanging by a thread.

In attack, the Germans will rely on their French duo Alassane Pléa and Marcus Thuram, whilst Austrian right-back Valentino Lazaro will be facing his parent club. On the other hand, in the absence of Arturo Vidal, Antonio Conte’s midfield will be consisted of Italian trio, Nicolò Barella, Roberto Gagliardini and Stefano Sensi, supporting star strikers Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.

The Nerazzurri have no other option but to win their last two remaining encounters – starting with this one against Mönchengladbach – and then they probably have to rely on Madrid to win their last fixture against the Germans. It might seem like an almost impossible mission, but Inter must try to emulate Atalanta’s Champions League campaign from last season.

Juventus – Dynamo Kyiv 

Juventus found some unexpected difficulties in their last European match against Hungarian champions Ferencvaros, but they ended up securing their qualification to the knockout stages thanks to an added-time winner from Alvaro Morata. Speaking of the Spaniard, he was also the decisive man in the Italian champions’ first meeting with Dynamo Kyiv, and he’d love to add an extra goal or two to his impressive tally when the two sides meet once again on Wednesday.

Andrea Pirlo is expected to maintain his 4-4-2 formation once again. Cristiano Ronaldo should be back after getting rested during the weekend, partnered by Alvaro Morata who will be suspended for the upcoming weekend fixture against Torino. Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Bernardeschi are expected to start on the wings, while Leonardo Bonucci should be back to the starting lineup alongside Matthijs De Ligt in defense.

The Bianconeri have spared their fans the drama with an early qualification, but they need to earn all three points to keep their slim chances of securing the top spot in Group G alive, before they travel to Barcelona next week.

Borussia Dortmund – Lazio 

Lazio are enjoying a successful Champions League campaign so far with two wins and two draws in their four matches, as Simone Inzaghi was able to weather the Covid-19 storm and obtain decent results with a decimated squad. Dortmund made up for their opening-day loss to the Aquile with three straight wins which put them on top Group F, and they can secure their 1st place finish if they manage to avenge their only loss.

BVB manager Lucien Favre is expected to unleash an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, with star striker Erling Braut Haaland supported by Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Giovanni Reyna. For his part, Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi will be finally able to field one of his best lineups for this Champions League Round 5 encounter . Joaquin Correa should start right behind Ciro Immobile, whilst Luis Alberto, Lucas Leiva and Sergei Milinkovic-Savic will be reunited in midfield.

The Biancocelesti are just one win away from locking down their spot in round of 16, but a defeat against the Germans could put them in a dangerous spot before their final group stage encounter against Club Brugge – especially if the Belgians manage to get a good result against Zenit this week.