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Champions League picks, predictions: PSG preferred to Newcastle by experts, Barcelona could drop points, more

It’s crunch time in the Champions League as action returns midweek with Matchday 5. Just six points remain up for grabs for all of the teams with the likes of Manchester United, Milan and Newcastle in uncomfortable positions. More teams will punch their tickets to the knockout stage with FC Barcelona, Napoli and Arsenal among the teams who could do so.

Who will come away victorious across 16 games on Tuesday and Wednesday? Find out below with our UCL picks: 

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Champions League broadcast schedule

All times Eastern

Tuesday, Nov. 28 Time How to watch

Lazio vs. Celtic

12:45 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Antwerp

12:45 p.m.

Paramount+

UEFA Champions League Today pre-match

2 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

The Golazo Show

3 p.m.

Paramount+

AC Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Feyenoord vs. Atletico Madrid

3 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

Paris Sanit-Germain vs. Newcastle United

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Barcelona vs. Porto

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Young Boys vs. Crvena zvezda

3 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig

3 p.m.

Paramount+

UEFA Champions League Today post-match

5 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

The Champions Club

6 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

Kickin’ It

7 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

Scoreline

8 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

Wednesday, Nov. 29 Time How to watch

Galatasaray vs. Manchester United

12:45 p.m.

Paramount+

Sevilla vs. PSV

12:45 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

UEFA Champions League Today pre-match

2 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

The Golazo Show 3 p.m. Paramount+

Bayern Munich vs. Copenhagen

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Real Madrid vs. Napoli

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Real Sociedad vs. RB Salzbrug

3 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Network

Braga vs. Union Berlin

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Arsenal vs. Lens

3 p.m.

Paramount+

Benfica vs. Inter

3 p.m.

Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

UEFA Champions League Today post-match

5 p.m.

Paramount+. CBS Sports Network

The Champions Club

6 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

Scoreline

9 p.m.

CBS Sports Golazo Network

CBSSports.com writers Matchday 4 — Tuesday’s picks

PSG vs. Newcastle

by Jonathan Johnson

One matchup to watch: Fabian Ruiz vs. Bruno Guimaraes — With Warren Zaire-Emery absent until the winter break, PSG will be deprived of the wonder kid against both Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund. Without the France international, Luis Enrique is likely to go with Fabian Ruiz who has slowly been improving in form as the season has progressed and he should start here. Les Parisiens lost the battle for midfield supremacy in spectacular fashion in Newcastle when the Spanish tactician went for just two recognized midfielders. Expect that to be rectified here with the Spain international deployed alongside Vitinha and Manuel Ugarte.

Most likely to score a goal: Kylian Mbappe — With PSG at home in a must-win Champions League game, it feels set for the French superstar to come up big. Although he has not necessarily been at his best this group stage, notably away at both Newcastle and Milan, he remains the hosts’ main goal threat so expect him to get involved at Parc des Princes on Tuesday. 

Man of the Match pick: Vitinha — Without Zaire-Emery, the midfield needs to pull together to function well as a trio. However, PSG blew Milan away in Paris thanks to the efforts of an underrated player who is currently rising in influence through stunning goals as well as hard work. Vitinha was crucial in freeing up Mbappe against the Italians and is likely to be asked to provide another all-action showing here by Luis Enrique.

Match prediction: PSG 2, Newcastle 1 — PSG need the win as Group F has tightened to the point that there is no real margin for error now. Even a victory might not be enough for the French champions to regain top spot, but at least it would be in their hands in the final game away at Dortmund. There are few tougher places to go needing a result if PSG let themselves fall into a position where they need to go to Germany and win.

Man City vs. RB Leipzig

By Pardeep Cattry

One matchup to watch: Erling Haaland vs. Castello Lukeba and Lukas Klostermann — On a day where Manchester City can claim first place with a win and a game to spare, expect Pep Guardiola to pull out all the stops. That most likely means another outing for Haaland, and whenever he’s on the pitch, the match is usually an exercise in waiting for the inevitable. It will be up to center backs Lukeba and Klostermann to  keep him at bay to give their side a chance at raining on City’s parade.

Most likely to score a goal: Erling Haaland — There are few players easier to bet on than the Norwegian, who became the fastest player to score 50 Premier League goals over the weekend. Expect him to add to his extraordinary account on Tuesday, and help City clinch top spot in the group in the process.

Man of the Match pick: Erling Haaland — As mentioned before, it’s hard for anyone else to be the star of the show if Haaland is delivering as usual. It will be hard to pick anyone else for this title if he does.

Match prediction: City 2, Leipzig 0 — The visitors are talented in their own right, and should keep the score respectable, especially if their meeting on Matchday 2 is anything to go by — Leipzig played most of the second half at 1-1 before two late goals allowed City to take all three points. That match also proves that even on a less-than-perfect day, City have all the tools needed to win and they will likely do so again on Tuesday.

CBSSports.com writers Matchday 4 — Wednesday’s picks

Real Madrid vs. Napoli

by Francesco Porzio

One matchup to watch: Victor Osimhen vs. Toni Rudiger — Even if it’s still not clear if Osimhen will start at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, since he’s still recovering from his last injury, this is still something to watch. The Nigerian striker, in fact, was crucial when he came in against Atalanta on Saturday and provided the decisive assist for the goal scored by Eljif Elmas. 

Most likely to score a goal: Jude Bellingham — Who else? The English midfielder has been the best player of the season so far for the team coached by Carlo Ancelotti and wants to replicate the stunner he scored at the Maradona back in September. Bellingham has already scored 13 goals in all competitions so far. 

Man of the Match pick: Luka Modric — With the multiple injuries that are affecting the Spanish roster, Modric is now back in his starting role. The Croatian midfielder, despite the fact he’s entering the last year of contract at the club, is still crucial and already showed his impact in many key games played this season, most recently El Clasico against FC Barcelona. 

Match prediction: Real Madrid 3, Napoli 1 — The home team are the favorites but Napoli shouldn’t be underestimated now that they’ve changed their coach and appointed Walter Mazzarri as caretaker until the end of the season. The Azzurri, with Mazzarri in charge, won away against Atalanta on Saturday and showed some improvements compared to the Rudi Garcia’s spell. 

Galatasaray vs. Manchester United 

by James Benge

One matchup to watch: Sacha Boey vs. Luke Shaw — When these sides met at Old Trafford Boey had the run of the United left, particularly late on. That was perhaps no wonder given that Erik ten Hag felt compelled to use Sofyan Amrabat at full back amid an injury crisis in that spot. Sunday’s win at Everton saw that abate somewhat with Luke Shaw’s return; at his best the England international should not only be able to quell Boey but might be able to dovetail with Marcus Rashford and ask serious questions of the Galatasaray defender.

Most likely to score a goal: Mauro Icardi — This game features two of the top four in the Champions League xG charts with Galatasaray’s Argentine striker just ahead of Rasmus Hojlund. Given the relatively underwhelming defensive displays of both sides during the group stage, it would seem a fair bet that both score, but if I had to make on the favorite it might just be the Argentine, who has been nothing if not extremely watchable during this competition.

Man of the Match pick: Lucas Torreira — One suspects that this will be a smorgasbord of errors, a game totally lacking in control and precision but overloaded with drama and energy. Such matches might well suit the relentless verticality of Torreira. Or he could just find himself totally bypassed. Your guess is as good as mine. *Shrugs*

Match prediction: Galatasaray 2, Manchester United 2 — Given everything that has happened so far in Group A, do you think Ten Hag and Okan Buruk have much of a clue what to expect? It seems perverse then that I’m expected to offer you much more than expect the unexpected. So yeah, a 2-2 draw, why not?

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