- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On September 28, 2010
- 0 Comments
- Geoff Reid, UCL 2010/11
By Geoff Reid
The second day of matches kicks off today with some very interesting ties on slate. After the opening round of fixtures we didn’t really learn too much, and confirmed what we already know after some of the big boys thrashing a few minnows.
FC Basel vs Bayern Munich from St. Jakob-Park, Basel
Last years finalists travel to Switzerland struggling to find goal scoring form, and will be keen on setting things straight after Saturday’s surprise defeat to FSV Mainz 05 in league play. Arjen Robben, and Frank Ribery have gone down with injuries which doesn’t help their cause. On the other hand, the Swiss champions are coming off a 4-1 win over FC Zurich, while after their opening round defeat to CFR Cluj may suggest their problem lies at the other end of the pitch.
Roma vs CFR Cluj from the Stadio Olimpico, Rome
The Romanians are hoping for a repeat of their dream result two seasons ago after beating Roma 2-1 in their Champions League debut. Even though they are the Romanian title holders, the club is more famous for this win, which will give them confidence. Roma ended up winning the group that season, while Cluj ended up finishing bottom, and with Roma getting off to a slow start in Munich last time around, manager Claudio Ranieri knows they need to come out on top in this one.
Spartak Moskva vs Zilina from the Luzhniki Stadion, Moscow
In a match that shouldn’t get the neutrals too excited, Zilina are looking to put to bed their hammering they received at the hands of Chelsea two weeks ago. This match will probably be one of the better chances of that happening, but this season will be more of a learning experiment since it’s their first time in the competition. The Russian side are coming off a win in southern France which will give them confidence in the weeks to come.
Chelsea vs Marseille from Stamford Bridge, London
The two group favorites face off in west London in what should be a very intriguing game. Marseille got off on the wrong foot at home last time out, which makes this one more important, and puts a little more pressure on the French side. Chelsea themselves are coming off a defeat in league play to Manchester City this past weekend, so Carlo Anchelotti will look to put things right in this encounter.
Auxerre vs Real Madrid from the Stade Abbe-Deschamps, Auxerre
The French side are eager to show that they learned from their mistakes in the opening fixture against AC Milan, where the actually played well, but gave up two late Zlatan Ibrahimovic strikes in the final 25 minutes and dropping to a defeat. The big clubs don’t need a lot of chances to score, and will be wary of Madrid’s scoring power. Expect Mourinho’s galacticos to get the away win here.
Ajax vs AC Milan from the Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
The Italians will be favorites for this one, but Martin Jol’s club won’t be scared, and Belgian international Jan Vertonghen should be making his debut in this competition, who has been with Ajax since 2003 and has become a mainstay in the side. The Dutch side will have trouble trying to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet, as well as the other weapons the Milan giants can boast. Should be a good one.
Partizan Belgrade vs Arsenal from Stadion FK Partizan, Belgrade
The Partizan players are confident of an upset over Arsene Wenger’s men, but know it will be difficult. If there’s a time where you can get the better of the gunners, then the time is now with question marks over Manuel Almunia in goal, and the back line being very shaky after a shocking home 3-2 defeat to West Brom on Saturday. Could we be in for a shocker?
Sporting Braga vs Shakhtar Donetsk from Estadio Municipal de Braga, Braga
The Portuguese outfit will want to get back to winnings ways quickly after getting thrashed at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago, and tonight may be the best time to do it. The Ukrainians also got off to a slow start in the competition last match day, and will look to put that right in this one thinking Braga will be ripe for the picking.