- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On October 19, 2010
- 0 Comments
By Geoff Reid
(Note: Sorry for the delay in getting this up, some games are already in session)
Roma vs Basel from the Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Both these sides met in last season’s Europa League where the Swiss Champions upset the Romans in Rome. Basel have shown what they are capable of so far in this season’s tournament having come close to beating Bayern Munich in the last match day. Quite frankly, Roma should be there for the taking, especially since they haven’t started the domestic season well after coming so close to winning the Serie’ A title last term. Should be a good game.
Bayern Munich vs CFR Clij from the Allianz Arena, Munich
The Bavarians are buoyed by the hat-trick from striker Mario Gomez in league play Saturday and believe it can start a momentum to get the confidence back this season. In Champions League play, they’ve picked up where they left off last season winning their first two matches, domestically in the Bundesliga is where the problems have come. Cluj have also performed admirably in this season’s tournament, and won’t be afraid of Louis van Gaal’s side. Another match to keep your eye on.
Spartak Moskva vs Chelsea from the Luzniki Stadion, Moscow
Chelsea return to the stadium where they so cruelly lost on penalties in the 2008 final. This time, instead of playing against Manchester United, they’ll be going against the local side who have shown promise in the early goings in this competition this season. Chelsea will be lucky that they’re playing in Russia now rather then later in the winter months. Still, Chelsea have dismantled opponents with relative ease so far, and this should be no different.
Marseille vs Zilina from the Stade Velodrome, Marseille
In what could potentially be a battle for third in the group and a spot in the latter stages of the Europa League, Marseille will be the club that is under pressure here. Zilina are playing in the competition for the very first time, so all eyes will be on Didier Deschamps men. Both sides lost their opening two games so with Zilina having nothing to lose, and Marseille needing a win or else potentially being knocked out already, it could turn out to be one to keep an eye on. When this stadium is sold out, it is one incredible atmosphere.
Ajax vs Auxerre from the Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
This tie won’t be the one everyone will be keeping their eyes on in this group, but it doesn’t mean it should be ignored either. Ajax under Martin Jol play attractive football and are always competitive. Ajax are a club that has struggled in recent years both domestically and in Europe, but look a much better outfit under the former Hamburg and Tottenham boss Jol. Auxerre on the other hand know they’re in a very difficult group and this is one match they must take advantage of if they want to make some noise.
Real Madrid vs AC Milan from the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
This one doesn’t need much of a preview. No doubt it is the match of the day with many subplots. The most intriguing will be Jose Mourinho vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but with all of the galatico’s firepower on offer, Mourinho has never been a manager to play open, attacking football. Milan will be happy if they can come away from the Spanish capital with a point so even though it is the most built up match of the day, it wouldn’t be unlikely if it were a 0-0 draw.
Sporting Braga vs Partizan Belgrade from the Estadio Municipal de Braga, Braga
The Portuguese side have been very disappointing this season, and quite frankly I expected more of them so far. Doesn’t mean they can’t come good, but Partizan have experience in the competition and have shown they do play some decent football. Essentially if the Belgrade outfit do not come away with all three points in this encounter, they should be disappointed.
Arsenal vs Shakhtar Donetsk from the Emirates Stadium, London
Quite frankly, if Arsene Wenger’s lads can’t get all three points in this one, it confirms Arsenal are not as strong as some think. The Gunners should win this one easily, as traditionally Ukrainian sides have not done well on their travels.