UEFA Champions League Preview: Matchday 4 Part 1

UEFA Champions League Preview: Matchday 4 Part 1

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On November 2, 2010
  • 2010/11 UCL

By Geoff Reid

Group A
Tottenham vs Inter Milan from White Hart Lane, London
In what should be the most anticipated clash of today, this should be the Gareth Bale show. Certainly the 21 year old Welshman stole the headlines a fortnight ago with his hat-trick in Spurs’ 4-3 defeat at the San Siro. With a win, Rafa Benitez’ side will clinch a spot in the knock out phases. Spurs sit in second place, and will look to pick up three points themselves to get some distance between them and Werder Bremen, and FC Twente.

Werder Bremen vs FC Twente from the Weserstadion, Bremen
This will be a contest that will determine who will stay alive and have a chance of qualification for the knockout rounds. Both are at the bottom of the group level on two points and both know now is the time to kick their campaigns into gear. If either side wins and Tottenham lose against Inter, the winner could also take second place by the end of the afternoon. Group A will be one to keep an eye out today.

Group B
Tel-Aviv vs Schalke from Bloomfield Stadium, Tel-Aviv
Schalke currently sit second from bottom of the German Bundesliga, but they’re hoping the Champions League will be a nice welcome distraction as they sit in second place in the group. This is the Israeli club’s must win match as it simply is their only option if they want to continue playing football in Europe this season, let alone the Champions League. The German side will once again be looking to use Europe as a springboard for the rest of the season domestically and take one step closer to booking a place in the knock out phases.

Benfica vs Lyon from the Estadio do SL Benfica, Lisbon
Lyon will be looking to book their place into the knockout rounds once again with a win in Portugal, while Benfica are aiming to make things easier for themselves coming down to the last two matches after today. Lyon are almost virtually qualified so this should be a good chance for Benfica to catch them off guard. If Benfica don’t pick up a win in this one, it will certainly be an uphill battle the last two matches in this group.

Group C
Valencia vs Rangers from the Estadi de Mestalla, Valencia
Should be a great game to keep an eye on. Valencia currently sit third in the group on four points, while the Scottish champions surprisingly are in second on five and remain unbeaten this season in all competitions. When the draw was made, it was said that the Spanish club would advance along with Manchester United rather easily, but credit to Rangers for making this one interesting so far. It wasn’t long ago that Valencia were sitting at the top of La Liga after all. This one expects to be Rangers going into their defensive shell similar to how they did at Old Trafford, and see if Valencia can break them down.

Bursaspor vs Manchester United from the Bursa Ataturk, Bursa
Currently the Turkish champions sit at the bottom of the group on no points, however, third place is still within reach which means a invitation to the knockout rounds of the Europa League in the spring. Manchester United, who sit top of the group with seven points, will be looking to take one more step towards the knockout rounds in what is a fairly even group so far. Even without Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson has options to get the goals needed to win.

Group D
FC Kobenhavn vs Barcelona from the Parken Stadion, Copenhagen
This is a tie between both sides that look the most likely to advance out of this group. Of course with Barcelona, you would expect nothing less. The Danish champions have been a pleasant surprise so far this season, and raised a few eyebrows. Pep Guardiola’s men will be favorites in this clash, but the home side should be ready for a battle just as they did at the Camp Nou earlier in the season.

Rubin Kazan vs Panathinaikos from the Centraini, Kazan
This match is likely to be the last chance both sides have of getting something out of this season in Europe. Panathinaikos have especially been disappointing so far considering the changes made to their squad this past summer. Rubin have still yet to win a game so far in this group, but a win in this one coupled with a loss to Kobenhavn would do a lot of good for the Russian side putting them a point behind second place.