UEFA Champions League Previews: Matchday 4, Part 2

UEFA Champions League Previews: Matchday 4, Part 2

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On November 3, 2010
  • 2010/11 UCL, Geoff Reid

By Geoff Reid

Group E
Basel vs Roma from St. Jakob-Park, Basel
This group looks to have it’s winner all set in Bayern Munchen walking away with the lead, while the other three teams are all level on three points each. This makes today’s clash between the Swiss champions, and Claudio Ranieri’s boys all the more important. With Bayern looking to book their place in the next round as early as possible, the winner of this tie could potentially gain a foothold on second place going into the last two games. One to keep an eye on for sure.

CFR Cluj vs Bayern Munchen from the Stadionui Dr Constantin Radulescu, Cluj
All last season’s runners up need is one point from this encounter to confirm qualification to the knockout rounds. However, Louis van Gaal’s mentality will be to win this match, and the group to get a favorable draw later on. Cluj still have a chance to finish second in the group, and need to get some sort of result in this tie today to help their cause. Second place in the group is up for grabs so expect Cluj to come out with no fear in this one.

Group F
Chelsea vs Spartak Moskva from Stamford Bridge, London
This tie will be between both sides that should get out of this group. Chelsea should be the obvious winners, while the Russians should wrap up second. Nothing will be decided today, but over the last two games in the group stage it should be confirmed. The west London side have a 100% record in this competition this season, so expect that to continue.

Zilina vs Marseille from the Stadion MSK Zilina, Zilina
The home side have not picked up a point yet in this tournament, and they’re very confident today can be the day against Marseille. In reality, this is their last chance to get at least third place, and a passage into the Europa League in the spring. Marseille, having got their first win in the group during the previous match day, will be looking to collect all three points to make a charge towards second place and challenge Spartak Moskva for the runners up spot in the group.

Group G
Auxerre vs Ajax from the Stade Abbe-Deschamps, Auxerre
This is the other tie that not many neutrals will be paying any attention to in this group, but may be more interesting then some suggest. The home side have lost every game in this group so far, so this is their last chance to get something going to stand any chance of playing in Europe later on in the season. Ajax are level with Milan on four points in second place, and will be looking to get a win in France to push themselves towards the knockout phase, or at least cement third place.

AC Milan vs Real Madrid from the San Siro, Milan
No need to go into detail about this clash, as Jose Mourinho makes his return to Milan, but to face his former rivals. He’ll also be looking to pick up a win on his former stomping ground and book qualification into the next round. Milan are coming off a 2-1 home defeat in league play to rivals Juventus this past weekend, so they will be looking to put it right against the galacticos. Can’t wait for this one.

Group H
Partizan Belgrade vs Sporting Braga from FK Partizan, Belgrade
In what should be an excellent atmosphere, the home side will be fighting for their lives to at least stay alive having lost all three matches in the group so far. Braga, having come off their first win in the previous match day, will be looking to gain momentum after a slow start in this group, and are confident ahead of today’s clash. If Arsenal can defeat Shakhtar Donetsk with a win in Belgrade, the Portuguese side can end the day joint second with the Ukrainians so it’s all to play for.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Arsenal from Donbass Arena, Donetsk
The main build up has been about former Arsenal player Eduardo going against his old colleagues and friends and has fired a warning shot in the process. The talking point regarding this match is which Arsenal team will show up? The one that thrashed Shakhtar 5-1 in north London a fortnight ago, or the one that has struggled in the Ukraine historically? Either way, both sides look to advance out of the group, and Arsene Wenger will want to qualify as soon as possible, and can do that with a win today.

  • Mike

    I have a proposal to fix the Champions League and you need look no further than the NCAA Tournament. Check it out! http://bit.ly/9QguTu

  • Anonymous

    I agree Mike. The group stage has turned into a snooze fest over the last few seasons. And the idea of a NCAA tourney style competition is a very interesting idea. Unfortunately I can’t see any changes anytime soon as long as Michel Platini is President of UEFA. He wants clubs such as Zilina to get a chance to play the big boys. In one sense it’s fair to them yes, but in a competition like this you want to see the biggest clubs and the big boys compete. I think most neutrals would be happy to swap Zilina for Sampdoria.