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Champions League preview

21 Oct 2009 10:43:16

Champions League preview

Wednesday sees Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid put their 100 per cent records in the UEFA Champions League on the line. Manchester United will get the midweek festivities underway as they make a tricky trip to Eastern Europe. Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to be relishing the prospect of a showdown with a useful CSKA Moscow side on their infamous plastic pitch. However, the Luzhniki Stadium holds fond memories for the Red Devils, as they secured continental glory in the Russian capital in 2008. United have made a solid start in their efforts to reclaim that title this term, seeing off Besiktas and Wolfsburg in their opening two games. CSKA will have been buoyed by their success over Besiktas in their last European outing, though, and Juande Ramos' side will fancy their chances of causing an upset on home soil. The night's other fixture in Group B sees German champions Wolfsburg look to bounce back from their defeat at Old Trafford last time out when they entertain pointless Besiktas. Chelsea's standing at the top of Group D makes for impressive viewing, with the Blues having made the perfect start to their campaign. Carlo Ancelotti's men have taken six points from six on offer, while they are also yet to concede a goal. They also remain a formidable proposition on home soil and will sense the latest visitors to Stamford Bridge are there for the taking. Spanish giants Atletico Madrid have endured a torrid season thus far and head to West London knowing anything less than three points will leave their Champions League ambitions in tatters. Elsewhere, Porto will be out to strengthen their grip on second place when they welcome Cypriot minnows Apoel Nicosia to Estadio do Dragao. On a busy night of action across the continent there are some stellar ties on offer in France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. Group C throws up a real clash of the heavyweights as Real Madrid and AC Milan, who can boast 16 European crowns between them, do battle at Santiago Bernabeu. That game will also see Brazilian superstar Kaka go head-to-head with his former employers for the first time since he joined Los Blancos over the summer. FC Zurich currently occupy second place behind Real and they will be keen to spring another surprise when Marseille roll into town. The French outfit have lost both of their fixtures in the group to date and know they require a dramatic improvement if they are to reach the knockout stages. Bordeaux's meeting with Bayern Munich steals the limelight in Group A, with top spot in the standings up for grabs. Both sides have claimed a win and a draw so far, with German giants Bayern currently edging out their French rivals at the summit by virtue of a superior goal difference. Neither can afford any slip-ups at Stade Chaban Delmas as Juventus are waiting in the wings to pounce. Two stalemates so far has kept the Turin-based outfit unbeaten, but they will be desperate to secure a first success when they play host to struggling Maccabi Haifa.


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