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Champions League preview

29 Sep 2009 11:08:31

Champions League preview

Liverpool travel to Italy, while Arsenal and Rangers have the benefit of home comforts on Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League. After making heavy weather of Debrecen in their opening fixture at Anfield, Liverpool travel to Florence to face Fiorentina, with the Serie A side in fine form on home turf domestically. Cesare Prandelli, who oversaw a club record 100th victory in all competitions at the weekend, has seen his side win all three of their Artemio Franchi outings without conceding a single goal. But the Reds are currently on a 21-game Champions League scoring run, and will equal Bayern Munich's record set between September 1998 and March 2000 if they find the net on Tuesday night. Group E's other fixture sees Lyon, who overcame Fiorentina 1-0 in France in their first match, travelling to Debrecen's adopted home of the Ferenc Puskas Stadium to take on the Hungarian outfit. Arsenal fans heading to Emirates Stadium for their Group H encounter with Olympiakos would be advised to arrive on time following the breathtaking start to the Gunners' campaign against Standard Liege. Arsene Wenger, who will celebrate 13 years at the helm of the North London outfit on Thursday, saw his side 2-0 down in the opening five minutes before mounting an impressive fightback to eventually prevail 3-2. The Greek visitors will be under the guidance of Zico for the first time in Europe, with the Brazilian legend taking charge following Temuri Ketsbaia's departure. Standard Liege must pick themselves up from their opening round disappointment when they travel to Holland to face AZ Alkmaar, who are also searching for their first point after going down 1-0 to Olympiakos last time out. Rangers are well aware that their home form will be crucial to their hopes of progressing from Group G, with Walter Smith's men facing a thorough examination of their European credentials when Sevilla travel to Ibrox. Gers claimed an impressive point from their opening weekend trip to Stuttgart, while the Spanish side saw off Unirea Urziceni at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan in Spain. Smith's men have stuttered somewhat of late, with their only victory since August coming in the Scottish League Cup against Queen of the South, and they meet a Sevilla side who trounced Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in their last domestic outing. The excitement is building in Romania ahead of Unirea Urziceni's home bow in the competition at the Steaua Stadium, with former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu going head-to-head with ex-Liverpool man Markus Babbel, who is now at the helm of Stuttgart. Holders Barcelona welcome Dynamo Kiev to Camp Nou with Pep Guardiola's side strong favourites to get their first win in Group F having been held to a 0-0 draw by Inter Milan on Matchday 1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a blistering start to life with Barca, scoring in each of their opening five league matches to set a new club record, although he was unable to find the net against his former club in the San Siro. Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan, who have not won any of their last six UEFA Champions League outings, take a trip into the unknown as they head to Russia to tackle Rubin Kazan, who went down 3-1 to Dynamo in their group stage debut.


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