Champions League preview

24 February 2009 11:24
Manchester United and Arsenal both face colossal UEFA Champions League ties against Italian giants on Tuesday night.

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December's draw for the last 16 pitted holders United against Serie A champions Inter Milan, as head coach Jose Mourinho plots a memorable managerial return to English soil.

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho boasts a remarkable record against his Red Devils counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson, with the latter defeating the Portuguese just once in 12 attempts.

But Ferguson's side, who are 19 Champions League games unbeaten, head into the encounter in imperious domestic form and will be confident they could edge the first leg at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as they seek an unprecedented quadruple.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are to lock horns with Roma at Emirates Stadium, hopeful they can put their league struggles behind them and use the fixture as a springboard to a rosier end to what has so far been a disappointing term.

Having drawn their previous four league matches, Roma could well see the Gunners ripe for the picking, while Arsenal's unusual lack of firepower is sure to provide the Giallorossi with extra optimism.

Ligue 1 title-holders Lyon face a fascinating challenge when they meet Pep Guardiola's Barcelona at Stade Gerland, live on Sky Sports 2 & HD2.

Primera Liga club Barca are the bookmakers' favourites to claim Europe's most coveted prize this season, but they face a stern test if they are to advance to the quarter-finals.

Lyon are unbeaten in the league since the beginning of December, while the attacking quality of Karim Benzema, who has netted eight goals in his last nine Champions League matches, threatens to test Barca's backline.

On Sky Sports Xtra and HD3, the Vicente Calderon hosts Atletico Madrid's clash with Porto, who have not progressed beyond the last 16 since they won the trophy in 2004 under ex-manager Mourinho.

Atletico head into the fixture having lost six of their last 10 matches in all competitions, but Abel Resino's men can draw heart from their unbeaten group stage campaign.

Source: SKY_Sports