Champions League preview

11 March 2009 10:17
Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho go head-to-head at Old Trafford and Arsenal travel to the Eternal City to meet Roma, with all Wednesday night's action live on Sky Sports.

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Liverpool and Chelsea booked their places in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League with thrilling victories on Tuesday evening and now their Premier League counterparts will be looking to follow suit.

European champions Manchester United welcome Inter Milan to Old Trafford with the first knockout round tie finely balanced after a 0-0 draw in the first leg at Giuseppe Meazza two weeks ago.

The mouth-watering fixture also pits managerial adversaries Ferguson and Mourinho into battle once again, with the Portuguese tactician having only suffered one defeat in 13 meetings against his Scottish rival.

With the Red Devils chasing an unprecedented trophy quintuple this season, they will have to hope that their failure to score an away goal does not come back to haunt them in the defence of their continental crown.

ProfligacyArsenal hold a slender advantage as they travel to the Italian capital for the second leg of their last-16 meeting with Roma, courtesy of Robin van Persie's penalty at Emirates Stadium.

Like United, the Gunners will have to hope that they are not made to pay for their first leg profligacy, when a host of chances to finish off the Serie A side went begging in North London.

Arsene Wenger's men have happy memories of their recent trips to Italy, having won three of their last four visits, including a 3-1 triumph at the Stadio Olimpico in 2002/03 and last season's 2-0 success away to AC Milan.

Barcelona remain the favourites to lift the Champions League trophy in May's final in Rome and hold the edge over last-16 opponents Lyon after a 1-1 first leg draw in France.

Pep Guardiola's side have been in imposing form this season, despite a recent blip of back-to-back league reverses, but will be wary of the French champions' unbeaten record in Europe this season and their own failings against teams from France, with defeats in all three of their previous two-legged meetings.

Porto may not be the force they were under Mourinho when they were crowned European champions in 2004, but they have one eye on the quarter-finals after a 2-2 draw away to Atletico Madrid in their first leg.

Lisandro bagged a double at Vicente Calderon as Porto twice came from behind following efforts from Maxi Rodriguez and Diego Forlan, but the Portuguese club will be wary having exited the competition at this stage in each of the last two seasons.

Source: SKY_Sports