Both Manchester United and Juventus will be looking to get some success from Europe after disappointing results in their domestic leagues at the weekend while Welsh star Gareth Bale could make only his second start of the season for Real Madrid after a succession of niggling injuries:
Leverkusen v Shakhtar
Leverkusen limbered up for this match in controversial fashion, beating Hoffenheim 2-1 courtesy of a ‘phantom’ goal. Rolled over by Manchester United in their Group A opener the Germans got their European bid up and running at the second attempt, against Real Sociedad. Shakhtar will be keen to dispel memories of last season’s trip to Germany, a 3-0 loss at Dortmund.
Man Utd v Sociedad
United may be enduring a torrid start to the Premier League, but Europe has proved more forgiving, with David Moyes’ side topping Group A. Pointless Real need to leave Old Trafford with something if they are to inject some life into their first CL campaign in a decade.
Real Madrid v Juventus
Real Madrid are sailing regally to the knockout stages, the Spaniards’ topping Group B after crushing defeats of FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray. With two draws Juve are waiting for their first win, and hardly had the best preparations for the trip to the Bernabeu: a 4-2 loss to Fiorentina.Galatasaray v Copenhagen
Both teams, with one point apiece, are out to bag their first wins in Istanbul. Galatasaray need to get moving if they are to have any hope of making the knockout stages against Danish champions Copenhagen.
Anderlecht v PSG
Paris Saint Germain should be anticipating a third successive win in three Champions League games as they face an Anderlecht side devoid of confidence and pointless. Anderlecht coach John van den Brom sent out the youngest team in the club’s history for the 2-0 league win over Mons last Friday and could well do the same on Wednesday.
Benfica v Olympiakos
Both these sides will see the outcome of their two matches as pivotal as to who finishes second and a place in the knockout phase. Benfica will fancy their chances for this game as they have won their last seven European home matches while Olympiakos have yet to beat Portuguese opposition away and have not managed a goal in five trips to Portugal.
CSKA v Man City
Both will fancy their chances of taking the runners up spot with Plzen pretty much out of the running. While City have a woeful away record losing five of their six CL away games in the past two campaigns, they have a chance of recording their second successive away win this season as CSKA have a poor home record.
Bayern v Viktoria Plzen
Holders Bayern should have little trouble in making it nine points from three games against pointless Plzen although coach Pep Guardiola wants to see a marked improvement in their first-half displays which have been generally lethargic all season.AFP