Archives for posts with tag: champions league

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Date: Tuesday, October 22 Venue: Veltins Arena Kick-Off: 19:45 BST

Can Chelsea draw level with Schalke at the top of Group E of the Champions League?

Team News

Schalke will be without a number of high profile players as they prepare to welcome Chelsea to the Veltins Arena for their Champions League Group E clash.

The German side will be without star striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as well as winger Jefferson Farfan, however, midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has returned from a knee injury.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has not made the trip to Germany after failing to recover from a rib injury.

However, former Bayer Leverkusen attacker Andre Schurrle has travelled as part of a 21-man group.


Key Stats

Schalke are unbeaten in their last 13 Champions League games in the group stages (9 wins, 4 draws).

Chelsea have only won one of their seven away Champions League games in Germany (including the 2012 final v Bayern Munich). It was against Vfb Stuttgart in February 2004 (1-0).

Chelsea have only failed to score once in their last 22 Champions League games, against Juventus in November 2012 (0-3).

Schalke have won their two opening games for the first time in a Champions League campaign and are three points above Chelsea in Group E.


Likely Line-Ups

Hildebrand, Uchida, Santana, Howedes, Aogo, Hoger, Neustadter, Draxler, Meyer, Clemens, Szalai

Cech, Bertrand, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Ramires, Lampard, Hazard, Oscar, Schurrle, Torres

Match Preview

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Chelsea will be hoping for more success in Germany when they return to the country for the first time since their Champions League win over Bayern Munich to face Schalke tonight.

The Blues have had an indifferent European campaign thus far – defeat against Basel and a win against Steaua Bucharest has left them third in Group E and any hope of qualifying for the knock out stages as winners could vanish tonight.

Schalke will know a win at home would virtually guarantee them safe passage through to the latter stages of the competition but they will have to do so without several key players, most notably Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

The striker will be a huge miss for the Germans tonight, as will winger Jefferson Farfan.

However, coach Jens Keller says his side have nothing to fear.

“Just a glance at Group E, as well as our recent results in the Bundesliga, give us self-confidence.

“We’re at home and Chelsea are going to feel that from the very first minute.”

The post Schalke vs Chelsea – Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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Date: Tuesday, October 22 Venue: Emirates Stadium Kick-Off: 19:45 BST

Arsenal can all-but confirm qualification for the Champions League knock-out stages with a win over Borussia Dortmund tonight.

Team News

Arsenal will be without defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini for Tuesday night’s visit of Dortmund, after the 29-year-old suffered concussion in the 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich.

Theo Walcott remains sidelined, as do Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee).

Dortmund continue to be without captain Sebastian Kehl as well as Lukasz Piszczek and Ilkay Gundogan.

However, Nuri Sahin, Sven Bender and Marco Reus have overcome knocks, and Marcel Schmelzer is also in contention after being rested at the weekend with a thigh problem.


Key Stats

Arsenal have won their last two home games against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League (4 goals scored, 1 conceded).

Dortmund have never kept a clean sheet in four Champions League games against Arsenal.

Dortmund’s only away win in England in the Champions League dates back to April 1997 against Manchester Utd (1-0). Since then, they have suffered three defeats and a draw.

Arsenal have only lost four of their last 47 home games in the Champions League (33 wins, 10 draws), but the last two defeats have both come against German sides (Schalke and Bayern Munich in 2012/13).

Likely Line-Ups

Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, zil, Cazorla, Giroud

Weidenfeller, Schmelzer, Hummels, Subotic, Grosskreutz, Bender, Sahin, Reus, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lewandowski

Match Preview

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Arsenal play host to Borussia Dortmund tonight knowing a win over last season’s Champions League finalists will all-but assure them of qualification for the knock-out stages of the competition.

The Gunners have put together a terrific run of late, going unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening day defeat against Aston Villa on August 17 – a run of seven matches.

They also made light work of Napoli in their last European outing, winning 2-0 against Rafa Benitez’s side, but arguably their first real challenge of the season comes here, tonight.

Dortmund, who were defeated finalists in last season’s competition, will serve as the metaphorical barometer as to how realistic Arsene Wenger’s side’s Champions League hopes really are.

With the second-highest goalscorer in the tournament last season, Robert Lewandowski in the side, as well as such talents as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nuri ahin and Marco Reus, the Londoners will know this is a stiff test.

However, Dortmund don’t travel well against English sides. You have to go back to 1997 to find their last win against a team from our shores – a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

And, if that dismal record is extended tonight, Arsenal will be in the knock-out stages.

The post Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund – Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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David Moyes has endured a difficult start to his reign as manager of Manchester United. With his side struggling for form in the Premier League, the Champions League has become a welcome distraction for the new boss. The latest betting tips from Coral News see the Reds as favourites at 4/7 to take the 3 points, whilst their opponents stand at 11/2 to cause an upset.

United have started Europe’s premier club competition well, defeating Bayer Leverkusen at home and picking up a valuable draw away to Shakhtar Donestk.

The visit of Real Sociedad to Old Trafford this evening should provide Moyes with his second win of the group stage. The Spanish side have struggled to rekindle their form of last season, which saw them finishing fourth in La Liga.

However, United must be wary of complacency as Sociedad have the ability to topple the English giants.

In this post, WhatCulture looks at three danger men who Moyes and Manchester United must beware if they are to defeat the Spanish visitors.

3. Xabi Prieto

The 30-year-old midfielder is the captain and heartbeat of this Real Sociedad team. Prieto was instrumental in his side’s end of season run which saw them secure Champions League football.

Blessed with nibble footwork and expert delivery, Prieto has earned a reputation in Spain as being one of La Liga’s unsung heroes.

Having played for Sociedad for the whole of his career, Prieto is a fans’ favourite. He is adored for his loyalty to the club, especially as he is good enough to play for a bigger side.

The Spaniard’s finest performance came last season, when he netted a hat-trick against Real Madrid. Although Sociedad would go on to lose 4-3, Prieto produced a display worthy of winning any match.

Sociedad’s skipper is a penalty expert and also possesses lethal accuracy from free kicks, meaning United must be wary of tackles in and around the box.

Prieto faces a late fitness test to ensure he can make the encounter tonight. Sociedad will undoubtedly be praying that their captain is able to lead them out.

The post Man Utd vs Real Sociedad: 3 Players Moyes Must Beware Tonight appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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