Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Champions League Wednesday Previews

There are games in Lisbon and Liverpool, Valencia and Rome, Bremen and Trondheim, Glasgow and Istanbul.

And arguably the most intriguing ties are those in Rome, Valencia and Glasgow.

Lazio host Real Madrid, Valencia have a re-match with Chelsea following last season's quarter-final, and Celtic have another crack at Milan, who beat them 1-0 on aggregate last season in the first knockout round, a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Glasgow being followed by the San Siro return settled by Kaká three minutes into extra time.

What's in store in each of the groups?

Valencia vs. Chelsea:
John Terry will complete a remarkable recovery tonight when he captains Chelsea at the Mestalla Stadium little more than 72 hours after undergoing surgery on a fractured cheekbone. There were fears that he would be out for up to six weeks when he was injured on Saturday after being struck by the Fulham striker Clint Dempsey's elbow but, aided by a custom-made protective mask which he will wear against Valencia, the 26-year-old has made clear his desire to play.

Liverpool vs. Marseille:
History suggests there is no way back for a player who falls from grace with Rafael Benítez and the consequences of crossing the Liverpool manager should be apparent to Peter Crouch at Anfield tonight in the shape of the man wearing the No9 jersey for Marseille.

Celtic vs. AC Milan:

The Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati has given tonight's Champions League game against Milan an extra edge by speaking of his desire to prove a point to the coach of the European champions, Carlo Ancelotti.

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