Tuesday, December 06, 2011

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday's Previews & Analyses

Chelsea will be desperate to join Arsenal in qualifying for the last 16 on the biggest night of Andre Villas-Boas' short reign at Stamford Bridge. They are level on points with Valencia going into the match, knowing that a victory would be enough to go through. Arsenal, who had to negotiate a two-legged play-off against Udinese just to make the group phase, have already been confirmed as Group F winners ahead of their meeting with Olympiakos. In Group G, Porto and Zenit St Petersburg will battle it out for the final qualification spot. Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia have been the surprise package and are already certain to have Champions League football in the New Year, although they would love to clinch top spot by beating a Shakhtar Donetsk team that has fared surprisingly poorly. There is nothing left to be resolved in Group H in terms of qualification for the next phase, with reigning champions Barcelona already assured of finishing first ahead of their home fixture against BATE Borisov. AC Milan are also through already in second place, but Viktoria Plzen will still be determined to see off the Italians and protect their two-point lead over BATE to clinch a Europa League spot.

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