We enter Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League with palpable excitement, as the Matchday 3 provided entertainment, shock value and tactical conundrums galore. We take you closer to what you should expect from the teams filing out tonight by serving you the team news, match facts and maybe, my predictions for THREE key games.
FIXTURES FOR TONIGHT:
Real Sociedad VS Manchester United
Shakhtar Donetsk VS Bayer Leverkusen
FC København VS Galatasaray
Juventus VS Real Madrid
Olympiakos VS Benfica
Paris Saint Germain VS Anderlecht
Manchester City VS CSKA Moscow
Viktoria Plzen VS Bayern Munich
JUVENTUS VS REAL MADRID
The biggest game in this round of the champions league has to be Juventus hosting Real madrid. Between them is a whooping 11 champions league trophies. Juventus go into showdown believing it is make-or-break time as
they look to revive their European ambitions.
Juventus will be looking to replicate their league form infront of their home crowd as they go head to head against 9 time Champions league winners Real madrid who won the first leg of the encounter 2-1, with Juventus playing the better part of the game with a man down.
Juventus’ biggest test will be dealing with in-form Portugese star Cristiano Ronaldo who is in a fantastic form having scored both goals in the first leg and 7 goals in total in this season’s campaign.
Real madrid on the other hand have to be wary of Fernando Llorente who knows how to score well against Iker casillas. Carlos Tevez will be looking to score his first goal in the champions league since April 2009 when he scored for Manchester united against Fc porto.
Going forward, the spanish giant will be a tough team to deal with as reports reaching us say Gareth Bale might be starting tonight, but defensively is where Real madrid needs to watch it as they have decided to be so generous at the back and give away goals cheaply.
The game will the played in Torino and Juventus will be looking to capitalize on this advantage. Real madrid have 9 points from 3 games and Juventus have been able to manage just 2 points from 3 games.
PROBABLE LINE UPS:
JUVENTUS – Buffon, Martin caceres,Andrea Barzagli,Leonardo Bonnuci,Angelo Ogbonna,Arturo Vidal,Andre Pirlo,Paul Pogba,Claudio Marchisio,Fernando Llorente,Carlos Tevez.
REAL MADRID – Iker casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raphael Varane,Sergio Ramos,Marcelo,Xabi Alonso,Sami Khedira,Luka Modric,Gareth Bale,Karim Benzema,Cristiano Ronaldo.
Prediction: Juventus 1-1 Real Madrid
MANCHESTER CITY VS CSKA MOSCOW
Manchester city will be looking to qualify from the group stage of the champions league for the first time in three trials as they seat comfortably in second spot in group D of the champions league. They have been able to acquire 6 points from 3 games so far this season. They suffered their only loss in the hands of current champions Bayern munich.
Manchester city however are still enjoying the taste of the huge victory the got over the weekend as they took Norwich city to the cleaners in that fixture. The game ended 7 – 0 in favor of the citizens with 6 different players getting on the scorers sheet. CSKA moscow on the other hand have 3 points from 3 games. With their only win coming against the weakest link in the group Viktoria plzen.
CSKA moscow will be with Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa and hope to upset the english team on their home soil. Alvaro Negredo of Manchester city is the star man to watch out for, scoring goals for fun for both Manchester City and Spain. Yaya Toure will also be looking to avenge the racial comments passed on him by CSKA Moscow fans by giving over a hundred percent performance for his side. The game is going to be played at the Etihad stadium. Pantilimon will remain in goal for Manchester city.
PROBABLE LINE UPS :
CSKA MOSCOW- Akinfeev,K.nababkin,V.berezutsky,S.ignashevich,G.sheknikov,G.milanov,P.werbloom,Z.tosic,K.honda.S.zuber,S.doumbia.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 CSKA Moscow
Real sociedad who are without a point so far in the champions league this season will be looking to upset David Moyes’ men who seem to be getting it right at the moment.
Manchester United seat on top of group A with 7 points but will fight for every point possible as Bayer Leverkusen are not far behind with 6 points from 3 games.
Manchester United will have to be wary of former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela. Real sociedad on the other hand have so much work to do defensively if they must keep Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and wonder kid Adnan Zanujaj silent. Manchester united are to be without Michael Carrick,Jonny Evans and Rafael.
Real Sociedad are looking to avoid a club-record sequence of four straight defeats in Europe
Bravo, Ángel, Martínez, González, Martínez, Zurutuza, Pardo, Griezmann, Prieto, Castro, Vela
De Gea, Evra, Vidic, Jones, Smalling, Fellaini, Giggs, Januzaj, Kagawa, Valencia, Van Persie
Prediction: Real Sociedad 1-2 Manchester United