City await Barca as big guns eye next Cham­pi­ons League round

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

PA R I S :

AFP Sports looks ahead to to­day’s Cham­pi­ons League ac­tion as Pep Guardi­ola’s Manch­ester City host Barcelona with a num­ber of sides, in­clud­ing the Span­ish cham­pi­ons, look­ing to seal a place in the next round:

Me­sut Ozil scored his first pro­fes­sional hat-trick in Ar­se­nal’s 6-0 white­wash of Lu­do­gorets last time out. With Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez both grab­bing braces at the week­end and Theo Wal­cott on a pur­ple vein of form, the Gun­ners should have way too much for the Bul­gar­ian cham­pi­ons. Plucky in their 3-1 home de­feat to PSG, Lu­do­gorets took a point at Basel and scored 15 goals in qual­i­fy­ing. But even if Ar­se­nal fail to win here, they will qual­ify for the next round if PSG win in Basel.

Basel (SUI) v Paris Saint-Ger­main (FRA) At Basel, Switzer­land

Unai Emery’s PSG are start­ing to un­der­stand what the Spa­niard wants tac­ti­cally and they boast up front the red­hot Edin­son Ca­vani, the Uruguayan striker who scored his 10th league goal of the sea­son in a 1-0 win at Lille on Fri­day, where An­gel Di Maria and Lucas showed promis­ing flu­id­ity around the tar­get­man. A vic­tory in Basel as­sures PSG of qual­i­fi­ca­tion, but Basel are un­beaten at home this sea­son.

Turk­ish cham­pi­ons Be­sik­tas will go top of Group B if they fol­low up their 3-2 away win over Ital­ians Napoli with a home win over them at their new sta­dium, where they have won 13 of their past 14 league fix­tures. Euro 2016 star Ri­cardo Quaresma con­tin­ues to impress for Be­sik­tas and his free-kick and Cameroon striker Vin­cent Aboubakar’s brace brought their thrilling vic­tory in Italy. For the vis­i­tors Spain’s Jose Calle­jon is the man to watch af­ter he scored a sev­enth goal of the sea­son in a 2-1 Ital­ian league loss to Ju­ven­tus on Satur­day. Napoli can book a place in the next round if they win and Ben­fica draw with Dy­namo Kyiv.

Ben­fica (POR) v Dy­namo Kyiv (UKR) At Lis­bon

Af­ter a draw with Be­sik­tas and a thump­ing at Napoli, Ben­fica got their cam­paign back on track with a 2-0 win at Dy­namo in the last round of matches. The Por­tuguese cham­pi­ons and league lead­ers are on as­ton­ish­ing form, es­pe­cially at their Sta­dium of Light strong­hold. Knocked out nar­rowly in the quar­ter­fi­nals by Bay­ern Mu­nich last sea­son, Ben­fica know a home win will place them nicely for an­other sec­ond-round spot. Kyiv got a con­fi­dence-boost­ing league win at the week­end but with a sin­gle point so far their Cham­pi­ons League sur­vival de­pends on a re­sult in Por­tu­gal for Ser­hiy Re­brov’s men-which looks a very tall or­der. over West Brom on Satur­day as star striker Ser­gio Aguero scored twice. Barcelona only need a point to qual­ify for the next round but with Luis Suarez, Ney­mar and Messi about to be un­leashed on the blue half of a Manch­ester side who have not lost at home for 12 games, this is Tues­day’s must-watch game.

Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach (GER) v Celtic (SCO) At Moenchenglad­bach, Ger­many

Lose here and Celtic are out, but the Scots-led by their pas­sion­ate North­ern Ir­ish coach Bren­dan Rodgers-will be just as con­cerned to avoid any­thing like the 7-0 whip­ping they took at Barcelona in their last Cham­pi­ons League away game. The Ger­mans beat Celtic 2-0 away and will be hop­ing Barcelona beat City in the other Group C game to steal a march on the Man­cu­ni­ans. An­dre Schu­bert’s men have gone four league games with­out a win. In con­trast, Celtic are on a 13-game un­beaten run in Scot­land and striker Moussa Dem­bele has nine league goals so far.

With a mean de­fence and a fear­some at­tack fea­tur­ing French duo An­toine Griez­mann and Kevin Gameiro, a draw with Rus­sians Ros­tov could qual­ify im­pres­sive Atletico Madrid for the next round. A win will cer­tainly do it. A soli­tary Yan­nick Car­rasco goal gave Atletico a nar­row win in Rus­sia two weeks ago and Car­rasco scored twice on Satur­day as his team breezed past Malaga, Gameiro bag­ging two as well. Diego Simeone’s men are top of the group with three wins in­clud­ing a cel­e­brated Bay­ern Mu­nich scalp. Vis­it­ing Spain for the first time, Ros­tov have a sin­gle point from a 2-2 draw at PSV so far.

PSV’s Cham­pi­ons League fu­ture de­pends on avoid­ing de­feat here while Bay­ern can qual­ify with a win should Ros­tov lose in Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti’s side beat PSV 4-1 two weeks ago. Robert Le­wandowski net­ted twice in a 3-1 win at Augs­burg on Satur­day while Dutch winger Ar­jen Robben was out­stand­ing with two as­sists and a goal. Bay­ern are sec­ond in Group D, three points be­hind Atletico, who they host on De­cem­ber 6 hav­ing al­ready lost 1-0 in Spain. Eind­hoven are bot­tom of the ta­ble with one point from their three games. — AFP beIN SPORTS 4 HD beIN SPORTS 6 HD beIN SPORTS 2 HD beIN SPORTS 9 HD

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