Three matches you can’t miss to­day

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

COM­PE­TI­TION within the Cham­pi­ons League is ex­pected to heat up to­day, as three groups fea­ture mar­quee matchups. Here’s what you need to know:

Group E: CSKA Moscow (RUS) vs Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur (ENG) in Moscow

Tot­ten­ham will look to kick­start their Euro­pean cam­paign in the Rus­sian cap­i­tal af­ter los­ing 2-1 to Monaco at Wem­b­ley last time out. Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s side go to Moscow for the first time and do so in sec­ond place in the Pre­mier League af­ter a 2-1 week­end win at Mid­dles­brough in which Son He­ung-Min scored twice. Moussa Sis­soko could miss the game af­ter suf­fer­ing con­cus­sion at the week­end and a de­pleted Spurs are al­ready with­out striker Harry Kane while also hav­ing ma­jor doubts over Mousa Dem­bele, Eric Dier and Danny Rose. CSKA came from two goals down to draw in Lev­erkusen last time out to set them up nicely for their first Cham­pi­ons League game in their new 30,000-seat sta­dium. Leonid Slut­sky’s side drew 1-1 at home to Krasnodar at the week­end with a goal from gi­ant Ivo­rian striker Lacina Traore, who once had a spell at Ever­ton.

Group F: Borus­sia Dort­mund (GER) vs Real Madrid (ESP) in Dort­mund

One of the most highly an­tic­i­pated show­downs of the group stage sees reign­ing cham­pi­ons Real Madrid head to Ger­many to take on 1997 win­ners and 2013 run­ners-up Dort­mund at the Sig­nal Iduna Park. Both teams are ex­pected to progress to the last 16 and both won their open­ing matches, al­beit in con­trast­ing cir­cum­stances. While Dort­mund romped to a 6-0 win away at Le­gia War­saw, Real needed two late goals to come back and beat Sport­ing 2-1 at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu. Madrid won 3-2 on ag­gre­gate when the teams last met in the quar­ter-fi­nals in 2013-14, but they have been beaten on their last three vis­its to Dort­mund and they do not have a good record in Ger­many, with just four wins from 29 trips. Zine­dine Zi­dane’s side – for whom Pepe is set to re­turn – are still un­beaten this sea­son but have drawn their last two La Liga games at home to Vil­lar­real and away at Las Pal­mas. Dort­mund, mean­while, have won four on the bounce in all com­pe­ti­tions, scor­ing 20 goals in the process, and are un­beaten in 24 home Bun­desliga games, equalling a club record af­ter de­feat­ing Freiburg 3-1 on Septem­ber 23. Marco Reus is among the long-term ab­sen­tees for Dort­mund.

Group G: Le­ices­ter City (ENG) v FC Porto (POR) at Le­ices­ter

The Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons get set for an­other his­toric mo­ment as they host two-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Porto in the first-ever Cham­pi­ons League game at the King Power Sta­dium. Clau­dio Ranieri’s team lost 4-1 at Manch­ester United on Septem­ber 24, their third league de­feat al­ready this sea­son. How­ever, a 3-0 win in Bruges was an ideal start to their Euro­pean cam­paign, and Porto have lost and failed to score on each of their last four vis­its to Eng­land. They will be fa­mil­iar with the threat of Le­ices­ter’s record sign­ing Is­lam Sli­mani from his time in Por­tu­gal with Sport­ing. An­dre Silva scored twice as Porto beat city ri­vals Boav­ista 3-1 at the week­end. Maxi Pereira is ex­pected to be fit for Nuno Espir­ito Santo’s side, who were held at home by Copen­hagen af­ter beat­ing Roma to reach the group stage. –

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