Four games to watch tonight

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

CHAM­PI­ONS League com­pe­ti­tion heads into Week 4 start­ing to­day and to­mor­row, and we’ve picked out four must-see games. All these sides look to clinch their spot in the fi­nal 16 with two games to spare.

They’ll all be played in prime time slots across Europe, mean­ing Myan­mar fans will be pulling some late nights to catch tele­vised view­ing. Here’s to hop­ing we all wake up in time for work to­mor­row af­ter stay­ing up for these matches.

Monaco (FRA) vs CSKA Moscow (RUS) at Monaco to­mor­row, 2:15am Myan­mar time Monaco top the group and re­main un­beaten, so a win at home to the Russian cham­pi­ons will all but se­cure their place in the last 16. Leonardo Jardim’s side, who snatched a draw in Moscow last time out thanks to Bernardo Silva’s late equaliser, come into the game sit­ting in sec­ond place in Ligue 1. They are also the most pro­lific side in any of Europe’s lead­ing leagues along with Barcelona, with both teams hav­ing net­ted 30 goals so far. That is de­spite Monaco hav­ing loaned gi­ant Ivo­rian striker Lacina Traore to CSKA – he scored for the Rus­sians in the re­verse fix­ture. CSKA could be on the brink of elim­i­na­tion if they lose and form is not on their side. They have won just one of their last eight matches in all com­pe­ti­tions and have been beaten eight times in their last nine away group games in the Cham­pi­ons League. Mean­while, their goal­keeper Igor Ak­in­feev is look­ing to end a run of 40 con­sec­u­tive Cham­pi­ons League games with­out keep­ing a clean sheet. CSKA are with­out the sus­pended Ro­man Ere­menko, while Alan Dza­goev is a doubt.

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur (ENG) vs Bayer Lev­erkusen (GER) at Lon­don to­mor­row, 2:15am Myan­mar time Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s Tot­ten­ham will be look­ing to end a five-game win­less run when they en­ter­tain Lev­erkusen in a cru­cial con­test at Wem­b­ley. Spurs have had four draws and one de­feat in all com­pe­ti­tions since beat­ing Man­ches­ter City a month ago. That se­quence in­cludes a 0-0 draw in Ger­many two weeks ago, and Tot­ten­ham need at least the same again to keep qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the last 16 in their own hands. They will also be look­ing for a maiden vic­tory at Wem­b­ley af­ter los­ing 2-1 to Monaco at Eng­land’s na­tional sta­dium in their Group E opener. Lev­erkusen have drawn all three group games so far and come into the match on the back of a 2-1 win at Wolfs­burg at the week­end that ended their own run of four matches with­out a vic­tory. Harry Kane is on the side­lines for Spurs while Joel Po­h­jan­palo and Karim Bel­larabi are ab­sent for the vis­i­tors.

Borus­sia Dort­mund (GER) vs Sport­ing Lis­bon (POR) at Dort­mund, Ger­many, 2:15am Myan­mar time Dort­mund have started strongly in Group F and will se­cure their place in the last 16 with a win at home to Sport­ing at the Sig­nal Iduna Park. Thomas Tuchel’s men were 2-1 win­ners when the teams met in Por­tu­gal re­cently and have lost just one of their last 11 matches. How­ever, they were held to a goal­less draw by Schalke in the Ruhr derby at the week­end and sit only sixth in the Bun­desliga. In ad­di­tion, they have a long in­jury list with Mar­cel Sch­melzer, Sven Ben­der, Marco Reus, Neven Subotic and Erik Durm all on the side­lines. Sport­ing need a pos­i­tive re­sult to keep alive their chances of reach­ing the knock­out phase for the first time since 2008-09 but they have had one draw and suf­fered 11 de­feats on their 12 pre­vi­ous vis­its to Ger­many. Jorge Je­sus’s men are also strug­gling for form – last Fri­day’s 0-0 draw at Na­cional left them with only one win in five, a run that has seen them drop to fourth place. Cap­tain Adrien is in­jured.

Le­gia War­saw (POL) vs Real Madrid (ESP) at War­saw, to­mor­row at 2:15am Myan­mar time In­ci­dents at Le­gia’s last home game, a 6-0 de­feat to Borus­sia Dort­mund, means this meet­ing with the reign­ing cham­pi­ons will be played be­hind closed doors in the Pol­ish cap­i­tal. Le­gia lost 5-1 in Madrid last time out and are yet to reg­is­ter a point in the group -- an­other de­feat here will elim­i­nate them, while even a draw may not put off the in­evitable. Madrid, mean­while, will be through with a win, pro­vided Borus­sia Dort­mund also win. Zine­dine Zi­dane’s men warmed up for this game with a 4-1 win at Alaves in which Cris­tiano Ron­aldo bagged a hat-trick. They are top of La Liga, un­beaten in 15 games this sea­son and have scored 24 times in their last five matches. Ron­aldo, mean­while, is just two goals away from reach­ing a cen­tury in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion. Pepe is out, but it is set to be a daunt­ing task for Le­gia, who are cur­rently sixth in their do­mes­tic league. –

Dort­mund’s mid­fielder Ju­lian Weigl cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against Sport­ing CP on Oc­to­ber 18.

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