Four games to watch tonight
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.