PSG, BARCELONA ON VERGE OF CHAM­PI­ONS LEAGUE LAST 16

Big-spenders Paris Saint-Ger­main, five-time cham­pion Barcelona and Jose Mour­inho’s Manch­ester United are among the teams look­ing to book a Cham­pi­ons League last 16 place to­day

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Sports -

CHAM­PI­ONS League match-day four be­gins to­day as Paris Saint-Ger­main, Barcelona and Jose Manch­ester United are among the teams look­ing to book a Cham­pi­ons League last-16 place. In Group A, Jose Mour­inho’s side can se­cure a place in the last 16 with two matches to spare with a win at Old Traf­ford, if Basel avoid de­feat against CSKA Moscow. Ben­fica are likely head­ing to­wards an early exit af­ter los­ing their first three group games and will be without vet­eran de­fender Luisao fol­low­ing his dis­missal in the 1-0 de­feat by United in Lis­bon. Basel will clinch a spot in the knock­out phase with a sec­ond straight win over CSKA Moscow, if Ben­fica fail to beat United. In Group B, Celtic faces a stiff test against Bay­ern Mu­nich as it bid to keep its Euro­pean ad­ven­ture alive. A resur­gent Bay­ern eased to a 3-0 win over the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons a fort­night ago, and a re­peat suc­cess would all but end Celtic’s chances of reach­ing the knock­out rounds. Paris Saint-Ger­main has cruised through its open­ing three fix­tures - net­ting 12 goals with none con­ceded - and will be ex­pected to again sweep aside An­der­lecht at the Parc des Princes to­day. In Group C, Diego Sime­one’s Atletico Madrid are still search­ing for their first win of the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter a goal­less draw in Azer­bai­jan a fort­night ago. They are in dan­ger of miss­ing out on the knock­out stages for the first time since fail­ing to qual­ify at all in 2012-13. Although Qarabag picked up their first Cham­pi­ons League point in Baku, Atletico will be ex­pected to have lit­tle trou­ble in clos­ing the gap on Chelsea and Roma, ahead of a home match against the Ital­ians and a cru­cial visit to Stam­ford Bridge. Else­where, the win­ner of the clash between Rome and Chelsea at the Sta­dio Olimpico will be wellplaced to reach the last 16 with both teams still to play a game against strug­gling Qarabag. In Group D, Barcelona could se­cure a last-16 place to­day. A fourth straight group-stage win against Olympia­cos would book a knock-out spot un­less Sport­ing Lis­bon beat Ju­ven­tus. Ernesto Valverde’s men are on a 14-match un­beaten run in all com­pe­ti­tions since los­ing both legs of the Span­ish Su­per Cup to Real Madrid. The five-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons are fly­ing high in Spain, hav­ing only dropped two points in their first 10 out­ings. Else­where in the Group D, Sport­ing and Ju­ven­tus look set to be in a straight fight for sec­ond place in Group D be­hind Barcelona, with to­day’s match in Lis­bon cru­cial af­ter the Ital­ians’ 2-1 win at Turin. PARIS / AFP

Barca tal­is­man Lionel Messi is La Liga’s top-scorer so far with 12 goals and he has also net­ted three times in three Cham­pi­ons League out­ings. Ney­mar is set to re­turn af­ter serv­ing a do­mes­tic one-match ban fol­low­ing his red card against Mar­seille.

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