EPL Clubs Face Must-Win Scenarios in Europe This Week

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger looks on at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 3, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Two weeks after the utter disappointment that the clubs of the English Premier League had, they will look to not only avenge their losses this week, but win so that their hopes in the Champions League and Europa League stay alive.

The club that are in the most dire of situations is Manchester City.

After a loss to Ajax two weeks ago, City sit at the bottom of Group D with just one point, which was earned in their second match when they drew with Borussia Dortmund.

Now, as the Dutch champions come to visit Manchester on Tuesday night, the Citizens are in a must-win situation if they want to advance to the final 16 of the Champions League.

Roberto Mancini's men will have to win their final three matches to even have a chance at closing the five point gap that they currently have with second place Real Madrid.

The schedule only gets harder for the defending champions of England after Tuesday's match at the Etihad Stadium.

Mancini and company will have to beat Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium and then travel to one of the hardest venues in Europe to play at, the Westfalenstadion, to face Borussia Dortmund.

If Mancini wants to keep his job in Manchester, he will do everything in his power to help his club get out of the bottom of the group and into the top two to qualify for advancement to the knockout round.

Manchester City are not the only English club in search of a much-needed win this week.

Arsenal may be in second place in Group B and have a clear path to the knockout stage of the Champions League, but they are in desperate need of a win at the moment.

The lack of form for the Gunners started after the international break with a 1-0 loss to Norwich, and was followed by a disappointing 2-0 loss at the hands of Schalke four days later in the Champions League.

This past week was also disappointing for the Gunners, as they struggled in the first half against Reading in the Capital One Cup before coming back from four goals down to win 7-5 and advance to the quarterfinals of that competition.

The momentum from the comeback win did not follow the club into Old Trafford on Saturday where they played poorly at best in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

A win in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday against Schalke would not only put Arsene Wenger and company into first place in the Group B table, but it would also be a win that would announce that the past few weeks were just a slip-up and not a sign for the rest of the season.

In the Europa League, Arsenal's North London rivals, Tottenham, are in need of a win at home against Slovenian champions Maribor.

Tottenham are coming off their worst performance of the season on Saturday, where they lost 1-0 at home to Wigan.

Spurs are also not in the best of shape in Group J, as they sit in third place with just three draws in the Europa League so far.

The last time Andre Villas-Boas sent his club out on the pitch to play in the Europa League, they were only able to manage a draw in Slovenia against Maribor.

With criticism of AVB beginning yet again, Spurs need a dominant performance at White Hart Lane on Thursday, where they could possibly jump to the top of group depending on the result between Lazio and Panathinaikos.

A win at home on Thursday would also boost the morale of the club as they head into a difficult stretch of EPL matches that start with a road trip to Manchester City on Sunday.

Not only will these three clubs look to avenge disappointing results domestically and continentally over the past few weeks, but they will also be looking to restore a sense of pride not only in themselves as a club, but for England, whose clubs did poorly the last match day of European play.