Champions League Matchday Four Preview
Despite being halfway through the Champions League this season, we have seen many amazing moments and games from the first three matchdays to keep anybody excited.
During Matchday Three, we once again saw many incredible moments, such as Barcelona's stunning 2-1 loss at home to Russian champion Rubin Kazan, a late goal by Cesar Delgado at Anfield gave Lyon a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Liverpool, and a late goal by Alexandre Pato gave AC Milan a stunning 3-2 victory at the Bernabeu over Real Madrid.
Now as we enter Matchday Four, we will once again be treated to many amazing matches, as each side that met in Matchday Three will once again meet their opponent during Matchday Four, and here is a quick preview of each match for both teams during Matchday Four of the UEFA Champions League.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009
Bordeaux v Bayern Munich
After winning 2-1 at the Stade Chaban-Delma over Bayern Munich during Matchday Three, Bordeaux will now travel to the Fußball Arena Munich to compete with Bayern Munich for the second and final time in the group stage.
Currently, Bordeaux are first in Group A with seven points and will look to strengthen their position for the knockout stage with a win in Munich, while Bayern (who are third in the group with four points) will be without the services of Daniel van Buyten and Thomas Mueller due to red cards suffered in France during Matchday Three.
Maccabi Haifa v Juventus
After a 1-0 win in Italy during Matchday three, Juventus will now travel to Israel to take on Maccabi Haifa in Matchday three in their second straight matchup in Champions League group play.
In this match, Juventus will be without Mohamed Sissoko due to a thigh strain, and there also is a possibility that the Zebra's will also be without Alexander Del Piero and Vincenzo Iaquinta due to injury
Meanwhile, Haifa will be looking to get their first points of this year's Champions League group stage and will have some confidence due to a solid performance in Italy during Matchday Three.
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow
After a late Antonio Valencia goal gave them a 1-0 in Moscow during their first matchup, Manchester United will now host CSKA Moscow in their second straight Champions League matchup at Old Trafford.
Man United are currently the leaders of Group B with nine points, and have beaten every team in their group at least once, and appear to be a lock to get into the knockout round again, while CSKA Moscow will try to get into second place in Group B with a win at Old Trafford.
However, United will be without Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher due to injury, while Moscow will be playing their first Champions League match since old manager Juande Ramos got sacked on October 26 following a loss to FC Moscow, and has been replaced temporarily by Leonid Slutsky.
Besiktas v Wolfsburg
After a scoreless draw in Wolfsburg during Matchday Three, Besiktas and Wolfsburg will now travel to Istanbul for the second time in consecutive Champions League matchdays.
In this matchup, Wolfsburg will be looking to solidify their first ever trip to the Champions League knockout stage, but will have do so without highly rated Brazilian striker Grafite for the next two matches due to his ridiculous actions against a Besiktas player during Matchday Three.
Meanwhile, Besiktas will be looking to get their first win of the Champions League group stage and keep their chances alive for advancing onto the Champions League knockout stage.
AC Milan v Real Madrid
After the most entertaining matchup during Matchday Three in which Alexandre Pato gave Milan a 3-2 win at the Bernabeu over Real Madrid, the two European powers will now travel to the San Siro in Milan for their second matchup in Champions League group play.
For Milan, this matchup will come at a great time for them, as they have played very well lately and have now found themselves in fourth in the Serie A table. And a win at home in this match will be a major help if the Rossoneri are to advance onto the knockout stage.
Meanwhile, for Real Madrid, this will be Kaka's first match at the San Siro after leaving AC Milan last summer, and Real will also be without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo again in the Champions League due to an ankle injury.
However, with Real's recent bad form, some have started to wonder if they will be able to advance onto the knockout round of the Champions League, and many more have wondered if Real manager Manuel Pellegrini will be sacked.
Olympique Marseille v FC Zurich
Despite a thrilling 1-0 win in the San Siro over AC Milan during Matchday Two, FC Zurich still have two losses, but they will be looking to turn that around when they travel to the Velodrome to take on Marseille.
However, Marseille will be weakened without the services of playmaker Lucio Gonzalez due to a twisted ankle, but they will be looking to gain points with either Real Madrid or AC Milan not being able to gain a maximum three points during their match.
APOEL v FC Porto
After being powered by two goals by Hulk in Porto during Matchday Three when these two sides met, Porto will now travel to Cyprus to take on APOEL for the second consecutive game in Champions League play.
Currently, Porto are in second in Group D with six points, and a win here would all but clinch a spot for them in the knockout stage while APOEL will be looking to get their first ever win in the Champions League play at the GSP Stadium, and will need to win to keep their hopes to advance further in the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
After destroying Atletico 4-0 during their last Champions League match, Chelsea will travel to the Vicente Calderon Stadium to take on Atletico in their second matchup of this season's Champions League campaign.
After their last loss, Atletico fired manager Abel Resino for Quique Flores, and hope that with this change, they will somehow find a way to advance further in Europe.
Meanwhile, for Chelsea, a win here would clinch their spot in the knockout stage of the Champions League in their fifth consecutive season playing in the Champions League at some time in their European campaign.
Wednesday, Nov. 4,
Fiorentina v Debreceni
After a thrilling 4-3 victory in Hungary during Matchday Three, Fiorentina will head back to Italy in a rematch against Debreceni with a chance to get into the knockout stages of the Champions League on the line.
Meanwhile, Debreceni will be looking to get their first ever points in the Champions League during this match and get out of last place in the Group E table.
Lyon v Liverpool
After a thrilling second half at Anfield capped off by a Cesar Delgado goal in stoppage time gave Lyon a thrilling Champions League win, Lyon will travel back home to France where they will face off against ice-cold Liverpool.
Despite their win two weeks ago over Manchester United at Anfield, Liverpool have lost six of their last seven matches, and the pressure on Rafa Benitez to keep his job has continued to rise.
And Rafa got even more bad news on Monday, as he learned that both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres could both face surgery due to their injuries that they have received.
Also, even former LFC managers such as Ronnie Whelan have stated that Rafa is only managing to win the Champions League title but a loss in Lyon would all but eliminate Liverpool's dream of winning a sixth Champions League title.
Meanwhile, for Lyon, a win here would all but clinch a spot into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Rubin Kazan v FC Barcelona
After a stunning 2-1 in the Camp Nou during Matchday Three, Russian champions Rubin Kazan will head back to Kazan to face the winners of the 2009 Champions League final in FC Barcelona one more time.
Kazan currently are in third place in Group F with four points, but they are just one point behind Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev for first place in the group, and a win here could get the Russian champions into the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in their history.
Meanwhile for Barcelona, they will try to rebound from this loss in Kazan, and will have Dani Alves back for this match after recovering from his right thigh injury this weekend, and they will also look for revenge with a win here.
Dynamo Kiev v Inter Milan
After a 2-2 draw at the San Siro during Matchday Three, Inter will travel to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev in their second meeting in the Champions League this year.
In this match, Kiev will try to solidify a berth into the knockout stage with a huge win here, but will have do so with the threat of Swine Flu potentially postponing the match.
Meanwhile for Inter, Jose Mourinho's men will be without Sulley Muntari, Thiago Motta, Wesley Sneijde and possibly Marco Balotelli, all due to injury, and the Italian champions will try to get out of last place in Group F with a win in Kiev.
Unirea Urziceni v Rangers
After an embarrassing 4-1 loss at Ibrox in Unirea Urziceni's first ever Champions League win, Rangers will now head to Romania to once again take on Urziceni in a must-win game if they are to advance in Europe.
Meanwhile, Urziceni will head back to Romania knowing that they got this 4-1 win due to hard work after conceding an early own goal, and a win here could get them into the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in their history.
Sevilla v VfB Stuttgart
Already five points clear of everyone in the Group G table, Sevilla will now head back to Spain looking to clinch a spot in the knockout stage by just needing a draw to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart are currently in third in the Group G standings with two points, and will need a win in order to get back on track and make an attempt to qualify for the knockout stages.
Arsenal v AZ Alkmaar
After a one-all draw in the Netherlands during Matchday Three, Arsenal will now host AZ Alkmaar at the Arsenal Stadium in an important Champions League match for both sides.
Arsenal are currently in first in Group H with seven points, and a win here would all but clinch a spot for the Gunners in the knockout stages of the Champions League, as they will get Samir Nasri back after returning on Saturday against Tottenham, a game in which the Gunners won by a 3-0 score.
Meanwhile, for Alkmaar, they will look to move up the table with a win in London in their inaugural Champions League season, and will need a win to help get them into the knockout stages of the Champions League, but the Dutch champions will have do so without leading scorer Mounir El Hamdaoui due to a torn muscle in his leg.
Standard de Liege v Olympiacos
After a 2-1 loss in Greece, Standard de Liege are in desperate need of a first Champions League win this year if they are to advance in Europe as they will now head back to Belgium to take on Olympiacos.
Meanwhile for Olympiacos, they will be looking to advance into the knockout stages in Europe with a win here, but will have do so without Diogo, who is once again out due to injury.
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