UEFA Champions League 2nd Round LIVE: AC Milan vs. Spurs, Valencia vs. Schalke

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UEFA Champions League 2nd Round LIVE: AC Milan vs. Spurs, Valencia vs. Schalke
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tonight, Serie A leaders host daring the daring Tottenham Hotspurs and silky Spaniards Valencia look to build an advantage over Schalke of Germany as the 2011 UEFA Champions League recommences after a two-month hiatus.

This is the first of four exciting matchdays over the course of the next two weeks in the world's premium club football competition.

The stakes are high as it is a chance for AC Milan to reimpose themselves on European football after recent travails, while the other three teams look to progress into uncharted territory towards financial riches and footballing glory.

Spurs have progressed as winners of Group A, following impressive home victories over Milan rivals Internazionale, Germans Werder Bremen and Dutch champions FC Twente.

In six games, they scored 18 goals and conceded 11. AC Milan were less convincing with just eight points and seven goals to show for their efforts in the group stages.

Both teams have injury concerns: Tottenham will be without San Siro hat-trick hero Gareth Bale and Luka Modric only makes the bench, and AC Milan are without new signings Mark Van Bommel and Antonio Cassano while Andrea Pirlo has picked up an injury.

Over in Spain, both hosts Valencia and visitors Schalke have enjoyed strong league form and have players who can win any game: Roberto Soldado is making a name for himself in La Liga as a robust forward who can score important goals, while Schalke boast a frontline of formidable experience and skill in Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

There will be lots of goals, given the nature of the teams playing and what the competition has thrown up so far.

 

Predictions

I am going to put my neck out and predict a 3-1 triumph for Milan and a 2-2 (not very) stalemate in southern Spain.

Stay with me for regular updates.

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