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UEFA Champions League: Biggies aim to book knockout tickets

sports Updated: Nov 01, 2011 01:22 IST
AC Milan

AC Milan and Barcelona can wrap up their Champions League group with two matches to spare and reduce their much-anticipated meeting next month to a mere friendly if both win their respective games on Tuesday.

AC Milan and Barcelona have taken seven points each from three games while BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen have one apiece.

Serie A champions Milan visit Belarusian champions BATE, where Barcelona have already recorded a 5-0 win, while Pep Guardiola’s side visit Viktoria Plzen in Prague.

The Czech champions are unable to play at their own stadium as it does not meet competition standards. Further wins for the big two will guarantee their places in the last 16 and reduce their meeting at San Siro on November 23 to a dead rubber.

Form and van persie gives arsenal belief

London: Robin van Persie’s electric form and Arsenal’s return to winning ways have given the English side the belief they can beat any team in Europe before hosting Olympique Marseille for a Group F Champions League match on Tuesday.

Despite some lapses at the back, Arsenal played some outstanding football in their 5-3 win at Chelsea on Saturday with Van Persie sparking the victory with a hat-trick to take his goals tally to 28 in his last 27 Premier League games. They will also have defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson back in the ranks.

Since losing to Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on October 2, Arsenal have managed Premier League wins over Sunderland, Stoke City and Chelsea as well as beating Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup and Marseille in the Champions League.

Marseille come to England after beating Dijon 3-2 in Ligue 1 on Saturday, but although they have begun to improve in Ligue 1, it will be a major shock if they get the better of the Londoners.

Chelsea under pressure versus Genk

Genk, belgium: Chelsea will hope to erase the painful memories of last week when they face Belgian club Genk in the Champions League on Tuesday. Andre Villas-Boas’s team conceded five goals at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 22 years on Saturday as Arsenal enjoyed a remarkable 5-3 victory that left the Blues in turmoil.

Beating Genk could see Chelsea qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with two Group E games to spare, as long as Valencia do not defeat Bayer Leverkusen in the night’s other match.

Chelsea routed Genk 5-0 at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.