The UEFA Champions League is back in action on Tuesday, with eight intriguing match-ups and some high-profile showdowns.
Lyon and Bayern Munich is arguably the marquee match-up, although the way the German champions have been playing lately has caused the game to lose some of its luster. Some might prefer the Arsenal-FC Porto tilt, or even the Celtic-Villarreal battle.
One of the more interesting match-ups is Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Real Madrid. The reigning UEFA Cup champions haven’t exactly been tearing up the Russian League, but still boast Andrei Arshavin and Pavel Pogrebniak.
For those of you who plan on watching Tuesday’s games either live or Tivo’d, here is the schedule of games on TV (and the web):
- 12:30pm– ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com- Real Madrid at Zenit St. Petersburg (Live)
- 2:45pm– ESPN2- Manchester United at Aalborg BK (Live)
- 2:45pm– Setanta USA- FC Porto at Arsenal (Live)
- 2:45pm– ESPN360.com- Celtic at Villarreal (Live)
- 5pm– ESPN Classic- Real Madrid at Zenit St. Petersburg
- 5:40pm– Setanta USA- Dynamo Kiev at Fenerbahce
- 7:30pm– Setanta USA- Lyon at Bayern Munich
- 7:3pm– ESPN Deportes- Manchester United at Aalborg BK
Here is a closer look at all eight match-ups:
- Manchester United at Aalbork BK
- Celtic at Villarreal
OUTLOOK– After drawing Villarreal in the opener, Man Utd. will want to secure three road points against the underdogs from Denmark. Villarreal is especially tough at home and should handle a Celtic squad that has been less than impressive. All four teams took a point from the first game, but you have to feel like Celtic needs the road point this week after dropping points at home to Aalborg.
- Steaua Bucharest at Fiorentina
- Bayern Munich at Lyon
OUTLOOK-With both Fiorentina and Bayern Munich looking vulnerable in their domestic league play, Lyon has a chance to pull ahead as the group’s in-form team. How will Bayern slow down Karim Benzema? As for Steaua, it fought hard against Bayern, but just might have what it takes to find the upset this week.
- FC Porto at Arsenal
- Dynamo Kiev at Fenerbahce
OUTLOOK– Porto posted the only win in the group in the opening round and will have to feel good about getting a point at the Emirates. Arsenal just got bumped off by Hull in domestic action and will need much better to beat the Portuguese in London.
- Real Madrid at Zenit St. Petersburg
- Juventus at BATE Borisov
OUTLOOk– Zenit gave Juve trouble in the opening match and will be looking for a serious home-field advantage against the Spanish champions. Real Madrid won its first game and has to like its chance of starting out 2-0. Will we see Arshavin put on a show against a club that just might by him in the winter? As for Juventus-BATE, Juve needs to shake off the loss of David Trezeguet to injury and start generating more chances.
What match are you looking forward to the most? How about individual match-up?
Share your thoughts on Tuesday’s Champions League schedule in the comments section below