UEFA Champions League Tuesday preview: Arsenal, Roma in tough spot
To say it’s do-or-die for some UEFA Champions League sides in the group stage of this 2015-16 tournament is a bit harsh, but only a bit.
And for some, like Arsenal, it’s the absolute truth. A loss for the Gunners to Bayern Munich -- hardly unexpected -- would leave them 0-for-3 in group stage games with a visit to the Allianz Arena still to come.
Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich
Aside from the home field advantage provided by the Emirates Stadium, things don’t bode well for the Gunners. The opponents have both faced Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb. Arsenal is 0-2, having allowed give goals. Bayern is 2-0, scoring eight and not conceding a single tally.
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Olympiakos
The winner of this battle will be alone in Group F’s second place, and both are dreaming of the knockout rounds after taking care of Arsenal earlier in group play.
Dynamo Kyiv vs. Chelsea
This is a brutal and tricky trip for the Blues, probably the most difficult to navigate fixture of Group G outside of the other three clubs’ trips to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea enters the match in third place, but will fancy its chances to take all three points from Andriy Yarmolenko, Niko Kranjcar and Dynamo.
Porto vs. Maccabi Tel-Aviv
The Israeli side is another club on the brink after starting 0-2 and failing to score a goal. Going to Porto is no cakewalk for any club, and Maccabi could find the end of Tuesday with very little hope of advancing to the knockout rounds.
Zenit Saint-Petersburg vs. Lyon
Don’t mess with Hulk and Danny (and Javi Garcia... and Axel Witsel). The Russian powers are off to a great start in Group H, and can essentially seal its fate in the knockout rounds with a win.
Valencia vs. Gent
Fancy Valencia’s chances here, though Gent has been valiant both its defeat at Zenit and home draw versus Lyon.
BATE Borisov vs Barcelona
Neymar has filled the void of Lionel Messi, inasmuch as filling the shoes of the best player in the world is possible. But Barca’s Belarusian opponents present a hostile place to play, having knocked off Roma this season and Athletic Bilbao last UCL season.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. AS Roma
The Serie A side had its chance to lick its UCL wounds, having fell at BATE and drawn at home against Barca. Now it needs a big road result against Bundesliga opposition, an enemy that plays quite well at home.