Champions League preview Wednesday October, 19th

Group E

Bayer Leverkusen v Valencia

Chelsea v Genk

Chelsea should have been in a commanding position in the group but allowed Valencia to steal a point in their last match. Frank Lampard had fired the Blues into a lead but was replaced late in the game by Salomon Kalou who proceeded to give away a penalty. They will be anxious to make no such mistake at home to Genk who were beaten 2-0 by Bayer Leverkusen who now play host to Valencia. Former Chelsea player Michael Ballack scored in that latest victory and has been impressive leading the line for the Germans in their opening encounters.

Group F

Marseille v Arsenal

Olympiakos FC v Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal fought off a determined Olympiakos to put themselves in a good position in Group F but can expect their toughest test to date against group leaders Marseille who were impressive in defeating Borussia Dortmund 3-0. Two goals for Andre Ayew and one for Loic Remy secured the 3 points for the French side. Arsenal go into this difficult fixture on the back of a hard fought 2-1 League victory over Sunderland. They will have been boosted by captain Robin Van Persie pledging his future to the Gunners before scoring both goals the weekend. He has flatly denied rumours that he was looking to leave the London club in the wake of the sale of star players Nasri and Fabregas and some poor early season results.

Group G

F C Porto v Apoel Nicosia

Shakhtar Donetsk v Zenit St. Petersburg

Group G is wide open after two matches and Porto will be looking to make home advantage count against Apoel Nicosia. Shakhtar Donetsk play host to Zenit St. Petersburg.

Group H

A C Milan v BATE Borisov

Barcelona v F C Viktoria Plzen

Defending champions Barcelona were held by A C Milan in their opening fixture but plundered five goals against Bate Borisov and will be looking to show similar superiority over F C Viktoria Plzen. Lionel Messi was at his mercurial best, scoring two goals which followed a hat-trick in their previous Premier Liga game. Another two this weekend takes his tally to seven in three matches. David Villa scored the fifth goal against Bate and was again in scoring form against Scotland for the Spanish national side in midweek. A. C. Milan now play host to Barca’s recent victims. Milan have not been at their best in Serie A so far this season but will be looking to continue their improved Champions League form at the expense of Bate.

 

Harvey Mayson

Harvey Mayson is a professional sports writer and artist living in South West Scotland. He began working at his local newspaper in the south of England before going freelance to work on specialist sporting publications. He writes for a number of specialist sports sites both at home and abroad including football, horse racing and sports betting sites. He has also covered a wide range of sporting events such as the Paralympic Games, Euro 2012 and the Grand National. Harvey is also well known as an equestrian artist and can be contacted through his website.