Claudio Villa

UEFA Champions League: Blues on the brink of European exit

If Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus draw their next match, Chelsea will be out of the UEFA Champions League, thanks to the Old Lady's emphatic 3-0 victory in Turin on Tuesday.

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25 Total Updates since November 20, 2012
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Luiz Adriano suspended one game

Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano won't take part in his team's UEFA Champions League match against Juventus. He's been suspended for unsporting conduct.


Goodbye, Braga

Braga are done in Europe, following a nightmare first half in Romania.


Luiz Adriano: Unsportsmanlike? Or just good?

Luiz Adriano's controversial goal was the story ... until he and Willian proved that they didn't need to commit any unsportsmanlike acts to dominate Nordsjaelland.


Benfica denies Celtic a chance to advance

The Hoops failed to secure a palce in the next round of the Champions league, falling 2-1 at Benfica. A spot in the Round of 16 will come down the final group stage match day in two weeks


Chelsea steamrolled by Bianconeri

Chelsea's terrible run of form continued with their worst result of the season on Tuesday. Juventus exposed all of their deficiencies in a 3-0 win, putting them on the brink of a Champions League exit.


United fall 1-0 in Turkey

Burak Yilmaz's second half goal puts Galatasaray's Champions League fate firmly in their own hands with only one group stage match remaining


Messi and Barcelona roll past Spartak Moscow

Barcelona scored three first half goals before cruising to a painless 3-0 victory over Spartak Moscow on a cold, frosty evening at the Luzhniki Stadium.


Nordsjaelland vs. Shakhtar Donetsk: Lineups

FC Nordsjaelland (4-2-3-1): Jesper Hansen; Patrick Mtiliga, Ivan Runje, Jores Okore, Michael Parkhurst; Nicolai Stokholm, Enoch Adu, Joshua John, Soren Christiansen, Kasper Lorentzen; Morten Nordstrand.

Substitutes from: Thomas Villadsen, Henrik Kildentoft, Anders Christiansen, Oguzhan Aynaoglu, Mark Gundelach, Mario Ticinovic, Kamal Issah.

Shahktar Donetsk (4-2-3-1): Andriy Pyatov; Razvan Rat, Yaroslav Rakitsky, Olexandr Kucher, Darijo Srna; Taras Stepaneko, Fernandinho; Willian, Henrikh Markhitaryan, Alex Teixeira; Luiz Adriano.

Substitutes from: Anton Kanibolotsky, Sergey Krivtsov, Vasili Kobin, Olexiy Gay, Douglas Costa, Ilsinho, Eduardo.


Cluj vs. Braga: Lineups

CFR Cluj (4-2-3-1): Mario Felguerias, Ionut Rada, Felice Piccolo, Cadu, Ivo Pinto; Gabriel Muresan, Luis Alberto; Camora, Rui Pedro, Modou Sougou; Rafael Bastos.

Substitutes from: Eduard Stancioiu, Vasile Maftei, Matías Aguirregaray, Viorel Nicoara, Nicolas Godemeche, Pantelis Kapetanos, Sasa Bjelanovic.

Braga (4-2-3-1): Beto; Ismaily, Douglao, Nuno Coelho, Leandro Salino; Hugo Viana, Custodio; Ruben Amorim, Ruben Micael, Alan; Eder.

Substitutes from: Quim, Elderson, Morosso, Helder Barbossa, Djamal, Ze Luis, Carlao.


An odd lineup for Chelsea

Chelsea's lineup isn't anything like a lineup that they've fielded before, and how it actually looks in practice is anyone's guess. Our guess is that they're going to utilize a back three, which makes some sense in theory. Juventus are going to play with two strikers and five men in midfield, so if they've trained in the system and they defend properly, they should have some matchup advantages. Then again, Cesar Azpilicueta could just be a defensive winger. Who knows? Juventus line up as expected, because they fear change.

Juventus starting lineup (3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Stefan Lichtsteiner, Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Kwadwo Asamoah; Fabio Quagliarella, Mirko Vucinic

Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3): Petr Cech; Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic; Ashley Cole, Ramires, John Obi Mikel, Cesar Azpilicueta; Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar

Is listing the lineup this way wishful thinking? Well, yes, if it's inaccurate. This is potentially way more fun than Azpilicueta playing as a defensive winger. You can catch the game on FOX Soccer in the U.S. and ITV in the U.K.


Galatasaray vs. Manchester United: Lineups

Galatasaray care. Manchester United really don't. That means it's fun training time for Sir Alex Ferguson's kids, who are apparently playing in some sort of 4-4-2 midfield diamond featuring Nick Powell at the tip and Darren Fletcher at the base. So that'll be interesting. With the hosts even with Cluj on points after four matches, beating United, who have already guaranteed top spot in Group H, would be a major step towards qualifying.

Galatasaray (4-4-2): Fernando Muslera, Albert Riera, Dany Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Emmanuel Eboue; Nordin Amrabat, Felipe Melo, Selcuk Inan, Hamit Altintop; Johan Elmandar, Burak Yilmaz.

Substitutes from: Ufuk Ceylan, Cris, Caglar Birinci, Yekta Kurtulus, Engin Baytar, Emre Colak, Umut Bulut.

Manchester United (4<4>2): Andres Lindegaard; Alexander Buttner, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones, Rafael da Silva; Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Tom Cleverley, Nick Powell; Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez.

Substitutes from: Sam Johnstone, Scott Wootton, Marnick Vermijl, Ashley Young, Larnell Cole, Federico Macheda, Joshua King


Vilanova chooses to rest Carles Puyol

The only surprise from Tito Vilanova, if you want to call it that, is Javier Mascherano starting along side Gerard Piqué in the central. If you think about it though, Carles Puyol played 75 minutes against Real Zaragoza this weekend, his first action in over a month and a half. Resting the captain makes sense. The now un-suspended Sergio Busquets will return to his deep midfield role, which will help Barca as they missed his play against Celtic.

Spartak's captain and goalkeeper Andriy Dykan makes an unexpected return after missing significant time with an injury. That should help a little for the Russian side, but considering all the other injuries, this will still be a tough match. Emmanuel Emenike was impressive when these two teams met earlier in the group stages and he'll need to have a big day if Spartak have a chance of staying alive in the group.

Spartak Moscow starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Andriy Dykan; Juan Insurralde, Kirill Kombarov, Marek Suchý, Evgeni Makeev; Rafael Carioca, José Manuel Jurado, Kim Källström, Dmitir Kombarov; Ari, Emmanuel Emenike.

Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3): Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández, Andres Iniesta; Cesc Fàbregas, Lional Messi, Pedro Rodríguez.


Cluj face Braga with everything to play for

Braga travel to Romania to face CFR Cluj as they bid to avenge their defeat in the reverse fixture, with the second qualification place in Group H still wide open.


Chelsea and Juventus fighting for one spot?

Remember when Chelsea and Juventus was a clash of the European titans? Now it's a clash of teams fighting to hold onto their relevance.


BATE look to capitalise on Lille's woes

BATE will hope to take advantage of Lille's woes as they continue to seek progress to the first knockout round.


Shakhtar need win to keep pressure on opponents

Nordsjaelland aren't going to the Champions League knockout round. They're almost certainly not going to make the Europa League either. But they can play spoiler by denying Shakhtar victory on Tuesday.


United name young squad to face Galatasaray

Manchester United have already qualified from Group H and have named an inexperienced squad to travel to Galatasaray, who are fighting to progress to the knockout stages.


Celtic a win away from advancing to the next round

The mission is simple for Neil Lennon and the Hoops. Win and you're in the next round.


Barcelona looking to advance to Round of 16

Barcelona can move on to the Round of 16 with a win over Spartak Moscow, whose injury list is longer than most kids' Christmas letters to Santa.


Draw benefits everyone in Valencia-Bayern

A draw benefits both teams. Is anyone expecting this one to be particularly interesting?

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