Dean Mouhtaropoulos

UEFA Champions League: PSG down Porto, while City lose again

Manchester City have been dumped out of Europe entirely, while Paris Saint-Germain have defeated Porto to win Group A.

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19 Total Updates since December 4, 2012
  • Important 18
  • Updates 7
  • Articles 12
  • All Updates 19

Zenit top uninspired Milan to book Europa place

Zenit St. Petersburg booked a spot in the Europa League with a win over uninspiring AC Milan.

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City crash out of Europe

Manchester City are out of Europe entirely after their loss in Dortmund.

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Mother Nature intervenes: Dinamo/Dynamo suspended

Dinamo Zagreb is hosting Dynamo Kiev in a match that means nothing. Like seriously, there is nothing on the line at all and they might as well just cancel the thing.

Enter Mother Nature: Aware that nothing is on the line, she dumped snow on Croatia and caused the match to be delayed. Huzzah!

2012-december-4-14-49-3_medium

(Via Tim Burke/Mocksession)

On the flip side, snow did the impossible and made this match cool. Orange balls and theater!

In conclusion, this match is doomed to being insignificant AND boring. No matter what.

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Malaga/Anderlecht both playing for something. Yay!

Malaga and Anderlecht square off in the final matchday with more on the line than most of today's matches. That is more a statement abut the dire schedule today, but at least both teams are playing for something, which is pretty cool.

For Malaga, the top spot in Group C is on the line. They are three points clear of AC Milan so a draw keeps them in the first spot and gives them a favorable knockout round draw, but a loss and a Milan win will see them fall to second place because of the Italians' superior goal difference in the teams' two matches against each other.

Anderlecht don't have a chance at the knockout stages, but that always seemed a dream too big for them. They get to play for third place and the Europa League spot that goes with it. They are currently level with Zenit St. Petersburg on four points so that spot in Europe's secondary competition is still very much up for grabs.

They're both playing for something! Yay!

Malaga: Kameni, Welligton, Sergio Sanchez, Onyewu, Toulalan, Iturra, Duda, Eliseu, Buonanotte, Seba, Santa Cruz

Anderlecht: Proto, Deschacht, Kouyate, Safari, Biglia, Kljestan, Praet. Gillet, Jovanovic, Mbokani, Bruno

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Schalke, Montpellier still have to play I guess

Perhaps Huub Stevens got wind of the team that Arsene Wenger is starting and decided to take a similar approach to his game. Schalke has to win against Montpellier to ensure that they win their group, but they hold a tiebreaker over Arsenal, meaning that they will go through if they lose and Arsenal just draw. A number of Schalke's stars are sitting down for this match, including Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Meanwhile, Montpellier are starting their third-string keeper. That's fun!

Montpellier starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Jonathan Ligali; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Henri Bedimo, Daniel Congre; Benjamin Stambouli, Marco Estrada; Remy Cabella, Anthony Mounier, Emanuel Herrera; Souleymane Camara

Schalke starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Timo Hildebrand; Astudo Uchida, Christoph Metzelder, Sead Kolasinac, Benidikt Höwedes; Roman Neustädter, Julian Draxler; Tranquilo Barnetta, Lewis Holtby, Teemu Pukki; Ciprian Marica

There's a really good chance that this game could have awful defense/goalkeeping and lots of goals, so tune in if you have nothing better to do.

And if it ends 0-0, you can blame it on me.

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Zenit chasing a Europa League spot

Milan are in the next round and cannot catch Malaga for the top spot in the group. They've really only field a tam because taking a forfeit would be embarrassing and probably cause UEFA to kick them out of the Round of 16. As you might expect, Massimiliano Allegri has rested several starters including Stephan El Shaarawy and Pato.

Zenit can't advance but they can secure a Europa League spot, thus Luciano Spalletti has put out a fairly strong lineup. Hulk plays up top in place of Aleksandr Kerzhakov but the rest of the linup is fairly similiar to what we've seen from Zenit in previous group stage matches.

A.C. Milan starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Christian Abbiati; Mattia De Sciglio, Francesco Acerbi, Djamel Mesbah, Cristián Zapata; Mathieu Flamini, Massimo Ambrosini; Kevin-Prince Boateng, Urby Emanuelson, Bojan Krkic; Giampaolo Pazzini.

Zenit St. Petersburg starting lineup (4-3-3): Vyacheslav Malafeev; Aleksandr Anyukov, Bruno Alves, Nicolas Lombaerts, Tomáš Hubočan; Roman Shirokov, Igor Denisov, Azel Witsel; Sergei Semak, Danny, Hulk.

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PSG vs. Porto: Lineups

In what might be the only legitimately interesting match of the day, FC Porto travel to Paris Saint-Germain hoping for a win or a draw at the Parc des Princes. Get that, and they top the group. Fail to do so, and PSG emerge as winners. Both are already qualified for the knockout rounds thanks to the miserable performances of Dinamo Zagreb and Dynamo Kiev, but we should see PSG going all out to get a win, and that should make this fun.

Paris Saint-Germain starting lineup (4-3-3): Salvatore Sirigu, Maxwell, Thiago Silva, Alex, Gregory van der Wiel; Blaise Matuidi, Clement Chantome, Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jeremy Menez.

Substitutes from: Nicolas Douchez, Mamadou Sakho, Sylvain Armand, Christophe Jallet, Mohamed Sissoko, Nene, Marco Verratti.

FC Porto starting lineup (4-3-3): Helton; Alex Sandro, Eliaquim Mangala, Nicolas Otamendi, Danilo; Joao Moutinho, Fernando, Lucho Gonzalez; Silvestre Varela, Jackson Martinez, James Rodriguez.

Substitutes from: Fabiano, Miguel Lopes, Abdoulaye Ba, André Castro, Christian Atsu, Steven Defour, Kléber.

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Who is Jernade Meade?

Arsenal are either extremely confident in their fringe players' ability to defeat Olympiakos, or they're not terribly concerned about the difference between a first or second seed in the Champions League knockout stage. A few choice starters are in their team -- Thomas Vermaelen is the most notable -- but this is more or less a classic Arsene Wenger League Cup side. Olympiakos are taking the game slightly more, but not much more seriously.

Olympiakos starting lineup (4-3-3): Roy Carroll; Francois Modesto, Pablo Contreras, Kostas Manolas, Vasilis Torosidis; Drissa Diakite, Ljubomir Fesja, Leandro Greco; Pablo Machado, Rafik Djebbour, Djamel Abdoun

Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Jernade Meade, Thomas Vermaelen, Sebastian Squillaci, Carl Jenkinson; Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey; Gervinho, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Marouane Chamakh

That is a less than inspiring Arsenal team. But, hey, maybe 20-year-old debutant Jernane Meade is a superstar in the making! Because guys who don't make their pro debuts until they're 20 are always going to be amazing!

In five years, when Jernade Meade is the English Roberto Carlos, someone is going to pull this post up and mock me.

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Jürgen Klopp rotates several starters out

Dortmund has won the group and secured a place in the Round of 16 so it comes as no surprise that Jürgen Klopp has chosen to rest several starters. Regular starters Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Mario Götze, Sven Bender, Neven Subotic and Lukasz Piszczek are all rested, which makes perfect sense.

Roberto Mancini's side can still qualify for the Europa League so there's only a couple changes in his lineup despite a date against Manchester United looming this weekend. Injuries have also forced Mancini's hand as several players are unavailable due to various ailments. Scott Sinclair makes a rare appearance but the rest of the lineup is full of familiar faces.

Borussia Dortmund starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Roman Weidenfeller; Oliver Kirch, Felipe Santana, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer; İlkay Gündoğan, Mortiz Leitner; Ivan Perišić, Marco Reus, Kevin Großkreutz; Julian Schieber

Manchester City starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Maicon, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Matija Nastasić; Javi Garcia, Gareth Barry; Samir Nasri, Scott Sinclair, Carlos Tevez; Edin Džeko

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Schalke should beat Montpellier

If Schalke win, they win Group B. They should do just that, but who knows what Montpellier team is going to show up.

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Anderlecht chasing Europa League spot in Malaga

Malaga are already guaranteed top spot in Group C, but Anderlecht have a Europa League spot to play for.

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Arsenal need win, dropped points by Schalke

The Gunners need a win and some help to capture first place in Group B.

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Zenit need win over Milan for Europa League place

Milan are already guaranteed progression to the knockout stages, but Zenit are still fighting for the Europa League spot.

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Dortmund host City with barely anything at stake

Dortmund already have the top spot in the group locked up. City could pass Ajax for a Europa League spot. In other words, this one is not on the must watch list.

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Ajax and Madrid have something to play for

Both teams have something to play for as Ajax travel to Spain hoping to hold on to a Europa League spot

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Paris Saint-Germain vs. FC Porto: Preview

Both teams have already qualified, but Paris Saint-Germain need a win against Porto in order to finish at the top of Group A.

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