UEFA Champions League 2013: Schalke against the ropes, Arsenal in good shape

Ronny Hartmann

Tuesday's biggest Champions League game features Schalke, who gave up a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg, traveling to PAOK. AC Milan and PSV play Wednesday's most interesting tie.

Arsenal and Fenerbahçe appeared the be the Champions League playoff round's most intriguing tie when the draw was made, but it's been quickly put to bed. The Gunners notched an impressive 3-0 victory away in Turkey last week and shouldn't have a problem advancing to the group stage. That means eyes will be elsewhere on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Schalke and PAOK playing perhaps the best tie of the bunch.

Schalke could only manage a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg of the tie and have been struggling mightily in the league. Failure to advance to the group stage would be both embarrassing and seriously damaging financially for the German club. Also intriguing is PSV-AC Milan, though the Italians are favorites after a 1-1 draw in Holland.

Celtic are also in a bit of trouble, having lost 2-0 away to Shakhter Karagandy. However, the Kazakhs have to travel the same distance as the Scottish champions did last week and should be at a heavy disadvantage as a result. Olympique Lyonnais are in a slightly different situation after their 2-0 loss in the first leg, given that it was at home. Expect Real Sociedad to go through from that tie.

All times below are Eastern Time.

Tuesday

Arsenal vs. Fenerbahçe - 2:45 p.m.
PAOK vs. Schalke - 2:45 p.m.
Legia Warsaw vs. Steaua Bucharest - 2:45 p.m.
FC Basel vs. Ludogorets - 2:45 p.m.
Austria Vienna vs. Dinamo Zagreb - 2:45 p.m.

Wednesday

Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Paços de Ferreira - 12 p.m.
Celtic vs. Shakhter Karagandy - 2:45 p.m.
Maribor vs. Viktoria Plzen - 2:45 p.m.
Real Sociedad vs. Olympique Lyonnais - 2:45 p.m.
AC Milan vs. PSV Eindhoven - 2:45 p.m.

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