The Group Stage of the 2014-2015 Champions League continues with matches in Groups E, F, G and H. At the center of attention will be the Anglo-Italian clash of Manchester City hosting Roma and also the mega meeting between PSG and Barcelona, but plenty of focus will be given to Chelsea, facing a tough road test in Lisbon against Sporting.
CKSA Moscow – Bayern Munich: The early game, as always with Russian teams hosting matches. Bayern Munich had no problems against CSKA last season (twice) and are heading into this match after two consecutive league wins, not to mention not conceding a goal since August 30. CSKA are second in Russia, but their 5-1 loss in Rome says a lot about the differences between them and the more serious contenders in this grou.
Manchester City – AS Roma: Maybe the most intriguing match of the day, as Manchester City head into an evening they can’t afford to lose in after their defeat against Bayern Munich. Things aren’t going perfectly in the league with defensive problems. Roma have been perfect in all competitions so far, conceding just two goals in six competitive matches.
APOEL Nicosia – Ajax: The focus in this group is on two other teams, but if Ajax want to break the curse of not making it out of the group stage, winning in Cyprus is probably a must. They’ve won their last three league matches including scoring five goals this weekend, while APOEL are off to a fine start at home, losing just two points out of the first possible 15.
PSG – Barcelona: This should be the match for the top spot in the group, but it’s been a weird start for PSG, who will be playing without Ibrahimovic. While Barcelona have yet to conceded a goal this season in all competitions, Paris Saint-Germain are only fourth in Ligue 1, five points behind Marseille, drawing three of their last four matches.
Sporting – Chelsea: Sporting had a dull 1-1 draw with Maribor in their return match to the competition and have been struggling to finish off matches in the league as well, currently only 7th with 10 points in six matches. Chelsea might have been arrogant in their home draw with Schalke to kick off the group stage but in the league things are going swimmingly for them, dropping just two points out of 18 so far.
Schalke – Maribor: Last time Maribor got a 17-year old prodigy to save the day for them, but playing away from home, in Germany, is a very different matter. After an awful start to the season, Schalke have won their last two league matches, beating Dortmund and Werder Bremen, which means they should be on the right path.
BATE – Athletic Bilbao: It’s been a very rough start in the league for Bilbao, winning just one of the first six matches. BATE’s league form means nothing, but it’s quite clear they should do a lot better than their 6-0 loss in Porto.
Shakhtar – Porto: Two teams not in the best of form: Porto have drawn their last three league matches while Shakhtar have let go of the top spot in Ukraine, losing to Zorya Lugansk. Their home field advantage is gone because they’re playing in Lviv.