UEFA Champions League preview

Revenge is in the air on Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League group phase, with several title aspirants looking to make up for surprise results in the last round of games.

Leading the group of would-be avengers are Barcelona, who were stunned by Rubin Kazan at home two weeks ago and head east seeking to make amends. Inter Milan have a similar objective when they travel to Ukraine with the memory of a 2-2 draw against Dynamo Kiev at the San Siro still fresh. There are no such concerns for Sevilla, Manchester United, Chelsea and Lyon, the only sides with 100 per cent records and all of whom are within touching distance of the first knockout round.

Match of the day
Lyon-Liverpool, Group E, Stade Gerland, 20:45
The Reds have endured a difficult start to the season, due in no small part to the absence through injury of Steven Gerrard and in spite of the rich goalscoring form of Fernando Torres, the Premier League's top marksman with ten goals.

Fresh from slipping to their sixth defeat in seven games in all competitions at Fulham on Saturday, Liverpool can ill afford to fall to their third straight Champions League defeat, a fate that has never befallen them before. Buoyed by their 2-1 win at Anfield a fortnight ago, Les Gones have won all five of their matches in Europe this season and have a record of two wins, four draws and a single defeat against English clubs.

The other matches
Having picked up only four points so far, Bayern Munich need to take something from their match at home to Bordeaux in Group A. The Germans have yet to click into the gear this season and with a daunting away day at Juventus still to come, they have left themselves with little margin for error. The Italians, who slumped to a 3-2 home defeat to Napoli at the weekend, travel to Haifa to take on Maccabi, and have the incentive of registering their 100th win in Europe's premier club competition.

Unbeaten at home in 29 Champions League ties, a record that stretches back to October 2001, Manchester United only need a draw against CSKA Moscow to advance from Group B. Although first place looks to be beyond them, Wolfsburg can tighten their grip on second if they win at bottom-placed Besiktas.

Thirteen days after going down 3-2 to AC Milan at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid travel to the San Siro intent on improving their miserable record there. Los Merengues have lost on every one of their five visits to the famous stadium, scoring just one goal in the process. Tuesday's match also pits together the two top scorers in the history of the competition: Filippo Inzaghi, who has 48 goals to his name, 18 behind all-time leading sharpshooter Raul. In the other match in Group C Marseille entertain Zurich, with both sides looking to close the gap on the top two.

Group D leaders Chelsea are gathering momentum under Carlo Ancelotti. The Blues have a perfect record in Europe this term and are also setting the pace in the Premier League. Should they add another win at Atletico Madrid this week, they will move into the last 16, although a draw will be good enough if APOEL Nicosia fail to beat Porto. The Londoners should tread carefully, however; Los Colchoneros are unbeaten at home in seven matches against English sides. Porto can also qualify if they win in Cyprus and Chelsea collect a point in Madrid.

While Liverpool's trip to Lyon is the main attraction in Group E, Fiorentina can take a giant step towards the next round if they see off Hungarian debutants Debrecen at home.

Seven points clear in Serie A, Inter Milan find themselves last in Group F, where a single point separates the four sides. Worryingly for Jose Mourinho's men, they have gone eight games without a win in the competition, a dismal run they will be anxious to end in Kiev. Facing them there will be a familiar foe in Dynamo striker Andriy Shevchenko, the scorer of 14 career goals against I Nerazzurri. One place above the Italians lie Russian champions Rubin Kazan, who entertain a Barcelona side determined to mark their 200th game in the competition with a win to avenge Rubin's smash-and-grab raid of two weeks ago.

Sevilla are riding high in Group G and will be eyeing a home win against Stuttgart to secure their place in the knockout rounds. Urging the Spaniards on will be Romanian upstarts Unirea Urziceni, who will be out to boost their qualification push when they welcome a Rangers side still smarting from a 4-1 home reverse to Dan Petrescu's men.

Finally in Group H, Arsenal will be out to maintain their record of having scored in every game this season at home to AZ Alkmaar and advance to the last 16 into the bargain. Olympiakos can follow suit if they down Standard in Liege.

Player to watch
After three injury-plagued seasons, Alessandro Nesta is back to his best at the heart of the AC Milan defence and is eager to cross swords with Real Madrid's front men.

The stat
4 -
The tournament winners of the last two seasons both qualified from the group phase on Matchday 4. Eight clubs are in with a chance of repeating the feat this term: Bordeaux, Manchester United, Chelsea, Porto, Lyon, Sevilla, Arsenal and Olympiakos.

What they said
"As soon as we saw the draw we just couldn't wait to step out at legendary stadiums like the Camp Nou and the San Siro. We never thought for a second we'd be in with a chance of qualifying," Rubin Kazan forward Alejandro Dominguez.

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