Away-day risks for big guns

The various favourites will be on their travels for the second matchday of the UEFA Champions League this Tuesday and Wednesday, with no fewer than nine former European champions playing away and a mere three at home.

While Manchester United (at Aalborg) and Juventus (away to BATE Borisov in Minsk) are expected to bring home the three points, Celtic (at Villarreal), Steaua Bucharest (away to Fiorentina), Porto (at Arsenal), Barcelona (facing Shakhtar Donetsk), Real Madrid (away to Zenit Saint Petersburg), Marseille (travelling to Atletico Madrid) and PSV Eindhoven (facing Liverpool at Anfield) will very much have their work cut out.

Match of the day
Zenit St Petersburg - Real Madrid, Tuesday at 18.30 in the Petrovsky Stadium

Having won last season's UEFA Cup and Super Cup, Zenit are looking to take the next step down the road to continental supremacy at home to Real Madrid, who hold the record for European Cup trophies with nine. The Russian side slipped to the narrowest of defeats on the opening matchday away to Juventus, with the only goal of the match exposing their weakness at defending set pieces. At home, however, Zenit are a different prospect, having won five, drawn two and lost only one of their eight matches last season in the UEFA Cup. Real Madrid have not won away in Europe for six matches now, but with their players boasting 819 continental ties to their name (compared with 38 for the Russian squad), the Merengues have a wealth of big-match experience to call upon.

The other matches
In Group E, Sir Alex Ferguson will celebrate his 75th UEFA Champions League match when Manchester United, who were held 0-0 at home to Villarreal in their opener, travel to Denmark to face AaB Aalborg. The "Yellow Submarine" meanwhile, who have not lost in any competition since last April, will be at home to Celtic, who are notoriously brittle on their travels in Europe.

In Group F, Franck Ribery's Bayern Munich will be looking to put their worst start to a domestic season since 1978 behind them against Lyon. The seven-time French champions have won their last four matches in Germanym however, and are once again well clear at the top of the French Ligue 1. In the other match, Fiorentina will be looking to the in-form Alberto Gilardino to power them past a Steaua Bucharest outfit who have not won in Europe in their last 11 matches.

Having lost 2-1 at home to newly promoted Hull City on Saturday after 36 matches unbeaten at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal will be looking to take out their frustration on Porto, who, despite leading Group G, have only taken one point from their last four trips to England. Furthermore, the Gunners are unbeaten at home in their last 22 Champions League ties.

Group H's other match sees Juventus travelling to the Belarus capital of Minsk without Gianluigi Buffon.

Having slipped to a humiliating 2-1 defeat at home to Romanian surprise package Cluj a fortnight ago, Roma must travel to France to face a Bordeaux team anxious to wipe out the memory of their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea on the same matchday. The losers of this particular Group A match will have their work cut out, while Chelsea are busy looking for another three points over in Romania.

On guard
Group B sees Inter Milan looking to get back to winning ways after losing top spot in Serie A with a 1-0 defeat in the Milan derby, in a match which had all the intensity of a Champions League tie. Jose Mourinho's men will have to be on their guard at home to a Werder Bremen team who have notched 18 goals in six Bundesliga matches so far this season.

After a shaky start to the season, Barcelona seem to be rediscovering their form, as shown by their 2-1 win over local rivals Espanyol last weekend. Pep Guardiola's troops will face a real test in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk, who took all three points away to Basle with a 2-1 win on the opening night.

In Group D, the two winners from the first matchday will be playing at home. With Fernando Torres back on the goal trail, Liverpool will be looking to improve their goal difference against PSV, who went down to a 3-0 defeat at home to Atletico Madrid two weeks ago. In the other match, Marseille absolutely need a win away in Madrid if they are to get back in track.

Player to watch
Facing Bayern Munich will no doubt bring back fond memories for Sidney Govou. During the 2000-2001 season, the French striker bagged a brace in Lyon's 3-0 win over the Bavarian side. This was a defining moment in the future international's career, but it was Bayern who would have the last laugh, going on to win the competition.

The stat
601 - the number of matches that Argentina's Javier Zanetti has played for Inter Milan. 433 in the league, 113 in Europe and 55 in the Italian Cup. This puts him in third place on the all-time list for the club, behind legendary defenders Giuseppe Bergomi (756) and the late Giacinto Facchetti (634).

What they said
"It's all a bit miserable here at the moment. Things can't go on like this at Bayern!" Uli Hoeness, Bayern Munich's director of football, after his side's second consecutive Bundesliga defeat

Have your say
Will Zenit beat Real Madrid? Can Cluj make it through to the knock-out stage? Does the Arsenal squad have enough experience to be a force in Europe?