Archive for the ‘ Match Preveiws ’ Category

Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg DFB Pokal Preview: Hosts to keep up treble pursuit

Robben and Shaqiri

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BAYERN

Neuer
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
Mandzukic
WOLFSBURG
 
Benaglio
Fagner, Naldo, Kjaer, Rodriguez
Medojevic, Polak
Olic, Diego, Arnold
Dost

Bayern Munich should name a full-strength side for the visit of Wolfsburg. Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Dante, David Alaba, Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Mandzukic all got a rest for the 4-0 win over Nurnberg on Saturday, but are likely to come back into the line-up.

Toni Kroos and Holger Badstuber are the only two long-term absentees with thigh and knee injuries respectively.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, will be able to welcome back Fagner, who missed out against Hoffenheim over the weekend due to suspension.

However, Vaclav Pilar (knee) and Vieirinha (muscle strain) are both injured. After a disappointing performance on Saturday, Makoto Hasebe could be axed and replaced by Bas Dost.

  • Bayern Munich have reached the DFB-Pokal final on a total of 18 occasions, winning the competition 15 times. The team with the next most appearances are Schalke on 12.
  • Mario Gomez has scored nine goals from just eight starts this season.
  • Roten striker Mario Mandzukic was brought to German football by Wolfsburg in 2010.
  • Wolfsburg have got the to the Pokal final on one occasion, losing 3-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • However, they claimed a shock 2-1 quarter-final win over Bayern in Munich to get to the final.
  • Felix Magath, who was sacked by Wolfsburg earlier this season, had also coached Bayern.
Advertisements

Arsenal vs Everton EPL Preview: In-form sides gear up for crucial top four race clash

Arteta battling

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

ARSENAL

Szczesny
Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs
Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere
Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla

EVERTON


Howard
Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar
Fellaini
Jelavic

Out-of-favour goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny looks set to return to the Arsenal starting XI, with Arsene Wenger admitting Lukasz Fabianski is a “major doubt” after taking a kick to the ribs against Norwich.

Per Mertesacker could return from suspension to the starting line-up in place of Thomas Vermaelen, who along with Nacho Monreal will challenge left-back Kieran Gibbs for the team.

Theo Walcott’s return from injury could see the forward start on the right flank in place of Gervinho, while manager Arsene Wenger faces a choice between keeping Aaron Ramsey in midfield and naming Santi Cazorla on the left flank, or moving the playmaker infield and adding Lukas Podolski on the left.

Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is doubtful and could miss out along with long-term casualty Abou Diaby (knee).

Everton have no new injury concerns and could name the side that beat QPR on Saturday, with Seamus Coleman set to continue at right-back while Tony Hibbert lacks fitness after a long-term injury.

Striker Victor Anichebe has started the Toffees’ last four league matches and could again lead the line ahead of the recently returned Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, but Nikica Jelavic is another option.

  • Arsenal have reached the Champions League last 16 in each of the last 12 seasons and are currently third, a point ahead of rivals Tottenham and Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
  • The Gunners have won eight of their last ten games and are second only to runaway leaders Manchester United in the form table.
  • Since Christmas, Arsenal have scored in every game bar the 2-0 loss to Manchester City. When Arsene Wenger’s side have scored first in the league this season, they have never lost a game.
  • Each of Olivier Giroud’s last ten Premier League goals this season have been scored at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Everton have not finished in the top four since 2005 and are currently in sixth place, three points from Chelsea and Tottenham and four from the Gunners as they seek to qualify for the Champions League.
  • The attacking contribution of the returning Marouane Fellaini has been vital for David Moyes’ men this campaign. The Belgium midfielder’s goals and assists have won the Merseysiders 12 points in the league.
  • The Toffees have scored the joint-highest amount of headed goals (13) in this year’s Premier League. The other side are league leaders Manchester United.
  • Everton have failed to beat Arsenal in the sides’ 11 most recent encounters, but went close earlier this season in the 1-1 draw between the two at Goodison Park in November.

Basel vs Tottenham Europa League Preview: Spurs face stern test to keep European quest alive

Vilas Boas

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BASEL

Sommer
Steinhofer, Voser, Dragovic, Schar
Salah, Cabral, F Frei, Stocker
Streller, A Frei
TOTTENHAM

Friedel
Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Sigurdsson, Parker, Dembele, HoltbyDempsey
Adebayor

After being punished for their complacency at White Hart Lane, Tottenham are in need of a stellar showing to seal victory on their travels for the first time in six outings.

And with William Gallas (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee) and talisman Gareth Bale (ankle) all becoming fresh additions to the Spurs treatment table after last week’s encounter, Andre Villas-Boas will be forced into a number of changes to the starting line-up.

With Jermaine Defoe aggravating an ongoing pelvic injury, Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to lead the line on Thursday, whilst Kyle Naughton is expected to make way for Kyle Walker as the bustling right-back returns from suspension.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is likely to be handed a start after his late equaliser against Everton, alongside Michael Dawson who is expected to fill in for the injured Gallas and Brad Friedel will once again come in for Hugo Lloris.

Basel were little short of a revelation in the first leg, with Marco Streller, Valentin Stocker and Mohamad Salah all asking a number of questions of the Tottenham rearguard.

The tricky trio are all expected to start Thursday’s clash and may be joined by the experienced Alexander Frei if coach Murat Yakin elects to field two strikers on home turf.

Park Joo-Ho and Marcelo Diaz are both back in contention after returning from suspension, whilst the now-fit Cabral could claim a place in the starting eleven after his second half-cameo at White Hart Lane.

Philipp Degen has also recovered from injury, but is unlikely to displace Mohamed Salah in the starting eleven after the Egyptian’s sterling performance in the first leg.

  • Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel is the oldest player left in this year’s competition and, at 41, is older than both Andre Villas-Boas and Basel coach Murat Yakin.
  • Jan Vertonghen  has appeared in all 1020 minutes of Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.
  • Spurs and Rubin Kazan are the only two survivors from the seven clubs granted automatic entry to the Europa League at the group stage.
  • Tottenham have not won a game in any competition without the injured Gareth Bale scoring since New Years Day.
  • Basel have tasted defeat just once since November, when they lost 1-0 away to Zenit St Petersburg in the last-16 of the Europa League.
  • The Swiss champions have won their last four home Europa League games without conceding a single goal.
  • Basel have picked up 23 yellow cards and three red cards in this year’s competition, more so than any other side.

Rubin Kazan vs Chelsea Europa League Preview: Visitors looking to protect two-goal aggregate lead in Moscow

Torres headed goal

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

RUBIN KAZAN

Ryzhikov
Kaleshin, Navas, Sharonov, Ansaldi
Orbaiz, Natcho,
Kasaev, Eremenko, Karadeniz
 
Rondon
CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Ake
Lampard, Mikel,
Moses, Oscar
, Hazard
Torres

Vladimir Dyadyun will compete for a place up front with Salomon Rondon for the hosts, who have no injury concerns to speak of.

Cesar Navas, Ivan Marcano and Roman Sharonov will fight for two places in the centre of defence, while Oleg Kuzmin may replace Gokdeniz Karadeniz on the right-hand side of midfield.

Chelsea face a potential dilemma at left-back, with the injured Ashley Cole’s (hamstring) usual deputy Ryan Bertrand (virus) unfit to travel. Nathan Ake is the club’s only other natural left-back, while Paulo Ferreira could fill in from his preferred right-back position.

Gary Cahill is still a couple of weeks away from returning after undergoing minor arthroscopic surgery to shave the meniscus on the knee he damaged in last month’s win against West Ham.

With Demba Ba cup-tied, Fernando Torres will continue up front, having scored twice in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

David Luiz, Ramires and Juan Mata are likely to be rested after playing three games in less than a week, so John Terry, Frank Lampard and Victor Moses should come into the starting line-up.

  • Chelsea have won all five of their previous games against Russian sides, conceding just twice in the process.
  • The Blues beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 on their last visit to the Luzhniki Stadium, in the 2010-11 Champions League group stage.
  • John Terry  will make his 100th European appearance if he plays in Moscow.
  • Rubin‘s only previous home game against English opponents resulted in a 1-0 win over Tottenham in last season’s Europa League.
  • However, the Russians’ only three defeats in their last 22 European ‘home’ games have come when hosting their matches in Moscow, as opposed to their Tsentralnyi Stadion in Kazan.
  • Having already eliminated Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the round of 32, Rubin could complete an unlikely double of knocking out the holders of both of last season’s European trophies if they overcome Champions League holders Chelsea.

Lazio vs Fenerbahce Europa League Preview: Biancocelesti have mountain to climb

Fenerbache player

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

LAZIO

Marchetti
Gonazalez, Biava, Cana, Radu
Ledesma
Candreva, Mauri, Hernanes, Lulic
Klose
FENERBAHCE

Demirel
Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler
Kuyt, Topal, Meireles, Topuz
Baroni,
Webo

Goals from Pierre Webo and Dirk Kuyt last Thursday mean Fenerbahce are firmly in the driving seat ahead of the second-leg of this Europa League quarter-final.

Lazio will need all of the cutting edge they can muster in their quest to produce a comeback and progress to the semi-finals of the competition.

Their cause was dented somewhat in the first leg by the sending off of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, meaning the Biancocelesti will be without his services at the Stadio Olimpico.

The game will also be played behind doors as part of Lazio’s punishment for repeated episodes of racist behaviour from supporters – the latest incident coming in February’s last-32 clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Fenerbahce will be without the injured Emre and Moussa Sow, while defender Bekir Irtegun is suspended.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Lazio have won six, drawn one and lost two of their clashes with Turkish opposition.
  • The Biancocelesti last reached the quarter-finals of a Uefa competition back in 2002-2003 when they beat Besiktas in the last eight of the Uefa Cup.
  • Lazio striker Libor Kozak is the top goalscorer in this season’s Europa League, with eight goals in nine appearances.
  • Fenerbahce are unbeaten in five Europa League away games and have not conceded in their last four matches on the road in Europe.
  • Fener have now reached the quarter-finals of all three major Uefa club competitions – Champions League (2007/2008), European Cup Winners’ Cup (1963/1964) and this season’s Europa League.
  • Only two clubs have overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit in the knock-out phase of the Europa League.

Newcastle vs Benfica Europa League Preview: Hosts’ Europa League hopes hang in the balance

Cisse

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

NEWCASTLE

Krul
Simpson, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez

Cabaye, Anita
Marveaux, Sissoko, Gouffran
Cisse
BENFICA
 
Arthur
Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo

Matic, Martins
John, Lima, Gaitan
Cardozo

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew faces a lengthy absentee list ahead of Thursday’s crunch Europa League clash, with Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Mathier Debuchy (cup-tied), Davide Santon (hip), Cheikh Tiote (hamstring) and Haris Vuckic (knee) all set to miss the game.

Elsewhere, long-term absentee Ryan Taylor is targeting a return in time for the derby game against Sunderland on Sunday, but Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara are for a place on the bench against the Portuguese outfit after suffering from back and knee strains respectively.

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus faces very few injury worries ahead of the return leg, with Eduardo Salvio remaining a doubt after picking up a knee problem shortly prior to the first leg between the two sides.

  • Newcastle have beaten Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala in the knockout stages so far, both by a solitary 1-0 aggregate scoreline.
  • Papiss Cisse has now scored four goals in the 90th minute this season after his last-gasp winner against Fulham.
  • The Senegal striker, along with Shola Ameobi, is the Magpies’ top scorer in the Europa League with three goals each.
  • Alan Pardew’s side have conceded just once at home in six games in the competition this term – that goal coming during the 1-1 draw with Maritimo in November.
  • Oscar Cardozo  is Benfica‘s top goalscorer this year with 28 goals, six of which have come in Europe.
  • The Portuguese outfit have scored 107 goals so far this season in all competitons.
  • They currently sit four points clear ahead of Porto at the top of the domestic league and are unbeaten in 25 games since the start of the season.
  • Jorge Jesus’ side have won their last eight games in a row going into the clash.
  • Benfica’s last five quarter-finals against English opposition have all resulted in elimination.

Barcelona vs Paris Saint Germain 2nd Leg UCL Preview: Vilanova’s side counting on Camp Nou boost

Villa and Messi

 

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is racing to recover from a hamstring strain in time for the crunch encounter against Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou.

Cesc Fabregas is likely to be preferred in attack if Messi fails to return, while Pedro is also in contention for a starting berth after recovering from a calf injury.

Blaugrana boss Tito Vilanova may deploy either Sergio Busquets or Alex Song in central defence in place of the inexperienced Marc Bartra to counter the attacking threat of the visitors.

PSG captain Thiago Silva is expected to play despite missing the weekend win at Rennes with a bruised knee.

Thiago Motta (groin) and Alex (thigh) should also be fit, but Blaise Matuidi is suspended after picking up his third booking of the competition in the first leg.

  • Barcelona are on a 20-match unbeaten run at Camp Nou in the Champions League, winning 16, since a 2-1 defeat against Rubin Kazan in October 2009.
  • The Blaugrana‘s overall home record against French opposition is W5, D1, L1, with their most recent encounter against a Ligue 1 club ending in a 5-2 second-leg victory over Olympique Lyonnais in the 2008-09 Champions League round of 16.
  • Barcelona have gone on to win 18 of 23 European ties in which they have drawn the first leg away from home.
  • Paris Saint-Germain have won three of their four away matches in the Champions League this season.
  • The Ligue 1 leaders have never lost a two-legged European tie to Spanish opponents before. Their overall away record against clubs from Spain is W4, D1, L3.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic  is the only player to have scored for six different clubs in the Champions League: AC Milan, Ajax, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus and PSG.